December is National Identity Theft prevention and awareness month. During the hustle & bustle of the holiday season, we are often a bit more preoccupied which creates an opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime of the 21st century. During the month of December, data breaches are extremely prevalent as cybercriminals continue to target organizations that collect personal identifiable information for their own financial gain. Identity thieves will pose as bank representatives, internet service providers and even government officials to get you to reveal identifying information. They can drain your bank and investment accounts, open new credit lines, steal your tax refund, and use your insurance information.
There are 7 types of identity theft.
• Credit identity theft: When a criminal uses your information to apply for a new credit line.
o Warning signs: You may see an unexpected change in your credit scores or an account you don’t recognize on your credit reports. You may also get debt collection notices or a court judgment against you.
• Child identity theft: A criminal steals a child’s identity to apply for credit in the child’s name.
o Warning signs: If your child is getting offers of credit cards or phone calls about payments or debt collections.
• Synthetic identity theft: Occurs when a criminal uses a patchwork of identity details to create a fictitious consumer using a Social Security Number to apply for loans or credit cards. They will make payments for years so the credit limit grows then max out the card and disappear without payment. This often happens to children.
o Warning signs: If you try to freeze your child’s credit and discover their Social Security Number is already in use.
• Taxpayer identity theft: Thieves will use a Social Security Number to file a tax return to steal your tax refund or credit.
o Warning signs: Not being able to e-file because someone already has under your Social Security Number and or you get an IRS notice referencing some activity that you knew nothing about.
• Medical identity theft: When a criminal uses someone else’s identity to get health care services.
o Warning signs: There are claims or payments on your insurance that you do not recognize.
• Account takeover: Criminals use personal data to access your financial accounts and then changes passwords or addresses so you can no longer access the accounts.
o Warning signs: You receive an email, letter, or text from your financial institute that refers to an action or transaction that you do not recognize.
• Criminal identity theft: When an individual gives law authorities someone else’s name and address during an arrest or investigation.
o Warning signs: You may be detained by a police officer for reasons that are unclear to you or be denied employment or a promotion because of something found in a background check.
Below are some tips that you can use to prevent identity theft:
• Shred all documents, including preapproved credit applications, insurance forms, bank checks and statements, and any other financial information.
• Do not give personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the internet unless you have initiated contact or know with whom you are dealing.
• When choosing passwords, do not use mother’s maiden name, your birth date, last four digits of your Social Security Number or any series of similar numbers.
• Minimize the identification information and number of cards that you carry with you. Do not carry your social security card, birth certificate or passport unless absolutely necessary.
• Do not put your Social Security Number or phone number on checks.
• Do not put your credit card number on the internet unless it is encrypted on a secure site.
• Order a copy of your credit report every year.
To ensure you receive all pertinent information, please update your address with the Fund Office, Wilson-McShane Corporation, when you move. To update your information, you may access the Change of Personal Information Form from the website, www.663benefits.com. You may also call (952) 851-5797 or toll free (844) 468-5917 to request a Change of Information Form.
UFCW Local 663 Members
The Annual Meeting of members of Minneapolis Meat Cutters and Food Handlers Properties, Inc. will be held January 12, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. at the offices of UFCW Local 663, 6160 Summit Dr N, suite 600, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. The purpose of the meeting will be to conduct general business of the corporation.