The best protection against fraud and identity theft is education. Review these warning signs and tips to prevent identity thieves from accessing your information.
Fraud Warning Signs
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you could be involved in fraud or an illegal scam and should refer to the What To Do section:
- Did you receive a check via an overnight delivery service?
- Is the check from an item you sold on the Internet, such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc.?
- Is the amount of the check more than the item’s selling price?
- Is the check connected to communicating with someone via email?
- Have you been notified that you were the winner of a lottery in a foreign counter that you did not enter?
- Have you been instructed to wire, send or ship money as soon as possible to a large U.S. city or another country such as Canada, England or Nigeria?
- Have you been asked to pay money to receive a deposit from another country such as Canada, England or Nigeria?
- Are you receiving pay or commission in advance for work at home, mystery shopping, etc., and have you been requested to deposit funds in return for transferring funds?
- Did you respond to an email requesting you to confirm, update or provide your account and personal information?
Identity Theft Prevention Tips
- Never carry your social security card around. Only give out the number when absolutely necessary.
- Keep your bank statements and credit card numbers in a secure place.
- Shred financial documents and papers with personal information before discarding them.
- Place outgoing mail in collection boxes or U.S. post office mail slots.
- Protect your online accounts with a strong password, preferably more than eight characters in length with both capital letters and at least one numeric or non-alphabetical character.
- Never provide your personal information unless you are working with a reliable source.
- Be cautious of email phishing scams where criminals attempt to trick you into revealing your personal or account information. First PREMIER Bank will never ask for this information via email.
- Use firewalls and anti-virus software to protect your computer.
- Review your credit report often by using a credit report service such as annualcreditreport.com.