What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is when personal information is stolen, such as a Social Security number (SSN) and date of birth, to commit fraud and other illegal activities.
A thief can use this information to obtain credit cards, mortgage loans, cell phones, as well as withdrawing money from personal bank accounts. Some criminals will even use this information to commit crimes and acquire jobs in the victim’s name.
Stolen Identity can be a difficult and costly burden for the victim. Therefore, it is imperative that you make sure that you are aware of the types of activities that a criminal can do to obtain your personal information and what you can do to prevent it.
How does Identity theft Occur?
Identity thieves use many ways to steal someone’s personal information.
They can search through your trash or hack into your personal computer.
The following are just a few examples of items identity thieves look for:
- Stealing mail or going through garbage containing personal information called Dumpster Diving.
- Stealing payment or identification cards, either by pick-pocketing or by getting information through a compromised card reader called Skimming.
- Impersonating a known company or financial institution in an e-mail to obtain personal information called Phishing.
- Retrieving information from personal equipment, like disposed computers where personal information was not properly deleted.
- Researching information about the victim on the internet.
- Eavesdropping on public transactions to obtain personal data
- Stealing personal information in computer databases.
- Advertising fake job offers (either full-time or work from home) where the victims will reply with their full name, address, telephone numbers, and banking details.
- Browsing internet websites for personal details that have been posted by you (Ex. MySpace, Facebook)
- Changing your address to divert billing statements to another location to either get current legitimate account info or to delay discovery of fraudulent accounts.
How to Prevent Identity Theft
The following steps can decrease the threat of identity theft:
- Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
- Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
- Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know the person who you are dealing with.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date.
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your house.
- Order a copy of your credit report at least annually to ensure all information is accurate and includes only authorized transactions.
- Adequately guard all passwords and PIN numbers for credit and debit cards. Avoid using easily available information such as date of birth, mother’s maiden name, SSN or a phone number.
- Secure all personal information in your home. Remove your new mail from the mailbox promptly and send outgoing mail from the post office or other secure mailboxes.
- Shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, medical information, checks and bank statements. If available, receive your account statements online instead of on paper.
- In order to closely monitor fraudulent activity, you should review all monthly account statements or frequently review transactions online or by telephone
When You are a Victim or Identity Theft
If you believe that your personal information has been used to commit any fraudulent activity, the following are steps to take in order to protect against further damage:
The key to proving you are a victim of identity theft is to get the right documents to the right people.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to inform them that you are an identity theft victim. Request that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file and receive a copy of your credit bureau report.
- Close any accounts where you believe identity theft has occurred.
- File a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline.
- Complete the Identity Theft Affidavit, which may be required in reporting a new account opened in your name by an identity thief or to obtain application or transaction records from a company the identity thief dealt with.
- File a police report and/or an Identity Theft Report with your local police department where the identity theft took place. Ask for a copy of the report; often credit card companies and others will need proof of the crime to erase the debts caused by identity theft.
The following are tips to help you resolve credit problems resulting from identity theft.
- Credit reports: Call the Credit Bureau and inform them of the information on your credit report that you believe is inaccurate. Follow up in writing and include copies (not originals) of your documentation such as a copy of the police report or your credit card statement with circles around the items in question.
- Credit cards: Write your credit card company or other provider to inform them of fraudulent charges. Send your letter so that it arrives at the creditor within 60 days from when the first bill containing the charge was sent to you.
- ATM cards, debit cards and electronic fund transfers: If your ATM or debit card is stolen or lost or you find a fraudulent transaction on your statement, visit the nearest Woori America Bank or call customer service at 1-888-MyWoori (699-6674)
Identity Theft Resources and information
Federal Trade Commission
- To report fraud, call: 1-800-525-6285
- To write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
- To report fraud, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
- To write: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
- To report fraud, call: 1-800-680-7289
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To write: Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Reporting Identity Theft and Fraud
It is important note that Woori America Bank does not contact its clients or anyone else by e-mail to confirm credit card or financial transactions, or to confirm or request personal account information or any other type of sensitive information.
If you are concerned that you have received fraudulent email, disclosed confidential information or believe your personal information has been compromised and/or stolen regarding your Woori America Bank account(s), please contact us immediately at 1-888-MyWoori (699-6674) 8:30AM ~ 4:30PM (ET) or visit the nearest Woori America Bank branch.
Children's Online Privacy Protection
In accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), we will not knowingly collect, store, use or disclose personal information directly from children on the internet unless the information has been provided by an adult in connection with opening an accounts for or with the child. We won't send any unsolicited promotions to users who indicate they are less than 13 years of age unless the solicitation is in connection with an account opened by an adult.
Calling us toll free at 1-888-My Woori(699-6674) 8:30am ~ 5:30pm (EST).
Talking to a customer service representative at a branch.