Identity Theft Protection
You Can Fight Identity Theft—Here’s How:
Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request – whether it is over the phone or over the Internet. Email and Internet pages created by phishers may look exactly like the real thing. They may even have a fake padlock icon, ordinarily used to denote a secure site. If you did not initiate the communication, do not provide any information.
If you believe the contact may be legitimate but are still uncertain, contact the financial institution. It is key that you should initiate contact, using contact information that you have verified yourself.
Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited Internet request. Connects or other financial institutions would never ask for account information online. Thieves armed with this information and your account number can help themselves to your savings.
Do not be intimidated. A fraudulent email or caller may suggest dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information. Stay on guard and do not be intimidated by such threats.
Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct. If your account statement is late in arriving, call your financial institution to find out why. If your financial institution offers electronic account access, periodically review activity online to catch suspicious activity.
Never click on the link provided in an email you believe is fraudulent. It may contain a virus that can contaminate your computer.
Report suspicious emails or calls. Suspicious activity should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or by phone: 1-877-IDTHEFT.
What To Do If You Fall Victim
If you fall victim to an attack, act immediately. To protect yourself, alert your financial institution immediately, place fraud alerts on your credit files and monitor your credit files and account statements closely.
Contact one of the three major credit bureaus. You can describe your situation and discuss whether you need to place a fraud alert on your file, which will help prevent thieves from opening a new account in your name. Below is contact information for each bureau’s fraud division.
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634