Email Fraud or Phishing - Phony email messages sent to you for the purpose of stealing personal and financial information are among the most common types of email fraud.
Fraudulent Websites or Spoofing - Criminals sometimes impersonate companies by directing you to a fraudulent website that poses as a legitimate business.
Fraudulent Pop-Up Windows - Fake pop-up windows can appear during browsing, even on legitimate websites, and are used to obtain your personal information.
Avoid Being a Target
Be wary of clicking on links in emails and opening attachments. Fraudsters often use these tactics to install malicious software or misdirect you to fraudulent sites.
Remember: Legitimate companies never ask you to confirm or to provide Social Security numbers, passwords, or account information via email.
Inspect emails and websites carefully. Look for typos and other errors, such as blurry images or logos that don't look quite right.
Install virus protection on your devices and utilize tools such as pop-up blockers to reduce your risk.
If you're unsure about a website or about sending or replying to an email from a company your familiar with, call the company first.
Most organizations also post scam alerts on their websites, along with information on how to report them.
Protect Your Personal and Financial Information
Be discriminating when providing personal information such as Social Security number and account or credit card information over the telephone, in person or on the Internet. Don't give out this information unless you are sure with whom you are dealing.
Protect your Social Security number and the Social Security numbers of your children and other family members by not carrying them in your wallet.
Do not carry your Social Security card, passport or birth certificate unless needed that day.
Report lost or stolen checks, credit or debit cards immediately. Farm Bureau Bank will block payment on the check numbers or account numbers involved.
Store cancelled checks, new checks and account statements in a safe place.
Notify the bank of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize."
Review your credit report at least once every year. Make sure all information is up-to-date and accurate.
Memorize your Personal Identification Number [PIN] and refrain from writing it, your Social Security number or credit card number on a check.
Tear up or shred any pre-approved credit offers to which you do not respond. Thieves can use these offers to assume your identity.
Keep mail secure. Don't mail bills or sensitive information from your home or unsecured mailboxes. Retrieve and review your mail promptly.
If you do not receive your regular bills when expected, call the company to find out why.
Review your monthly account statements thoroughly. Investigate suspicious items immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.
Learn about Credit
Learn exactly what is on your credit report to ensure your safety.
Experts recommend that you review your credit at least once a year to ensure that all the information found on it is correct.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be entitled to a free annual credit report. For more information, visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com to see if a free credit report is available in your state.
Contact the Credit Bureau
You may contact the three credit agencies by telephone to request a credit report or to place a security freeze to restrict access to your credit report. Equifax - 1.800.525.6285 Experian - 1.888.397.3742 TransUnion - 1.800.680.7289
Get Tips and Report Fraud with the Federal Trade Commission [FTC]
The FTC provides a variety of useful information and resources related to identity theft, including an ID Theft Affidavit for disputing accounts opened in your name without your authorization.
If you suspect you might be a victim of identity theft, contact any of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. You also can order a credit report to identify any unauthorized activity. Equifax - 1.800.525.6285 Experian - 1.888.397.3742 TransUnion - 1.800.680.7289
Noticed something suspicious?
If you suspect that someone has gained access to important personal information such as your bank account number or your Social Security number and may use that information for illegal purposes, immediately call the phone number on your account statement.
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