Fraud Prevention


In the last decade cyber-frauds have arisen using increasingly sophisticated technologies all aimed at separating you from your money.  Here is a review of today’s most prevalent frauds, with some advice for keeping your private information secure.

PHISHING is the criminal attempt to steal your personal information through fraudulent emails or smart-phone texts.  They are often very believable, luring the victim to a site that asks them to provide or verify personal financial details such as account numbers and social security numbers.  A variation is called Spear Phishing, which are electronic messages that appear to come especially to the victims from their employer.

PROTECT YOURSELF:  Your financial institution will not send emails asking for your personal information.

DEBIT & CREDIT CARD SKIMMING attempts to hijack your personal information and your identity by tampering with ATM machines.  Fraudsters set up a device that is capable of capturing the debit card magnetic stripe and keypad information from the ATM, then sell this information to criminals who use it to create new cards with your account numbers.

PROTECT YOURSELF:  First by reducing your risk at ATMs by using machines from institutions you know and trust.  Additionally, if you notice a change at an ATM you use routinely, such as a color difference in the card reader or a gap where something appears to be glued onto the slot where you insert your card, that’s a warning sign to find another machine.

FAKE CHECK SCAMS use technology to create realistic cashiers checks. These checks are used by the scammers to pay for online purchases or most notoriously, some form of foreign lottery that you are told you won.  The scam always involves your accepting the fake check, which is for more than the purchase price, then you sending the difference in a separate good check to the scammer.  You keep the worthless fake check and the scammer keeps your real check.

PROTECT YOURSELF:  If you are selling something, insist the buyer pay by traditional means.  Remember that if you didn’t enter a lottery, you would not win it and you would never pay to receive the winnings.

SPYWARE is the term used for criminal software that a victim unknowingly loads on a personal computer.  Once there, the spyware collects personal information and sends it to the criminal.

PROTECT YOURSELF:  Up to date security software is the best defense.

FREE CREDIT REPORTS THE BEST DEFENSE OF ALL!  When it comes to guarding against identity theft and account hijacking, perhaps the most important tool at your disposal is your credit report.  It details all of your credit transaction accounts and will be the first place that unusual charges or entirely new accounts will appear.  The good news is that you can monitor your credit report for FREE!

To order your free credit report go to the only authorized source:  or call 1-877-322-8228