Someone Is Watching and Waiting

I created this blog, as a source to turn to when you need basic financial advice-and here’s something I definitely think you should be on the look out for-identity theft. As rapidly as technology is changing these days, there seems to always be some “techie guy or hacker” out there who can keep up with the pace, and is looking to score your personal info.

If you get bombarded with credit card offers in the mail-my advice, shred them-a theif can sift through your trash-fish it out and sign up AS YOU! Pretty soon, you’ll see random charges will pop up all over the place. Think it can’t happen to you-think again. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen fraudulent activity on a member’s card. Even one of our own Hopewell staff members has been a victim.

The way I see it, shredders are pretty affordable these days. I’ve even seen them at discount stores, as inexpensive as $12-$15 dollars. A small price to pay to save your identity. And countless hours of paperwork and possibly even years of trying to clear your good name and credit.

Also, no matter where you do your banking, if you’re having a problem with your account and want assistance via e-mail, just leave your name and number. Don’t put your personal account information out there for everyone to see. It only makes you more susceptible to identity theft. Just my thoughts.  Feel free to comment!

2 Responses

  1. Here’s my comment. I recently moved here from NE Pennsylvania. We opened accounts at the Newark Branch and before too long I was shocked and surprised by the lack of care given to account holders personal financial info. I encountered two instances within a short time of info that could be used by a thief to compromise my accounts being handled in a VERY lax manner. I did email a complaint to the CU and was told “Personnel would be trained on proper handling of account information.” Being from the NE I am very cautious of how my personal info is used, and so far, I am not impressed with how Hopewell handles it.

  2. Hi Brenda,

    Thanks for sharing your concerns with me. Although I am not sure what you are referring to specifically, I do want to address the importance of the privacy of our member’s information and compliance issues with the Bank Secrecy Act. We take both of these very seriously here at Hopewell Federal.

    Let me start with the Bank Secrecy Act requirements. As a financial institution we are required to know our member. We must do that by following the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. A member identification program has been developed that meets the requirements of the Act. We must ask for each new member’s name, address, birth date, and identification number (SSN). We are also required to verify the information. Verification must be by a picture ID such as a current driver’s license or passport. We must also collect at least one other source of identification. The Act requires that we know who we are doing business with. All financial institutions are to comply with the Act.

    In addition to the requirements in the BSA Act, we also take various methods to protect our members identity. We are prohibited from sharing personal information with others with some exceptions. We believe we comply in this area also.

    Identification theft is a serious issue in all states. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect their information. One area that always upsets me is when I drive down a street that has curb side mailboxes and see the red flag up. This means that there is some type of information in the mailbox. Many times it is a payment for either the mortgage, car, utilities, or other bills. This is a good signal to an ID thief to check the mailbox. They can obtain information from the check and bill payment coupon. This can be the start of having one’s identity stolen.

    I applaud you for being concerned about the privacy of your information. And I encourage you to call me personally, to discuss the specifics of the problem so that we can resolve it at 740-522-8311.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention,

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