The tips below can help you protect your account from fraud or identity theft.
Be cautious – Do not share personal information. Whether over the phone, through the mail, or online, do not share your financial information or Social Security number unless you know the person requesting the information is who they claim to be. Store important documents and unused cards in a safe place. Shred old documents that contain personal information.
Be aware - Monitor all statements and account activity periodically. Review your credit report for any suspicious activity. Receive a free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com.
Protect your electronic devices – Protect your personal and financial information by using the keypad lock or desktop password screen. Don’t save passwords or sensitive information on your device in case it gets stolen. Don’t access financial or other sensitive information on a public Wi-Fi network. Keep security settings and software up to date.
Knowledge is power – Each year scam artists and identity thieves steal billions of dollars from their victims. They use phone, email, text messaging, mail and online social platforms to deceive their victims into handing over financial or sensitive information. One of the best things you can do is to be knowledgeable about the various scams and tactics that are being used today.
- What is an imposter scam? A scammer who is posing to be someone they are not. They pretend to be computer technicians, officials from the IRS, grandkids and online love interests. They all have the same goal – to get you to send them money.
- What is phishing? Phishing is when an online fraudster impersonates a business to trick you into giving them your personal information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details. Most of the time they will send you an email with a link and they want you to click the link and enter your information on a website that might look like an official website – but it’s not.
- Is that a counterfeit cashier’s check? There are many variations of counterfeit check scams, and technology allows crooks to easily create realistic looking cashier’s checks, personal checks, business checks or money orders. The scam could start with someone giving you an “advance” on a sweepstakes you’ve supposedly won, or a work-from-home offer or by asking you to help a family in a foreign country by transferring funds to your account for safekeeping.