Identity theft happens when someone uses your name, account number, social security number, or other personal information to obtain credit cards in your name, access funds in your deposit accounts, or commit fraud or other crimes. This information can be obtained by sorting through trash or mail or by getting people to provide personal information online.
“Skimming”, the scam perpetrated on debit, credit, and ATM cardholders, has been around for years, but the technology is constantly evolving. Card Skimming is the copying of your personal information from the magnetic strip on your credit, debit, or ATM card into an electronic card reader device, called a skimmer, which may be found on gas station pumps and even on some ATMs. Once the scam artist gets your information, they can commit identity theft fraud.
Phishing is where scammers send out e-mails that look as if they come from legitimate financial institutions. To increase the chances of people falling for this type of scam, they'll even use the company's logo, colors, and standard disclosure text. The e-mails usually will contain a link that takes you to a fake site made to look like the company's legitimate Web site. They may ask recipients to confirm their financial information. Remember, we will never contact you by email or phone and ask for personal or account information. If you are unsure about an email, delete it.
1. Secure login. Make sure you are logging in to a secure mobile site when using your phone's Web browser to access mobile banking sites. Look for indications on your browser that the site is secure, such as a lock symbol or "https" at the beginning of the site's web address.
2. Trusted apps. Only allow trusted applications the ability to send text messages or update social networks. Unworthy apps may initiate fraudulent messages or spam, and add charges to your cell phone bill.
3. Public Wi-Fi. Never conduct mobile banking, e-commerce, or other business involving user names, passwords, or other personal information on a public Wi-Fi network. Criminals may be able to capture login and password information.
4. Reliable source. Avoid downloading spyware, which may accompany an application by obtaining your smart phone applications from a trusted source. Cell phone spyware can seize personal information including messages, conversations, and, via GPS coordinates, even your location.
5. Security software. Purchase and install security software on your cell phone. Security Software for your phone may help you find your cell phone if misplaced, allow you to delete data if the phone is lost, and prompt you to remove malicious software.