More and more Americans are falling victim to identity theft every year. Here’s how opening a Partners Financial FCU premium checking account can help keep you safe.
The risk of falling victim to identity theft has never been higher. As people become more reliant on the internet for essential services like banking and healthcare, criminals are taking advantage of increased opportunities to steal account numbers, access credit, and even defraud people of their savings, benefits, or stimulus payments.
Let’s take a look at what identity theft is, how it happens, what the consequences are, and how Partners Financial FCU’s premium checking account services can help protect you.
Identity theft involves someone obtaining your personal or financial data and using it illegally for their personal gain. Identity theft crimes have skyrocketed as people have come to rely more heavily on the internet for personal services like banking, paying bills, and managing their healthcare.
A report by the AARP found that almost 42 million Americans were victims of traditional identity theft in 2021, costing consumers a total of $52 billion in total losses.
This included a 79% increase in cases where victims’ information was stolen from third parties without their knowledge, such as through computer hacks. Fraud involving existing credit cards rose 69%, costing consumers an estimated $9.3 billion.
Cases are only reported where the fraud has been discovered, so the real number of victims is likely far higher.
Identity theft and identity fraud happen when criminals obtain personal information that can be used to carry out financial transactions without your permission. Examples of this type of information include:
Common ways to steal your identity include:
The AARP study found, however, that identity fraud scams including phishing and other types where the victim is deceived into revealing information fell by almost a third in 2021. Yet still, it continues to account for almost $28 billion in losses.
Instead, criminals are using increasingly advanced techniques to evade detection and steal consumers’ information without their knowledge. For example, the AARP study found that identity fraud involving existing checking, savings, insurance, or other accounts totaled $7.8 billion in 2021—an increase of 73% from 2020.
This highlights the importance of partnering with reputable banks and credit unions that take identity theft seriously by offering robust tools to monitor and combat it.
Partners Financial FCU, for example, offers members with premium checking accounts:
Identity theft can result in significant financial losses to consumers, although reputable banks will offer free stop payments and other anti-fraud services. Still, the AARP study found the direct average per-victim loss to identity fraud rose by $201 in 2021 to $1,551.
That could be a devastating blow to your finances. But this doesn’t even account for the indirect costs of identity theft, including:
For example, victims spent an average of nine hours resolving identity theft issues in 2021. And, where criminals open a fake account in someone else’s name, it can take an average of 16 hours to dispute fake charges.
Consequences can be even more severe if criminals use your information to:
Partners Financial FCU understands the burden identity theft can place on you and your family. The credit union offers premium checking account holders:
Research shows that criminals are targeting online banking and financial accounts using sophisticated techniques to steal identities without the victims’ knowledge. What can you do to protect yourself?
In addition to active credit and information monitoring plus identity theft recovery and insurance, look for banks and credit unions that take security seriously. Find out:
Partners Financial FCU places our members’ security first. Premium checking account holders qualify for:
At Partners Financial FCU, our premium checking account is designed to make financial security both easy and affordable. We help members plan for and recover from the effects of identity theft.
Our premium checking account also offers:
Click below more to learn about the extraordinary benefits our premium checking accounts offer our members.