Identity Fraud Prevention
DID YOU KNOW?
A great way to keep tabs on
your identity, and find out FAST if someone is opening accounts
or credit cards in your name, is by checking your credit
report. And now you can do it for
free! A recent amendment to the federal Fair
Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide
consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of
your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months, from
Since you get one free report from each of the 3 bureaus per
year, do not request them all at once. Spread them out, since
you then get three free "snapshots" of your credit per year -
all the better to thwart Identity Theft!
Don’t Get Phished!
Take some simple precautions to avoid getting
netted by Internet ‘Phishing’ scams!
Protecting Yourself Against E-mail Fraud
Internet "phishing" scams are one of
the fastest-growing frauds today. Phishing typically involves a
bogus e-mail message that uses legitimate materials, such as a
company's Web site graphics and logos, in an attempt to entice
email recipients to provide personal financial details, such as
credit card and Social Security numbers.
Financial institutions, government
agencies, retailers, credit card companies and many other
organizations have seen their Web site graphics, including corporate
logos and other materials, "borrowed" by fraudsters intent on tricking
consumers into divulging personal financial information by responding
to an official-looking, but entirely bogus, e-mail. Like many cons and
scams, phishing preys on the unwary. Here's how you can keep your
guard up, and help fight back against this form of fraud.
TAKE SOME SIMPLE PRECAUTIONS.
Never respond to an unsolicited e-mail that
asks for detailed financial information. Know whom you are
Report anything suspicious to the proper
authorities. Alert the company or government agency identified
in the suspect e-mail through a Web address or telephone
number that you know is legitimate.
You can also contact the Internet Crime
Complaint Center at
a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar
Crime Center-if you think you have received a phishing e-mail
or have been directed to a "phishy-looking" Web
STOP, LOOK AND CALL
The Department of justice advises e-mail users
to "stop, look and call" if they receive a suspicious
STOP. Resist the urge to immediately
respond to a suspicious e-mail-and to provide the information
requested-despite urgent or exaggerated claims.
LOOK. Read the text of the e-mail several
times and ask yourself why the information requested would really
CALL. Telephone the organization
identified, using a number that you know to be legitimate.
IF YOU’VE BEEN “PHISHED…”
If you believe that you have provided sensitive
financial information about yourself through a phishing scam, you
Immediately contact your financial
Contact the three major credit bureaus and
request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit report.
The credit bureaus and phone numbers are: Equifax,
1-800-525-6285; Experian, 1-888-397-3742; and TransUnion,
File a compliant with the Federal Trade
Consumers should never provide their personal
information in response to an unsolicited telephone call, fax,
letter, e-mail or Internet advertisement, says the Federal Deposit
The bottom line: Don’t get hooked by
fraudulent phishing attempts!