Tips on how to avoid the Internet scam known as phishing.
- If you receive an unexpected e-mail saying your account will
be shut down unless you confirm your billing information, do not
reply or click any links in the e-mail body.
- Before submitting financial information through a Web site,
look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar. It means
your information is secure during transmission.
- If you are uncertain about the information, contact the
company through an address or telephone number you know to be
- If you unknowingly supplied personal or financial
information, contact your bank and credit card company
- Suspicious e-mail can be forwarded to
firstname.lastname@example.org, and complaints
should be filed with the state attorney general's office or
through the FTC at
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally
identifying information, like your name, Social Security number,
or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or
The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have
their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you
know may have experienced some form of identity theft.
Here are steps you can take now to stop
thieves from stealing your good name:
||Do not give out personal Information, such
as account or credit card numbers, on the phone or over
the Internet unless you have initiated the contact,
Identity thieves could pose as credit union officials,
Internet providers or credit card company
representatives. Remember: If someone has a right to
this information (such as your credit union) they should
already have it...and shouldn’t need to request it over
||Report lost or stolen checks immediately,
and properly store cancelled checks. Examine new checks
to be sure none were stolen during shipment, and store
them in a safe and secure location.
||Destroy unused financial solicitations before
discarding them, and tear-up other financial documents
such as statements or receipts before
||Guard your Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
number, and treat your receipts with care. Leaving them
behind or throwing them in the trash could leave them
vulnerable to thieves, who could use them to access your
||Make sure your mailbox is secure, and
promptly remove mail when it has been delivered.
Identity thieves often raid mailboxes to obtain credit
card offers and financial statements.
||Contact the major credit reporting companies
at least annually to review your file. A copy of your
credit report is available for a small fee.
||The three major credit bureaus are:
Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your
financial accounts and billing statements.
- Inspect your credit reports, financial statements and bills
regularly for activity you did not authorize or expect
Defend against ID theft as soon as you suspect it.
- Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports
- Close the affected accounts
- File a police report
- Report ID theft to the FTC
Learn more... click the "Play" button below and watch a
10-minute educational video that provides an overview of identity
theft and outlines the steps consumers can take.
For more information, visit