ID Theft and Your Security
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The latest scam:
More phishing scams to watch for:
A new wave of email is being used to transport malware to your computer to gain your PIN and card verification code for credit and debit cards in what is being called a BRUTE FORCE ATTACK.
Here are the details (from FISERV):
Recently some card issuers and financial institutions across the industry have experienced an increase in attempts by unknown fraudsters to break the card verification value/card verification code (CVV/CVC) on compromised cards, and thereby to commit card fraud, including ATM fraud. This attempt to commit fraud is commonly known as a BRUTE FORCE ATTACK.To execute these crimes, email is often used to transport phishing scams and malicious software (malware) to obtain personal information including personal identification numbers (PINs) and to take over legitimate merchant accounts to test the compromised cards.
You can help to reduce the likelihood of this type of fraudulent activity succeeding by being alert for email that:
- Contains unfamiliar or suspicious links or attachments,
- Is unsolicited and/or from an unknown sender,
- Is sent multiple times from different senders, or
- Contains poor grammar or incorrectly spelled words.
Protect Your Account Information. Never give your account numbers to people you do not know, especially to anyone over the telephone or the Internet, particularly if they claim to be from the bank and claim a need to “verify” information. We already know your account number and will never ask you for your PIN. If any private information must be exchanged, make sure it was you who initiated the call.
Shred Documents. Shred or tear up old charge receipts, which frequently have your account number and signature on them, credit card solicitations, financial statements, checks, credit cards, pay stubs and other sensitive information. Never use a deposit slip as scrap paper to write a note for someone. Shred them instead.
Be Aware of Potential Listeners. When giving out your debit card number over the phone to a legitimate entity, use a land line instead of a cordless or cell phone to ensure there is no one listening. Baby monitors have been known to pick up wireless conversations. If you are using a public phone, make sure you do not have an eavesdropper.
Be Aware of Potential Viewers. Be sure you are not being watched when you key in your PIN at the ATM. Use only ATMs at established financial institutions or businesses you trust. Some privately-owned ATMs have been corrupted to illegally copy (skim) ATM cards and record PINs.
Protect your Social Security Number. Only provide your Social Security Number when absolutely necessary. Banks, employers and governmental agencies have legitimate use for such information and are bound by privacy laws to protect it. Such protection does not extend to the clerk at the video store. Ask to use other means of identification. Never have your Social Security number printed on your check and do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
Less is More. Many identity thefts come as a result of a stolen purse so carry only what you absolutely must carry in terms of credit cards and personal information. Keep a photocopy of your wallet contents in a safe place to expedite reporting in case you must report a theft.
Watch Your Mail. Mail bills at the post office, rather than leaving outgoing mail in your mailbox with the flag up. Do not allow delivered mail to sit for very long in your mailbox.
Protect Your Information. Be aware of financial information available in your home and who might have access to it. Sometimes the identity thief is someone you know. Set up passwords and PINs wherever possible and choose something not easily guessed. Do not leave these codes in your purse or near your computer.
Read Your Statements. Read your bank statements to verify activity is legitimate and keep track of when your bills normally arrive so you will notice if a bill does not arrive.
Keep Current. If you shop online, use the most current browser available for the best encryption technology and keep it current. Make sure your information is encrypted before you enter your credit card number. Look for the “http” at the beginning of the address to turn into a “https” and a small lock icon in the lower right status bar to indicate your information is protected. Keep your virus software current.
Identity theft may be becoming more common, but you needn't be a victim. There's a wealth of information on the Internet to help you avoid problems now and get through the process of cleaning up your name, should the worst happen.
For links to sites with more information on identity theft and other consumer concerns, please click here.