Protecting Your Personal Information
React with Logic Rather Than Fear
It is hard to believe that there are people out there who will go to any length to steal your personal information for their benefit. However, every day new individuals fall victim to identity thieves who take their credit card and bank account numbers to make charges all over the world. When this happens, the victims will have to take a great deal of time out of their lives to cancel credit cards, fill out paperwork to get refunds on fraudulent charges, and open new accounts.
Some of the most common scams involve emails and phone calls seemingly from banks and credit card companies. For example, you may receive an email that has a credit card company’s logo on it stating, “Your account number has been compromised. Please click on the link to verify your information. Otherwise, your account is at risk for fraudulent activity.” The criminal is actually using your fear of fraud to attempt to get your account number!
To protect yourself from this kind of identity theft, never use links or phone numbers provided in emails to contact your bank or credit card company. Someone attempting to steal your information could set up a convincing fake website in order to do it. Instead, if you have any concern about your account, contact your bank at a phone number or website that you know to be legitimate, such as the number on your bank statement or the website you use for online banking.
Before disclosing any information to someone claiming to be a representative of a company, ask yourself this question, “Shouldn’t the company already have that information?” Your financial institution has your account number, debit card number, and Internet banking username and password. There is no reason for your financial institution to request that information by phone or email. Reacting with logic rather than fear will save you a great deal of hassle and anxiety.