You are here: Consumer Guides Fraud & Privacy Issues

Fraud and Privacy

Staying Informed and Making Yourself Heard

news.jpg

There are lots of sites on the Internet that "cover" consumer privacy. How can you determine which sites deserve your trust? Here are a few tips:

  • Determine who runs the site. Look for an "about us" or "contact" page. If you can't find one or they don't clearly identify who they are then find other sites that do. If there's a list of sponsors, check it out.
  • Read their privacy policy. If you can't find one, find other sites that provide one.
  • Advertising. Does the site have advertising? If so, what is being advertised? Could the advertising influence the site content?
Read on

Phishing and Pharming for Your Personal and Financial Information

phishing.jpg

What is phishing (pronounced fishing)? These are scams that are trying to steal your personal and financial information. Phishing has primarily been online in the form of email or pop-up messages but can also occur over the phone or through the mail. Phishers are even using text messages.

Phishers impersonate legitimate financial institutions—banks, credit unions—and businesses. The phishers cast a wide net that's bound to find persons that do business with the impersonated financial institution or company.

Email and pop-up messages may have a link to click or a phone number to call; text messages have included a toll-free phone number to call. In the case of a link, it usually goes to a fake website that mimics a legitimate site.

Read on

Other Scams to Watch Out For

email_scams.jpg

Besides phishing, various other scams also arrive in your inbox. Here are brief descriptions of some of the most common.

The "Nigerian" Scam also called "Advance Fee" Scam

The email is requesting help to get large sums of money out of a foreign country. They promise you big profits in exchange for your help. Before you receive any money, you'll have to provide money to cover transaction and transfer costs and attorney fees plus you'll need to provide them with your bank account numbers. The "Nigerian" Email Scam from the FTC has more information.

Advance-Fee Loan Scam

These emails promise that a loan or credit will be approved even if you've been turned down many times already. But in order to get this loan you have to pay a fee. Advance-Fee Loans from the FTC has more information.

Read on

Enhancing Your Computer and Online Privacy

online-caution.jpg

Enhancing the security of your computer doesn't mean just your desktop or laptop but all of your mobile devices too. Many computers and mobile devices have security software installed on them at the factory. But it's your job to make sure that it is activated and kept up to date. Keeping your personal information secure is an ongoing task. This article provides tips to help with that task.

Many examples of security products are mentioned in this article. You need to research these and similar products to decide which best fit your needs.

Read on

Five Steps to Protect Your Privacy and Identity

optout.jpg

These five steps allow you to opt out of certain information sharing. These steps usually take an hour or less to complete. The reduction in marketing will be significant.

1. Opt out of prescreening by visiting OptOutPrescreen.com or by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). Opting out of prescreening should reduce the volume of those "preapproved" credit card offers by as much as 90%. This will also opt out of "mortgage triggers."

2. Opt out of "CPNI" sharing by calling your phone companies. CPNI stands for customer proprietary network information (CPNI) and is the information about a consumer's telephone calls that telecommunications companies collect. This information includes the time, date, duration and destination of each call, the type of network a consumer subscribes to, and any other information that appears on a consumer's phone bill.

Read on

Make a Complaint

idtheft_affidavit.jpg

In addition to reporting fraud or identity theft to your state attorney general's office you can file a complaint with the appropriate federal agency.

Read on

Information Specifically for Seniors

seniors_computer.jpg

Seniors are a favorite target of scam artists and others who want to make a quick buck. For example, seniors are at risk of losing money in fraudulent investment schemes and are also at risk of losing their homes when they are used as security, in some instances unknowingly. These 2 articles from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) describe some of the pitfalls.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has assembled some resources to help seniors avoid fraudulent investments.

Read on

Page 2 of 2