Identity Theft & Fraud Alerts
updated 11/20/14

 

11/20/14 - Center For Internet Security - Online Holiday Shopping Tips to Keep Your Information Safe... read newsletter below...

Center For Internet Security /
Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center
Newsletter November 19, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE:
Online Holiday Shopping:
Tips to Keeping Your information Safe


The holidays are right around the corner and consu
mers are being bombarded with ads for discounted merchandise, free shipping and other special deals during the holiday season and in particular for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, more than $1.7 billion was spent online on Cyber Monday, making it the highest volume day in history for online sales.

Online sales are expected to be significant again this year.


How can you maximize your transaction security? If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don't get blindsided by the lure of great discounts. The security of your information is what's most important. If you aren't prepared and cautious, you could become the next cybercrime victim, the cost of which could far exceed any savings you might have received from the retailer.


When purchasing online this holiday season and all year long keep these tips in mind to help minimize your risk: 

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.

11.     Review privacy policies. Review the privacy policy for the website/merchant you are 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? 


Contact the seller or the site operator directly to resolve any issues. You may also contact the following: 

Your State Attorney General's Office -
 
www.naag.org/current-attorneys-general.php
Your State Consumer Agency -
 
www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/index.shtml
The Better Business Bureau - www.bbb.org/
The Federal Trade Commission - www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/


Newsletter Source - https://msisac.cisecurity.org/newsletters/


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

Financial Scams and ID Theft
Click Here to View PDF (752 Kb)



FTC Scam Alerts
FTC Consumer alerts



OnGuard Online
OnGuard Online dot gov

Be Smart Online, Visit Our Website

OnGuard Online dot gov is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with significant input from its many governmental and technology industry partners.

 


 

FTC Consumer Protection

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."

 


 

DHS Stop Think Connect
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

FakeChecks.org
Fake Checks
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

 


Stop Fraud dot gov

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.

 

StopFraud.gov

FDIC:
IDENTITY THEFT & FRAUD

Learn how to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud.

 


 

FDIC Consumer News
...including their quarterly newsletter.

"FDIC Consumer News provides practical guidance on how to become a smarter, safer user of financial services. Each issue offers helpful hints, quick tips, and common-sense strategies to protect and stretch your hard-earned dollars."

 

Ask CFPB
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
Alliance (NCSA) led the development of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
campaign.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides the
Federal Government's leadership for the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign

IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014;
Identity Theft, Phone Scams Lead List

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

IRS Suspicious e-Mails and Identity Theft

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 / Smishing
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