September 17, 2019
Identity theft takes place every day. With scams becoming more complex, it may not always be easy to uncover them. They can take place on the internet, over the phone, in emails, and even text messages. If you ever feel suspicious about any interaction and think it’s a scam, report it immediately.
As a financial institution, we would never call asking you to validate your personal information. If someone contacts you and requests your personal information, DO NOT provide it to them. Report it immediately. Some information that scammers may request from you include:
- Account Number
- Personal Information (Birthdate or Social Security Number)
- Credit Card Number
- Card expiration date
- CVV2/CVC2 – the security code that appears on the back of cards
Three common scam practices are used to steal personal information. These practices are phishing, vishing, and SMSishing. While these practices are the most common, they are not the only ways that fraudsters might attempt to steal your info.
- Phishing is the criminal practice of sending emails asking the victim to click on a link within the email and validate private, personal and financial information.
- Vishing is the criminal practice of using social engineering and voice IP telephone services to gain access to private, personal and financial information.
- SMishing is the criminal practice of sending text messages to gain access to private, personal and financial information.
Along with looking out for these practices, we also highly recommend that you closely monitor your account statements. You should also review your credit reports at least once a year to ensure that they don’t include accounts that you haven’t opened. Also, pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, you should contact the sender.
Other ways to prevent identity theft include: creating complex passwords and changing them regularly, using security features on your mobile phone, keeping personal information in a safe place, and installing firewalls and virus-detection software on your computer. For more tips on preventing identity theft click here.
If you notice anything that seems like a misuse of your Credit and/or Debit information, report it immediately. If you believe that you received a fraudulent message over the internet, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft, you can call one of the three nationwide credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. You only have to call one of the bureaus and they’ll notify the others.
Equifax – (800) 525-6285
Experian – (888) 397-3742
TransUnion – (800) 680-7289
Anyone can fall victim to identity theft. So it is always important for you to take the proper measures to prevent it from happening to you. By constantly monitoring your account, if an issue arises, you can have it addressed before any major damage is done. Using these tips can help prevent identity theft, but for more information on identity protection, take our education module provided by EVERFI.