Identity Theft Awareness
Identity Theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of your personal identifying information such as a credit card, debit card, Social Security or driver's license number and uses this information for their own personal or financial gain. This is called Identity Theft and is estimated to have cost US consumers and businesses $49 Billion in 2007. About 8.4 million cases were reported.
Education & Awareness of this issue is your best line of defense and can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Those who might wish to steal your identity often rely on the assumption that you can be fooled, that they can somehow access or gain access to your sensitive information.
- Keep your wallet close to you and always report lost or stolen wallets quickly.
- Be aware of your credit card transactions and report all inaccuracies quickly.
- Don't leave sensitive documents or mail lying around for all to see.
- Don't just throw sensitive documents or mail in the bin. Shred it first.
- If throwing away equipment, be sure to remove any sensitive data first.
- Be aware that some telephone calls or emails might come from a suspect source.
Protect your personal identifying information, passwords and other sensitive data by depriving others the opportunity to take advantage.
A legitimate bank or securities company will NEVER contact you via Email / Telephone asking for sensitive personal information or account numbers. Hoax callers will usually hang up if you start asking them questions. If ever in doubt, hang up the phone and then "You" contact us directly to verify.
What Is "Spoofing"
A term used to describe something which is presented under false pretense, whether an email, website, telephone call and 32% of fraudsters tend to pose as financial institutions, 10% as credit card companies, 8% as retailers, 6% as government and 6% as a mortgage or other financial services company.
What Is "Phishing"
A term used to describe a specific type of scam which often starts with a random email or website based popup message, warning that your credit union, bank or other account was supposedly compromised or needs updating. The aim is to deceive you into giving up sensitive personal information via an official "looking" website.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of this type of scam is to ALWAYS verify, double verify and then triple verify the actual website address that you are currently on or have been taken to. In almost all cases, victims of this type of scam take the page look and feel for granted and assume everything else is ok. They don't pay enough attention to the actual website address or other tell tale signs which help to confirm that they really are where they intended to be. Stay safe with these computing safety tips.
What Is "Vishing"
"Vishing", short for "Voice Phishing" is a term used to describe a specific type of scam which often starts with a random email or telephone call, warning that your credit union, bank or other account was supposedly compromised or needs updating. The aim is to deceive you into giving up sensitive personal information via a telephone.
When you respond to the call, a voice message might say: "Welcome to account verification. Please type your 16-digit card number." Often there is no mention of a bank or brand name. The goal is to get you to enter your credit card information including, expiry date and security code from the back of your card. Everything they need to be able to charge your card.
Some Vishing attacks may already have your basic card number and quote this in hopes that they will increase the perception of legitimacy when asking you to verify and give them the other details they need to be able to charge your card.
Some Vishing attacks may "appear" to be legitimate or quote seemingly valid caller ID information. This is because some caller ID boxes can be tricked into displaying erroneous information.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to always remember that banks, hospitals, credit card companies, utilities and merchants that already have your financial information should NEVER ask for your information in this manner. A bank will also NEVER ask you to verify your sensitive financial information through an unsolicited email or telephone call.
How To Report
Report all suspicious email and telephone activity as quickly as possible. Your quick action enables us to protect your accounts. When forwarding spoofed email messages always include the original message with its original (Full) header information intact.
- Please alert: (800) 438-6864
- Please also send us a copy of any email to: email@example.com
Strategic Investment Advisors
- Please alert: (704) 983-5959
- Please also send us a copy of any email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please alert them.
Credit / Debit Cards
- ATM / Debit Cards please alert: (1-800) 523-4175
- Credit Cards please alert: (1-866) 604-0381 or (1-800) 325-3678
Spoof Monitoring Agencies
- You can forward them your email: email@example.com
- Federal Trade Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To register a complaint: www.ic3.gov