NCUA Posts New Resources to Fight Identity Theft

FTC’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week Runs Jan. 26 to 30

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 26, 2015) – Identity theft is a large and growing problem, and the National Credit Union Administration is offering new resources to help consumers protect themselves and take action if they believe they have been victimized.

“With the broad reach of the internet, we live in a world where personal information about everyone’s identity and finances is potentially vulnerable to thieves and crooks,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “As part of NCUA’s overall commitment to consumer education and financial literacy, we want to help credit union members understand what they can do to prevent theft or where to get help when cyber fraudsters strike.”
More than 16 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, and the losses topped $24 billion.
Tax time is open season for identity thieves, and the Internal Revenue Service itself can be a target. IRS estimated it paid more than $5 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2013 while preventing another $24 billion in losses when it was able to detect fraud.
In conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, NCUA has added a new page to its consumer site, MyCreditUnion.gov, with useful information about preventing or reporting identity theft that may be perpetrated using fake contacts that appear to be IRS requests for taxpayer information. Credit unions are encouraged to share this information with their members during the week, which runs Jan. 26 to 30.
MyCreditUnion.gov has several resources to help credit union members understand and prevent identity theft as well as frauds and scams generally. The agency also has videos on fighting frauds and scams on its YouTube channel.

NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 98 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At MyCreditUnion.gov and Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.

–NCUA–

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