August 23, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today warned consumers to be alert following the recent notice from Missouri Credit Union that credit union member information was accessible for a short time this summer on the Credit Union’s website. Consumers should diligently monitor their accounts, and immediately contact the Credit Union if they notice unusual activity.
Koster said his office became aware of the unintended glitch by a credit union member, and contacted Missouri Credit Union. Officials at the credit union assured his office that the information was available only for a short time, and that the credit union fixed the problem as soon as it was identified. The Credit Union also, as required by law, notified its approximately 39,000 members, as well as the former members whose personal information was available online.
Koster said criminals use the information of consumers to commit identity theft or financial identity theft. In identity theft, a criminal uses the personal information of another to obtain services using the name of the victim or to create false identities using victim information. For example, a criminal could use victim information to get a fake ID or obtain insurance. A criminal could also reroute the victim’s mail. In instances of financial identity theft, the criminal uses the information of others to open accounts, access accounts of the victim, or obtain credit.
Some of the signs that you have become a victim of identity theft or financial identity theft include:
The Attorney General's Office advised that members of Missouri Credit Union may wish to consider closing existing accounts and reopening with a new account number.
Consumers who suspect that they are a victim of identity theft should take immediate steps to protect themselves. Such steps can include:
Koster emphasized that consumers can get one free copy of their credit report each year by contacting the three major credit reporting agencies. Information about free credit reports is available at the Attorney General’s website.
Helpful information is available on the Attorney General’s website or you can call the Consumer Hotline at 800.392.8222.