If you disclose sensitive information in
a phishing attack, contact one of the three
You can fight identity theft
Here’s how: You Have
major credit bureaus listed below and • Never provide personal financial
discuss whether to place a fraud alert on information, including your Social Security
your file. A fraud alert will help prevent number, account numbers or passwords over
thieves from opening a new account in the phone or the Internet, if you did not
your name. initiate the contact.
Equifax • Never click on the link provided in an
800-525-6285 e-mail you think is fraudulent. In addition
P.O. Box 740250 to stealing your personal information, the link
Atlanta, GA 30374 may contain a virus that can contaminate your
Experian • Do not be intimidated by an e-mail or caller
888-397-3742 who suggests dire consequences if you do
P.O. Box 1017 not immediately provide or verify financial
Allen, TX 75013 information.
• If you are unsure whether a contact is
TransUnion legitimate, go to the company’s Website by
800-680-7289 typing in the site address or using a page you
P.O. Box 6790 have previously book marked, instead of using
Fullerton, CA 92634 a link provided by the e-mail.
• If you fall victim to identity theft, act
immediately to protect yourself. Alert your
financial institution. Place fraud alerts on
your credit files. Monitor your credit files and A message from the federal bank,
account statements closely. credit union and thrift regulatory
• Report suspicious e-mails or calls to • Board of Governors of the Federal
the Federal Trade Commission through Reserve System
the Internet at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/
• Federal Deposit Insurance
edu/microsites/idtheft/, or by calling Corporation
• National Credit Union
To learn more about keeping your money safe, Administration
visit the http://www.mymoney.gov/scams. • Office of the Comptroller of the
shtml Website. Currency
• Office of Thrift Supervision
You Can Fight Identity Theft
Stop identity theft contact us immediately about your account.” 2. If you are unsure whether a contact is company or financial institution. Follow-
There is a type of identity theft using the The e-mail may also state that unless you legitimate, contact the financial institution. up in writing and supply copies of
Internet called “phishing.” Pronounced provide certain confidential information your You can find phone numbers and Websites on supporting documents.
“fishing,” that’s exactly what thieves are account will be deactivated or closed. The e-mail the monthly statements you receive from your
doing, fishing for your personal financial will encourage you to click a link to go to the financial institution, or you can look up the • It is important to notify credit card
information. They want your account institution’s Website. company in a phone book or on the Internet. companies and financial institutions in
numbers, passwords, Social Security In a phishing scam, you could be redirected The key is that you should be the one to writing. Send your letters by certified
numbers, and other confidential information to a phony Website that may look exactly like initiate the contact, using information that you mail, return receipt requested, so you
so they can use your financial accounts or the real thing. Sometimes, in fact, it may be have verified yourself. can document when and what the
run up bills on your credit cards. the company’s actual Website. In those cases, company received. Keep copies of your
In the worst case, you could find yourself a pop-up window will quickly appear for the 3. Never provide your account information correspondence and enclosures.
a victim of identity theft. With the sensitive purpose of collecting your financial information. and/or password over the phone or in
information obtained from a successful You may be asked to update your account response to an unsolicited Internet request. • Report all suspicious contacts to the
phishing scam, these thieves can take out information or to provide information for A financial institution would never ask you to Federal Trade Commission through
loans or obtain credit cards and even a verification purposes: your Social Security verify your account information or confirm the Internet at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/
driver’s license in your name. They can number, your account number, your password, a password online. Thieves armed with this edu/microsites/idtheft/, or by calling
do damage to your financial history and or the information you use to verify your information and your account number can 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
personal reputation that can take years identity when speaking to your financial help themselves to your money.
to unravel. But if you understand how institution, such as your mother’s maiden name • Check with your state Attorney General’s
phishing works and how to protect yourself, or your place of birth. 4. Review account statements regularly to office to find out if state law requires the
you can help stop this crime. If you provide the requested information, ensure all charges are correct. If your account police to take reports for identity theft.
you may find yourself a victim of identity statement is late in arriving or does not arrive, Check the Blue Pages of your telephone
How phishing works theft. call your financial institution to find out why. directory for the phone number, or check
Typically, you’ll receive an e-mail that If your financial institution offers electronic www.naag.org for a list of state Attorneys
appears to come from a reputable company How to protect yourself account access, check your account activity General.
that you recognize and may do business 1. Never provide your personal information in online regularly to catch suspicious activity. If possible, file a report with local police
with, such as your financial institution. In response to an unsolicited request, whether or police in the community where the
some cases, the e-mail may appear to come it is over the phone or on the Internet. E-mails What to do if you fall victim identity theft took place. Obtain a copy
from a government agency, perhaps a federal and Internet pages created by phishers may • Contact your financial institution immediately of the police report or the report number.
financial institution regulatory agency. look exactly like the real thing. They may even and alert it to the situation. It can help you deal with creditors who
The e-mail will probably warn you have a fake padlock icon that ordinarily is used need proof of the crime. If the police are
of a serious problem that requires your to denote a secure site. If you did not initiate • Close accounts you think have been tampered reluctant to take your report, ask to file a
immediate attention. It may use phrases such the communication, do not provide any with or opened fraudulently. Call the security “Miscellaneous Incidents” report.
as “Immediate attention required,” or “Please information. or fraud department of each associated