How to Protect Yourself from Online Fraud and Identity Theft
Don’t get caught off guard – protect your identity and avoid online fraud! Scams such as Spoofing and Phishing to commit identity theft are becoming more prevalent. Protecting your personal information from identity theft is a crucial matter and there are many ways the unscrupulous can gain access to such information.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft involves the use of your personal information - such as your name, Social Security number, credit card or bank account numbers, or other identifying information - by someone else, to commit fraud or other crimes.
E-mail Phishing - Involves you receiving an e-mail that appears to be from a legitimate company, such as Community Business Bank. It may even include the company's logo and a link to an Internet address that looks appropriate. This e-mail directs you to link to a website where you are to supply account or personal information. However, simply clicking the link could secretly install software on your computer. The software may infect your computer with a virus or record and transmit everything you type, including passwords. Additionally, the website you link to may be spoofing the correct Internet site.
- Website Spoofing - Involves you trying to visit a website but accidentally keying-in or linking-to a different address. This may lead you to a website that mimics the legitimate site that you were trying to visit. The spoof Internet site may route whatever information you provide to criminals. This can include your account numbers, Social Security Numbers, credit card information, passwords and personal identification numbers. To make spoof sites seem legitimate, criminals may use the logos, graphics, names and code of the real company's site. They also may attempt to fake the URL that appears in the address field at the top of your browser window and the padlock that appears in the lower right corner.
If you receive what may be a phishing e-mail or visit what might be a spoof website referring to Community Business Bank, and if by chance you have provided any personal information, please contact us immediately at:
Community Business Bank
Toll Free 1-877-377-9077, then press “zero” for assistance. If the e-mail or website had references to another company, you should contact that company directly.
The best advice is to be cautious and take control of your personal information.
- Do not reply to an e-mail or pop-up message asking for personal or financial information. Legitimate companies like Community Business Bank will never ask for personal or financial information via an e-mail or pop-up message.
- Don't e-mail personal or financial information. If you initiate a transaction, look for indicators that the message is secured, which can be validated by a lock icon. Most e-mail programs do not provide confidentiality via encryption.
- Use bookmarks to access known sites to avoid being lured to imposter sites
- Use updated anti-virus software. Some phishing emails contain viruses and software that can harm your computer.
Other Ways To Protect Yourself
- Always shred unwanted documents that contain personal information – including any bank notices, utility bills, mortgage notices and credit card statements.
- Don't leave mail in your mailbox and place outgoing mail in a secure mail or US Postal Service mailbox only.
- Don’t leave receipts at ATMs, gas pumps, etc. Take them with you and shred them once you have verified them against your account statement.
- Review credit card and bank statements immediately for unauthorized charges and contact the company if statements are more than a few days late.
- Don’t carry your Social Security Card with you -- memorize it.
- Don't write down passwords, and use passwords that are not related to your family name, address or phone number. A creative password that incorporates alpha, numeric and special characters is best.
- Report lost or stolen credit and debit cards immediately!
We recommend that all consumers review their credit report at least once per year. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to provide you with a FREE copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 month.
Annual Credit Report.com – http://www.annualcreditreport.com
This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report.
- Equifax - http://www.equifax.com; 1-800-685-1111
- Experian - http://www.experian.com; 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion - http://www.transunion.com; 1-800-916-8800
For additional information on phishing and identity theft, go to the Federal Trade Commission's Website at http://www.ftc.gov and look for the following brochures:
- "How Not to Get Hooked by 'Phishing' Scam"
- "ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name"
U.S. Government Agencies
Federal Trade Commission
Identity Theft Clearing House
Social Security Administration
Fraud Hotline: 800-269-0271
To request a credit report and/or to report fraud: 888-397-3742
To request a credit report: 800-685-1111 Option 4
To report fraud: 800-525-6285
To request a credit report: 800-916-8800
To report fraud: 800-680-7289
Community Business Bank is Here to Help!
Call us toll-free at: 1-877-377-9077 then press “zero” for assistance.