Most businesses collect or hold non-public personal information about their clients: names, addresses, social security numbers, and credit card numbers. If unauthorized persons obtain this information, and you believe the information could be used as part of an identity theft scam, you should do the following:
Notify the local police department immediately. Further, you may want to contact the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service. If the theft involves the mail, you will want to contact the U.S. Postal Service.
Notify your customers, other businesses, banks, and credit card services of the information compromise. (see Federal Trade Commission website for content of notice)
Contact the major credit bureaus to alert them of the situation. They may have additional recommendations for you.
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P. O. Box 9595
Allen, Tx 75013-9595
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
More detailed information can be obtained at www.ftc.gov.
Phishing: a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, passwords and other sensitive information.
How This Happens
The internet scammer sends an email or pop-up message to you that claims to be from a business you deal with. It directs you to another website at which you are requested to update your current information and usually there is a statement that failure to do so may interrupt your service. Once you sign onto the website and enter your personal information the scammer has succeeded and may use your information to conduct purchases and commit crimes in you name. To avoid becoming the subject of a “phishing” scam, you should exercise the following precautions:
If you receive an email or pop-up message asking for personal or financial information, do not respond. Do not email financial or personal information. Review your bank and credit card statements as soon as you receive them. If you do not receive your statements within a few days of the time you normally receive them, contact your bank or credit card company. Utilize anti-virus software and don’t forget to keep it updated. Exercise caution when downloading files or opening attachments, even if you think you know who the sender is.
Report any suspicious activity to the FTC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Identification (ID) Theft
Talk to anyone who has been the subject of identity theft and they will tell you it can be a life-altering experience. It can cost time, money and reputation. The increase in the number of identity thefts occurring each day are constant reminders of the risk we are exposed to each day.
ID theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud and other crimes. If you think you may be a victim of identity theft do the following:
Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on you credit file. You will be contacted before any new account is opened or any changes are made to any existing account. Close accounts that you believe have been tampered with. You should complete an identity theft affidavit when you want to dispute new unauthorized accounts. File a police report and submit a copy of the report to your creditors and others requiring proof of the crime. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
To assist you in knowing what to do to prevent identity theft and what to do if it occurs, YNB has information brochures provided by the Federal Trade Commission. The brochures are at each location and are yours at no charge.