Tips on how to avoid the Internet scam
known as phishing.
- If you receive an unexpected
e-mail saying your account will be shut down unless you confirm
your billing information, do not reply or click any links in the
- Before submitting financial
information through a Web site, look for the "lock" icon on the
browser's status bar. It means your information is secure during
- If you are uncertain about the
information, contact the company through an address or telephone
number you know to be genuine.
- If you unknowingly supplied
personal or financial information, contact your bank and credit
card company immediately.
- Suspicious e-mail can be
forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org, and complaints should be filed with
the state attorney general's office or through the FTC at
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your
personally identifying information, like your name,
Social Security number, or credit card number,
without your permission, to commit fraud or other
The FTC estimates that as many as 9
million Americans have their identities stolen each
year. In fact, you or someone you know may have
experienced some form of identity theft.
Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your
- Shred documents with personal information
- Don’t give out your Social Security number
or other personal information unless you know
who you’re dealing with
Detect suspicious activity by routinely
monitoring your financial accounts and billing
- Inspect your credit reports, financial
statements and bills regularly for activity you
did not authorize or expect
Defend against ID theft as soon as you suspect
- Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports
- Close the affected accounts
- File a police report
- Report ID theft to the FTC
Learn more... click the "Play"
button below and watch a 10-minute educational video that provides an overview of identity theft and outlines the steps consumers can take.
For more information, visit