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Tip of the Week

Identity Theft  

The Federal Trade Commission has a new campaign, Pass It Along, for people to share to avoid scams. Chances are good that someone you know has been scammed. That’s why we created these articles, presentations, video and activities — to help you start that conversation, and pass on some information that could help someone you know.

Here’s what can happen:

Someone gets your personal information and runs up bills in your name. They might use your Social Security or Medicare number, your credit card, or your medical insurance — along with your good name. You could get bills for things you didn’t buy or services you didn’t get. Your bank account might have withdrawals you didn’t make. You might not get bills you expect. Or, you could check your credit report and find accounts you never knew about.
Here’s what you can do:

Your complaint can help protect other people. By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify the scammers and stop them before they can get someone’s hard-earned money. It really makes a difference. Click here for the Pass It On materials to share your friends, family, coworkers, and community.

  1. Protect your information. Put yourself in another person’s shoes. Where would they find your credit card or Social Security number? Protect your personal information by shredding documents before you throw them out, by giving your Social Security number only when you must, and by using strong passwords online.
  2. Read your monthly statements and check your credit. When you get your account statements and explanations of benefits, read them for accuracy. You should recognize what’s there. Once a year, get your credit report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com or 1-877-322-8228. The law entitles you to one free report each year from each credit reporting company. If you see something you don’t recognize, you will be able to deal with it.

If you suspect identity theft, act quickly. Please report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Report identity theft online or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP. You can also check out the FTC’s resource Taking Charge for the next steps on recovering from identity theft.  

Your complaint can help protect other people. By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify the scammers and stop them before they can get someone’s hard-earned money. It really makes a difference. Click here for the Pass It On materials to share your friends, family, coworkers, and community

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Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (or MCUCD) is the award-winning, charitable arm of the Montana Credit Union Network. A state-wide nonprofit organization, MCUCD works together with the state's credit unions to improve the lives and financial independence of all Montanans.