Your wallet is missing. Thousands of dollars have been charged to your credit cards, your checking account is empty, and loans you never took out appear on your credit report. What happened? You've been a victim of identity theft - an increasingly common and inventive crime.

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. It may also involve computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and financial institution fraud.

Educate yourself about identity theft with the information below and related pages (links at right). If you'd like to purchase identity theft protection from our partner, please click here.

Recognize identity theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. It may also involve computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and financial institution fraud.

  • Internet - Fraudulent, but official-looking, e-mail messages or pop-up windows that ask you to update information or enter a contest. This type of online fraud is known as phishing.
  • Mail - Theft from your mailbox or trash.
  • Phone - Calls to "verify" information.
  • Text messaging - Messages delivered directly to your cell phone threatening account closure.
  • ATMs and Point-of-Sale keypads - Someone watching over your shoulder.

Protect yourself from identity theft

Identity thieves aren't always strangers! Keep your personal information private.

  • Don't give out your passwords or Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), and never write them down or leave them in plain view.
  • Regularly monitor your DNCU accounts with Online Banking and set e-mail alerts for low account balances.
  • Change your Online Banking password periodically and don't tell it to others.
  • Sign up to receive your account statement electronically with eStatements, and keep your account information out of the wrong hands.
  • Ask a representative at the Member Service Center to add a password to your account to be used when calling for account information.
  • Choose your own PIN for your ATM or Visa® Check Card.
  • Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228 to order your free credit report annually.
  • Review your credit card and account statements as soon as you receive them to watch for any charges or withdrawals you did not make.
  • Shred account statements, bills, preapproved credit offers, and other documents with personal information before you throw them in the trash.
  • Avoid e-mailing personal and financial information.
  • Instead of clicking on links in an e-mail you receive, call the company or log on to their website directly.
  • Install and regularly update anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software on your computer.
  • Sign up for Verified by Visa, an added safeguard when you use your DNCU Visa check or credit card for online shopping.
  • DNCU's partner provides identity protection programs here.

What to do if your identity is stolen

If you believe there are unauthorized transactions on any of your DNCU accounts, call the Member Service Center immediately (877) 818-DNCU.

To learn more about identity theft, prevention, and recovery click here.