Identity Theft & Fraud
For Internet Security /
Online sales are expected to be significant again this year.
1. Secure your mobile device and computer. Be sure to keep the operating system and application software updated/patched on all of your computers and mobile devices. Be sure to check that your anti-virus/anti-spyware software is running and receiving automatic updates. Confirm that your firewall is enabled.
2. Use passwords. It's one of the simplest and most important steps to take in securing your devices, computers and accounts. If you need to create an account with the merchant, be sure to use a strong password. Always use more than ten characters, with numbers, special characters, and upper and lower case letters. Use a unique password for every unique site.
3. Do not use public computers or public wireless for your online shopping. Public computers may contain malicious software that steals your credit card information when you place your order. Additionally, criminals may be intercepting traffic on public wireless networks to steal credit card numbers and other confidential information.
4. Pay by credit card, not debit card. A safer way to shop on the Internet is to pay with a credit card rather than debit card. Debit cards do not have the same consumer protections as credit cards. Credit cards are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act and may limit your liability if your information was used improperly. Check your statements regularly.
5. Know your online shopping merchants. Limit your online shopping to merchants you know and trust. If you have questions about a merchant, check with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission. Confirm the online seller's physical address, where available, and phone number in case you have questions or problems.
6. Look for "https" when making an online purchase. The "s" in "https" stands for "secure" and indicates that communication with the webpage is encrypted.
7. Do not respond to pop-ups. When a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards for answering a question or taking a survey, close it by pressing Control + F4 for Windows and Command + W for Macs.
8. Do not click on links or open attachments in emails from financial institutions/vendors. Be cautious about all emails you receive even those from legitimate organizations, including your favorite retailers. The emails could be spoofed and contain malware. Instead, contact the source directly.
9. Do not auto-save your personal information. When purchasing online, you may be given the option to save your personal information online for future use. Consider if the convenience is really worth the risk. The convenience of not having to reenter the information is insignificant compared to the significant amount of time you'll spend trying to repair the loss of your stolen personal information.
10. Use common sense to avoid scams. Don't ever give your financial information or personal information via email or text. Information on many current scams can be found on the website of the Internet Crime Complaint Center: www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.
Review privacy policies.
visiting. Know what information the merchant is collecting
about you, how it will be stored, how it will be used, and if
it will be shared with others.
What to do if you encounter problems with an online shopping site?
The information provided in the Monthly Security Tips Newsletters is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization’s end users and to help them behave in a more secure manner within their work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve the organization’s overall cyber security posture. This is especially critical if employees access their work network from their home computer. Organizations have permission and are encouraged to brand and redistribute this newsletter in whole for educational, non-commercial purposes
OnGuard Online dot gov
Be Smart Online, Visit Our Website
Privacy & Identity
"Your personal information is a valuable commodity. It’s not only the key to your financial identity, but also to your online identity. Knowing how to protect your information — and your identity — is a must in the 21st century. Here are some tips to doing it effectively."
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force maintains a wide list of resources and information dedicated to helping find and report suspected cases of financial fraud.
Ask the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about:
Money transfers remittances overseas remittance transfers international wire money send money abroad ACH Automated Clearing House (ACH) Automated Clearing House network credit union electronic payments Mortgages housing counseling lender reverse mortgage housing counselor GFE Good Faith Estimate servicer closing settlement broker insurance foreclosure
Other categories: Student loans Auto loans Bank accounts and services Credit reports and scores Prepaid cards Credit cards Debt collection Payday loans Money basics
Especially for Service members Students Older Americans Parents
The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and
National Cyber Security
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams, reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.
The Dirty Dozen listing, compiled by the IRS each year, lists a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter at any point during the year. But many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns. IR-2014-16, Feb. 19, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service has issued several recent consumer warnings on the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets.
When identity theft takes place over the Internet, it is called phishing
Phishing / Vishing /
If you are not sure (exactly) what they mean, click on the link below to find our more.
Opens in a PDF from the Wisconsin Dept of Consumer Protection.
Click here to view the PDF about Phishing / Vishing / Smishing