Safeguarding personal and financial information is critical. Every client and Internet user needs to be aware of identity theft and fraud.
Popular frauds although they may be difficult to identify, you may receive hoax e-mails (e.g. "phishing" e-mails) that look authentic and appear to have been sent by a company you recognize. These e-mails ask you to provide or confirm your sensitive personal information by clicking on links. To entice you, they often claim an urgent or threatening condition concerning your account, or offer you a prize.
Do not reply or click on any links in the e-mail or provide any personal information.
Another type of fraud is when someone poses, via telephone or otherwise, as representative from a known company, which you may have a relationship with, and attempts to obtain or verify personal information.
Steps you should consider taking, include:
1 Be cautious of unexpected e-mail links to online forms or telephone calls that ask you to submit or provide your sensitive personal information.
2 Check your account statements regularly and be alert to any unrecognized transactions.
3 Be aware of any missed or untimely delivery of statements or other expected correspondence.
1 Shred or tear up any papers or correspondence containing your personal information before you throw it away. Shred expired credit/debit cards and any pre-approved or promotional card applications that you may receive in the mail.
2 Regularly check your credit reports.
3 Make a list of your credit card numbers, driver's license number, etc. and the telephone numbers to call if they are lost or stolen. Be sure to maintain the list in a safe place within your home or in a safe deposit box.
4 Remember to discuss with your children and family members the risks of providing personal information over the Internet or the telephone.
5 Remember, when creating a password or PIN; choose passwords that are easy to remember, but hard for others to guess. Do not use names (i.e., your name, your spouse, a child's, nor a pet's name), birth dates, and the last four digits of your Social Security number or other data that can be associated with you. Additionally, memorize your passwords, and do not record them on anything in your wallet.
6 Be aware of people around you when using an ATM or making telephone calls. Do not share your password/PIN with anyone. If you compromise your password or PIN, change it immediately.
7 If someone calls about a potential attempt at credit card theft, first listen carefully. If they ask you for very specific information like credit card numbers, hang up and call the phone number on the back of your credit card.
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Behan Legal assists and advises on these important issues. For an appointment, call 03 9646 0344