Q: What are some ways I can protect myself from fraud online?
A: Don’t give any of your personal information to anyone in person, over the telephone, or over the Internet, unless you have a very good reason to trust them. Secondly, don’t give any of your personal information to any web sites that don’t use encryption or other secure methods to protect it. Lastly, use a firewall if you have a high-speed internet connection. The software can be purchased online or from most software retailers.
Q: Are there things I should do now to be prepared in the event my wallet is stolen?
A: Yes, an easy step to take now would be to make a photocopy of the front and back of all the contents of your wallet. Keep the copies in a safe place. This will provide you with important information, like telephone numbers and account numbers, which you would need to report your card(s) stolen. Another good rule of thumb is to keep the contents of your wallet to a minimum. Only carry the credit or debit cards that are absolutely necessary and leave the others at home in a safe place.
Q: What should I do if I discover I am a victim of fraud?
A: There are six steps to follow if you are a victim of fraud.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission at:
- Consumer Response Center, F.T.C.
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20580
- Contact the following three major credit reporting agencies and put yourself on Fraud Alert and request a copy of your credit report.
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA or call 1-800-525-6285
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013 or call 1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634 or call 1-800-680-7289
- Cancel all accounts that have fraudulent activity or are at risk.
- Contact local law enforcement agency.
- Contact the U.S. Postal Service if you know or suspect your mail has been stolen.
- Keep detailed records of any theft of your identity and of your activities to resolve the theft including logs of the following:
- The date, time, and amount of any unauthorized activity on your accounts.
- The date, time, duration, and cost of any phone calls and
- The date and cost of any mailings.