What You Should Do to Help Protect Your Personal Information Online
New technology has helped make our lives a little easier. It has also created new opportunities for fraud and identity theft. The good news is you can protect yourself against these crimes that could steal your money, your credit rating and even your identity. By gaining an understanding of these issues and working with reputable companies that respect your privacy and security, you can enjoy financial security and peace of mind.
If you are a member of BrightStar CU and think you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft, please contact us immediately for assistance.
For additional help:
Contact the Federal Trade Commission for more information about completing an ID Theft Affidavit. You can visit them online at: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft
Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. Call them or visit them online.
Equifax » 1-800-525-6285
Trans Union » 1-800-680-7289
Experian » 1-888-397-3742
Take these steps to help protect yourself:
- Use caution when disclosing your personal information to anyone. Be sure you know who you are dealing with when giving out information. BrightStar CU will not call or e-mail you asking you to verify information we already have in our records.
- Examine and reconcile all your account statements promptly. Report discrepancies immediately. Store old statements in a secure place.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Store unused or canceled checks in a secure place.
- Check your mail. If you haven't received mail for a few days, you may be the victim of mail diversion fraud. If you suspect your address has been changed without your permission, contact the post office. If you have not received your regular bills as expected, call the company to find out why.
- Don't carry around sensitive information, such as your or your children's Social Security cards, with you in your wallet unless necessary.
- Destroy any pre-approved offers to which you do not respond.
- Notify us if you have received suspicious calls inquiring about your BrightStar CU account information.
- Review your credit report at least once per year. You can get a copy of your credit report through our website.
Credit, Debit and ATM Card Security
- When you receive a new card, sign the signature panel immediately.
- Destroy old cards by cutting them up.
- Keep any duplicate cards in a secure place.
- Protect your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). Never write your PIN on your card, and don't keep it in the same place as your card.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- When making purchases, make sure you get your card back and that the card returned to you is really your card. Don't make a credit card purchase without taking your receipt. Tear up any receipt carbon copies.
- Compare your receipts against your account statements. Report any discrepancies, such as unauthorized or duplicate transactions, immediately. Once you've reconciled your account statements destroy the receipts if you no longer need them. Store account statements and receipts securely.
- Don't forget to take your ATM receipts as well. Record the transaction or save the receipt to reconciliation with your account statement.
- Don't leave your cards, wallet or purse unattended. Periodically check to make sure you have all of your cards.
- Don't lend your card to others.
- Be cautious when giving your card number over the phone.
- Keep a list in a secure place of your card numbers with telephone numbers to call if they are lost or stolen.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you open a BrightStar CU account, you become a member. Your membership is your passport to a whole world of Credit Union services. Join for as little as $1. Once you're a member, you're eligible to apply for other accounts-including checking, loans, credit cards, and more. We offer 3 convenient ways to join:
- Submit an application online
- Complete a PDF application online, then mail it
- Visit your nearest BrightStar CU branch location
Anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Broward, Collier, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach OR St. Lucie Counties, Florida. BrightStar CU serves Broward Schools, as we've proudly done for over 70 years. We provide services to local Partner Organizations, which offer BrightStar CU as a benefit to their employees. Family members of the above named groups are also eligible to join.