Equifax, one of the three major U.S. credit reporting agencies, recently released a statement that a cyber attack may have led to the exposure of 143 million U.S. customers’ personal identifiable information (PII), which may have included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers and a limited number of debit or credit card numbers.
No American Airlines Federal Credit Union systems or business partners with whom we directly do business were involved in this data breach. However, we want to make sure we provide our member-owners with information on safeguards you can take if you’re concerned about this event.
Here’s what to watch out for
While the Credit Union’s security team has received no examples of Equifax phishing attacks at this time, it’s important to be aware of the types of messaging cyber criminals may try to use. You need to watch out for the following things:
- Phishing emails that claim to be from Equifax where you can check if your data was compromised
- Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record or other personal financial information
- Calls from scammers that claim they are from a Credit Union or bank
- Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen
How the Credit Union protects your accounts
- We offer free access to your credit score, credit report and credit alerts. You can sign up online and access this information from any device.
- We monitor credit and debit cards for suspicious activity on your behalf.
- In the unlikely event there are unauthorized transactions on your credit or debit card, you are covered by Visa’s Zero Liability Program when you report the event to us in a timely manner.
- We use multi-factor authentication to help protect online access to your accounts. This requires a secure access code when your account is accessed from an unknown device.
Additional steps you can take to protect your identity
- Sign up for Credit Union, bank, credit card, etc. alerts to be sent to your mobile phone or email.
- Monitor credit activity by pulling your credit reports as often as possible.
- Establish a credit-monitoring services through a reputable provider.
- Review your account statements and credit reports regularly.
- Immediately report any unauthorized activity to your financial institutions.
- Wherever possible, enable two-factor (or multifactor) authentication for social media and e-mail accounts, and financial accounts.
- Don’t click links, or open attachments in emails from unknown senders. These could put you at risk for identify theft and malware attacks.
- Be careful what information you share with unknown callers. If you receive a call from a company you do business with, consider calling them back with the phone number you’re most familiar with (number on the back of your card, or from a statement, etc.).
- Be careful what you share online and on social media. Don’t divulge your birth date, mother’s maiden name, pet’s name or any other identifying information.
- Make sure your computer’s anti-virus software and operating systems are always updated with the latest security patches. Use the latest version of your web browser.
- Use unique passwords for each different website that don’t use information identifiable to you, and never use the same password for your e-mail account and your financial accounts.
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website to obtain information about steps you can take to better protect against identity theft as well as information about fraud alerts and security freezes.
Have questions? We have answers.
If you suspect fraud on any of your Credit Union accounts, contact us immediately at (800) 533-0035.