Be aware of identity theft & credit card crime on Okinawa
With rapid technological advancements, criminals have embraced technology to pursue fraudulent operations. Common financial crime methods include: credit card skimming, stolen identities, stolen credit cards and hacking into internet banking/purchasing systems.
As we approach Tax Season, is important that the Military community is cognizant of identity theft threats and protecting their personal information. Based off of 2016 reporting, the types of accounts hacked/created include: PayPal, cell phone accounts for multiple different carriers, insurance policies, credit cards, bank accounts and fraudulent tax filing.
CREDIT CARD CRIME
Credit card crimes are an increasing problem against Military members and their dependents including unauthorized new accounts, stolen credit card charges and unauthorized charges by establishments.
Personal Protective Measures for Identity Theft and Credit Card Crime:
• Shred ALL documents containing personal identifiable information (PII)
• Do not send e-mails with PII included without encryption
• Avoid giving PII over the phone
• Go paperless – do not have statements with PII sent through the mail
• Do not carry extra Credit Cards, Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards or Passports if possible
• Do not let you Debit/Credit card out of site when making a transaction
• Never keep your pin number with your Debit/Credit Card
• Watch for shoulder surfing individuals when using your pin number for transactions
• Maintain careful records of your banking/financial statements
• Order your Credit Report Regularly and review for any suspicious activity (AnnualCreditReport.com for FREE credit report)
**Visit IdentityTheft.gov/steps for information on recovering after becoming a victim**
Analyst Note: Frauds are becoming more sophisticated, widespread and complex. As a result, extra vigilance is needed
for individual and business practices. Individuals are advised to take the protective measures and businesses are advised to thoroughly check identity for transactions.
If you have become, or think you have become a victim of identity theft it is important to act quickly; this will reduce or stop the damage to your identity and/or financial status. Report any fraudulent financial activities to the Military Police at 645-7441/7442.