Identity Theft & Financial Fraud
08/08/14 - WBA Statement on the theft of 1.2 billion passwords and its effect on bank customers from Rose Oswald Poels, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association.
"Although initial reports say that financial institutions were not the target of the hackers who stole 1.2 billion passwords from over 420,000 websites, consumers tend to use the same username and passwords for multiple accounts. This potentially leaves them vulnerable to unauthorized access to their funds.
"Consumers who may have used the same username and password for their online financial accounts as they used for other online websites should consider changing those credentials. We also encourage consumers to be vigilant and review their accounts. Any unusual activity should be reported to their bank as soon as possible.
Consumers need to be aware of phishing scams that may try to take advantage of the security concerns that usually occur with news of data breaches, especially breaches of this scale.
Do not respond to emails with links claiming that your account is in jeopardy. If you do have concerns with any service provider due to the possibility of a compromised account, WBA encourages you to contact those businesses directly to avoid becoming a victim of a scam.
WBA offers the following five tips for proactively protecting your online accounts
- Use a passphrase rather than a password. For example, you might create a passphrase such as "GroceryShoppingOnSaturdays"
- Consider using the first line of a song or rhyme such as "If you give a moose a muffin," which becomes "IUgaM00saMuf1n."
- Create strong passwords by substituting numbers for letters: for example, "1" for "L," "3" for "E," or "5" for "S." (0ct0b3r 13av35).
- Password complexity and length are important. Most websites require at least 8 characters, but 12 is now recommended. Avoid using the same credentials for multiple systems or websites.
- If you must, periodically change your password for financial sites or those that store your credit card information.
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Privacy & Identity
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U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and
National Cyber Security
Everything You Need to Know... and More
This website was created by the National Consumers League (NCL), the nation's oldest nonprofit consumer organization, as a central source of information and advice about fake check scams. NCL created the site in collaboration with the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness, a coalition of consumer and business organizations, government agencies and companies that are committed to fighting fake check scams
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 Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force maintains a wide list of resources and information dedicated to helping find and report suspected cases of financial fraud.
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
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
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