Identity theft occurs when someone uses your information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. The Federal Trade Commission has provided the following video designed an overview.
According to Wikipedia, Phishing is "the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication." While the following video is perhaps a little silly, it gets the message across.
How to report suspected phishing attempts:
- Forward the message to the Financial Institution or organization that you suspect is being impersonated. They will likely be able to quickly identify the validity of the message.
- Forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org (this email is not associated with First National Bank & Trust Company, but is a world-wide anti-phishing group of ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies working to fight phishing.)
- Forward the message to email@example.com (this email is not associated with First National Bank & Trust Company, but is a division of the Federal Trade Commission)
You are a victim, What next?
It's happened. Someone has gotten a hold of your personal information and you are the victim of identify theft. What's next? By following the steps below, you will be on track to repairing your credit history.
- Place a preliminary call to your financial institution explaining to them what has happened (you will need to do a formal notification)
- Place a fraud alert on you credit reports
Order your credit reports
- www.annualcreditreport.com - A truly "free" source to receive one free credit report from each bureau annually
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission & Local Police Department
- One you have an official FTC case # or Police report, take it to your financial institution.
If you have given out your credit or debit card information
- Report the incident to the card issuer as quickly as possible.
- Cancel the card and get a new one (FNB can issue a replacement in minutes).
- Carefully review you billing statements each month.
- If you find fraudulant charges, notify the card issuer in writting so you can document when you disputed the information.
- Your maximum liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your card is $50. If the loss involveds your credit card number, but not the card itself, you have no liability for unauthorized use; in general, you may only be liable for a very small amount but always check with your individual card company for their exact policies.
- Should you fail to report the loss within 60 days after your statement is mailed, your loss becomes unlimited.
If you have given out your account information
- Report the information as quickly as possible to your bank
- Close the account and all services related to it (Online banking, debit card, . . . ) and reestablish them with your bank using new numbers and new login credentials.
Annual Credit Report
Only one site provides free Credit Reports from each credit reporting agency every year, www.annualcreditreport.com.