Don’t Be an Online Victim
Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States and has been ranked as one of the top consumer concerns for the past several years. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has produced a multimedia presentation to help consumers protect themselves from identity theft. The presentation provides information on steps consumers should take to secure their computer and protect themselves from identity theft, as well as actions consumers should take if they become a victim of identity theft.
How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams
Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost you time and money. It can destroy your credit and ruin your good name.
Have you received emails with similar messages as these?
“We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.”
“During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn't verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information.”
It's a scam called “phishing”— and it involves internet fraudsters who send spam or pop-up messages to lure personal information (credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information) from unsuspecting victims.
IF YOU BECOME A VICTIM
- Contact banks and credit institutions.
Put a stop payment on any missing checks and close accounts that are compromised.
- Change online passwords.
Update all access information for accounts and cards associated with the fraud.
- File a police report.
Contact the police department in the community where the fraud took place.
- Contact the post office.
Ensure that no address changes have been requested on your residence or business.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Report your complaint at https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc.
- Contact the Social Security Administration.
Ensure that there's no unauthorized activity associated with your SS#.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus.
It is your right and duty as a consumer to notify the credit bureaus of fraud and to request that any associated inquiries be removed from your accounts. Request that fraud alerts be placed on your accounts and that creditors contact you before opening any new accounts or making changes to existing accounts. Contact the credit bureaus at the links and phone numbers below.