Identity theft is becoming more difficult to escape as hackers and thieves get better at tricking us into thinking they are trustworthy. Please, never give your on-line banking username or password to anyone over the phone or in an email. Financial institutions do not need your online credentials in order to complete a payment or give you the proceeds from a loan. If someone calls or emails asking for your online banking username or password, you can safely assume that you are being scammed.

If someone sends you an email or calls you claiming to be from Multipli and things don’t sound quite right, email info@multiplicu.com or call our main number at 417-865-3912 to make sure you’re speaking with a real Multipli representative. 

 

-Check your credit report. By law you are entitled to one free credit report from the three main credit bureaus every year. Go to annualcreditreport.com and choose which Bureau to use; either pull all three at once and make sure everything looks good, or pull one report every three months to keep an even closer eye on your report. For instance, request Equifax in January, Experian in May, and TransUnion in September. 

-Don’t use the same password for everything you do online and change your password frequently! Even better, consider using a trustworthy password manager that will help you create strong passwords while also helping you remember them.

-Don’t carry your social security card with you unless you need it! That way if your wallet or purse gets stolen, thieves will have access to one less thing.

-Shred documents and mail that contain sensitive information to prevent thieves from dumpster diving to steal your valuable information.

If you have been a victim of identity theft:
 1. Call Multipli and other financial institutions and have your accounts closed and new accounts opened to prevent thieves from accessing any more of your money.

2. File a report with your local police department.

4. Place a fraud alert on your credit report. Simply notify one of the big three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion); whichever bureau you notify will in turn notify the other bureaus. A fraud alert will automatically stay on your account for 90 days and will let creditors know that they need to do due diligence to ensure your identity before opening any new credit; it won’t help accounts that have already been hacked, but will make sure that thieves are not able to open new accounts in your name. This temporary fraud alert can be extended to seven years, but you will need to renew it. Fraud alerts will NOT affect your credit score and will give you some peace of mind knowing that creditors will do everything they can to make sure that you are who you say you are when applying for credit.

5. Consider a credit freeze. Like a fraud alert, this process is free, but must be completed with all three Bureaus separately. Freezing your credit will prevent creditors from being able to access your credit report, meaning that they will not be able to extend you any new credit. Be sure to give yourself some time if you plan to open up a new credit card or come by Multipli for a new car loan; the process of lifting the credit freeze is free, but you’ll want to give the credit bureaus time to complete the transaction. 

Above all, don’t get complacent! Take notes! Keep records! And don’t give your username and password out over the phone or via email!