Identity Theft, Phishing

Phishing Means You Need to Frequently Check Your Credit Reports and Accounts

Do report your personal information stolen to the three major credit reporting agencies. If you think that your personal information has been compromised, you need to report this to the three big credit reporting agencies including Equifax (800.525.6285); Experian (888.397.3742)) and Trans Union (800.680.7289).

Don’t be fooled if you get an email, supposedly from your bank, saying that your monthly statement is enclosed and that you can click on it now. If you did not order your statement by email, then you should not be getting one, right? Many big companies with whom you have a relationship will email you to tell you that your monthly statement is ready at their website. But you have to go on the website and use a username and password to get on.

Don’t enter personal information in a pop-up screen because you do not know where it came from.

Do protect your computer with spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a firewall and keep them up to date.

Don’t open email attachments unless you are expecting them and know what they contain.

Do have your security setting on your email set to high so that most of your email goes into the junk folder to begin with. Then you can sort through it on a regular basis for emails you want to arrive in your “in” box. Let everything else go to your spam folder.

Do take down telephone number, name of person, etc. if you have been contacted that you are victim of fraud. Do not respond, take other action by contacting the company or agency directly by telephone.

Do be extremely careful if you are a job seeker. Job seekers are extremely vulnerable to phishing schemes. Many online job application sites are asking for Social Security numbers. It would be easy for scammers to create a phony jobs site and steal hundreds of thousands of Social Security Numbers. Know who you are dealing with before submitting any information.