Identity Theft FAQs




Here at ORNL Federal Credit Union, one of our top priorities is to keep information about your accounts private. We're proud to have earned your trust by offering the highest level of security, using the latest encryption technology for online transactions, plus virus protection and firewalls. We access your personal information only when necessary to service or maintain your accounts. In addition, you have the opportunity to select your own passwords to access your accounts.

At ORNL Federal Credit Union we're committed to maintaining a useful and user-friendly Web site for our members. Naturally, security is a significant concern to Internet users. We ensure that our Web site provides the maximum level of security to all our on-line members.

In response to the increase in the use of telephone and online scams such as "phishing," your credit union has created an email, to report any suspicious and/or fraudulent activity. All reports are sent to ORNL FCU's Information Technology Security Officer for review.

Please remember that ORNL Federal Credit Union, NCUA, or CUNA will NEVER ask for your Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you receive an email or phone call that purports to be from ORNL FCU, NCUA, or CUNA requesting account information, you should consider it to be a fraudulent attempt to obtain your personal account information for illegal purpose. Please contact your credit union immediately if you feel your account has been compromised.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity Theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to commit fraud and/or other crimes without your knowledge. With your personal information, thieves can open accounts, purchase vehicles, apply for loans, credit cards, social benefits, and more all in the victim's name without their knowledge. It is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. Victims range from everyday people to Hollywood celebrities. Although businesses and law enforcement are taking some key initiatives to combat identity theft, the fact is that it is up to you to take reasonable steps to help protect your personal information. ORNL Federal Credit Union cares about you and your personal information. And to keep you better informed we have the following resources to help keep your identity safe.

How can you prevent Identity Theft?

What if your identity has been stolen?

Other helpful information

A working group composed of credit grantors, consumer advocates and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) developed this ID Theft Affidavit to help you report information to many companies using just one standard form.

Here is a list of the most common ways thieves obtain your personal information:

  • A stolen wallet or purse is usually full of useful information to a thief. It can contain your driver's license, credit cards, debit cards, and Social Security cards.
  • Thieves can go through your trash to find personal information on you. Referred to as "dumpster diving", they look for discarded bill stubs, unwanted pre-approved credit card offers, or unused checks or deposit tickets.
  • "Phishing" consists of phony pop-ups or emails on your computer with requests for personal information. They are harmless, until you give them your information.
  • Stolen mail from your mail box can give the thief account statements, credit card statements, new ATM, debit or credit cards, monthly allotment checks and much more.
  • People doing work in your home (maid service, carpet cleaners, electricians, etc.) can obtain personal information about you if you leave things out in the open. It's just too tempting for thieves.
  • It's possible for disgruntled co-workers, a divorced spouse or a relative to sell personal information to a thief.

What thieves can do with your good name:

  • They can gain access to your account and change the mailing address.
  • They can order new debit cards and drain your account before you know it.
  • Fake identification or a driver's license could be obtained using the information that was stolen.
  • A new box of checks with a phony address could be ordered.
  • The thieves can take out loans in your name.
  • Heath insurance information could allow the thieves free medical care.
  • Thieves may be able to file a fraudulent tax return to obtain a refund check.

Ways to prevent Identity Theft:

  • Once a year, order a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus. Check it closely for accurate information. Be sure all of the accounts and the activities listed are ones that you authorized. For a free, annual copy of your credit report, visit
  • Buy a paper shredder and destroy anything that has any personal information on it.
  • Be sure not to mail anything containing personal information from your home mail box. Take it to a U.S. Postal Service box.
  • Consider having your bills sent to a P.O. Box.
  • Keep your Social Security card in a secure place. Never put it on a document unless you are legally required and never use it as identification.
  • If possible, place passwords on your accounts. Be sure not to use easily available passwords such as the last four digits of your Social Security number, your mother's maiden name, your birth date or a series of consecutive numbers.
  • Keep your personal information at home in a secure place, like a locking file cabinet or a safe.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles and follow up with creditors if they do not arrive on time. Missing credit card bills could mean a thief has stolen it and changed the address to cover his tracks.
  • Look at all of your bills and statements carefully. If you notice any odd charges, notify the business immediately.

Keep your computer safe:

  • Make sure your virus protection software is updated regularly or whenever you are notified of a virus alert.
  • Be careful of any security repairs or patches you can download from your operating system's Web site.
  • Don't click on hyperlinks or download files from people you don't know.
  • Look into purchasing a firewall program if you use an Internet connection that leaves you connected 24 hours a day. For example, cable, DSL or T-1 lines.
  • Always look for the "padlock" icon in your browser window to know you are secure when ordering merchandise or transmitting personal information.

Your identity has been stolen, now what:

  • Chart your course of action. Make notes on the company you contact, the date, the name of the person you spoke to and any comments that are made. Also do this for any financial institutions and law enforcement agencies you contact.
  • Contact each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Request a "Fraud Alert" be placed in your file and order a copy or your credit report.
  • Contact creditors of any accounts that have been tampered with. You may need to close those accounts and reopen new ones with new passwords. If there are unauthorized transactions, fill out a dispute form.
  • If checks have been stolen and/or used fraudulently, close the account and notify any check verification companies. You may be held responsible if you fail to notify your financial institution in a timely manner.
  • Contact your local police or sheriff's department to report the crime and obtain a police report. If you are told identity theft isn't a crime in your state, ask to file a Miscellaneous Incident Report instead.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission and complete an I.D. Theft Affidavit.

Important Contact Information

Credit Bureaus:

Government agencies:

ORNL Federal Credit Union:

  • By phone: Toll free 1.800.676.5328 or local 865.688.9555
  • By regular mail: P.O. Box 365, Oak Ridge, TN 37831
  • By email through the Web site
  • To report lost or stolen VISA Check Cards: 1.888.918.7754
  • To report lost or stolen ORNL FCU VISA Platinum credit cards: 1.800.449.7728