Don’t Be an On-line Victim - How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams

Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, and has 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. Watch FDIC video:

Don’t Be Lured By “Phishers”!

Do not answer e-mail requests from any person or company to confirm or update information, especially requests that ask for Social Security numbers, passwords or account numbers. Legitimate companies don’t contact their customers via e-mail and ask them to confirm or update information, or threaten to deactivate your account for failing to do it.

 

Do not use hyperlinks in e-mails. Use your browser to connect to the official website. The phisher’s e-mail links are often hard to distinguish from the real site.

 

To avoid getting caught by an online scam, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers this guidance:

  • If you get an e-mail that warns you, with little or no notice, that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the e-mail. Instead, contact the company cited in the e-mail using a telephone number or by typing in a website address you know to be genuine or using one from your “favorites” list.
  • Avoid e-mailing personal and financial information.
  • Before submitting personal or financial information through a website, look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar. It signals that your information is secure during transmission.
  • Review credit card and account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.

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