true tales from the credit union - Unexpected protection

By: Kristi Hart

December 28, 2020

When sorting through my weekly stack of mail on Saturday, I found myself shredding solicitation after solicitation. The last envelope in my stack stopped me in my tracks. It was an actual debit card issued in my name. The debit card was issued by a national bank and was the result of an unemployment claim filed in Ohio in my name. It asked that I either call or log in to activate the card. My attempt to call resulted in getting a lot of inaccurate prompts because while I would gladly enter the card number, I wasn’t about to enter my social security number for a company of which I did not know. Little did I know that they did have my number and so much more. I headed over to their website and looked for a fraud center. There was a place to report this activity but their site wouldn’t allow me to enter a claim without entering my social security number.

By this time my fear was escalating. I have worked in personal finance for over 40 years and understand the importance of protecting my identity and credit history. Then it dawned on me! Not too long ago MidWest America began offering Benefits Plus® Checking. As a part of the member benefits package, there is an ID Theft monitoring service called ULTIMATE ID®. I dialed their number and explained my situation. Within a minute, the representative was able to determine that this was legitimate ID fraud and knew the exact steps necessary to protect my identity. First, she told me that she would file the fraud claim with the Department of Labor for the State of Ohio. Next, she offered to place a fraud alert on the three major credit reporting agencies.

Of course, I had questions, such as if I have the debit card for this claim how would the thieves benefit from this scam? She explained that they will sometimes monitor delivery to your mailbox or in other cases will file the claim, then subsequently ask for a replacement card to be sent to a new address. I received the most professional service from ULTIMATE ID®!  A dedicated ID Theft Recovery Advocate will continue to monitor the situation and I have a direct contact number should I have any additional problems. While I still don’t know how my information was compromised, I can rest assured they are filing the fraud claims and monitoring the situation for me. This gives me such peace of mind.