Identity theft protection

What do I do if I think I have been phished?

If you believe you’ve received a phishing email, do not respond, download any attachments, or click any links within the email. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

U.S.

What is the best way to prevent phishing?

The best way to prevent phishing is to have some kind of personal security device separate from your PC that is part of the login. This might be a smart card or one-time password (OTP) USB token that generates a unique secret number that makes every login unique. This is very effective protection because even if someone steals your username and password by phishing, using a malware Trojan or keyboard logger, they still cannot access your online accounts and pretend to be you without having the smart card or OTP token.

U.S.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a scam conducted by cyber criminals, or hackers, to steal your online username and password, as well as "shared secrets" such as your pet's name. Often phishing is a two-part attack involving an e-mail containing a link to a fake website. The e-mail is sent to a wide audience and is designed to look like urgent communication from someone you trust, such as a security alert from your bank. The fake website is designed to look like the website of the bank named in the e-mail, but is controlled by the hacker.

U.S.

Simple Steps for Reducing Your Chances of Identity Fraud

New research show that last year it took victims less time to discover they’d been hit by identify fraud. But that’s nothing to celebrate. Those who monitored their accounts online noticed the fraud in less than two weeks. In contrast, other victims were unaware that anything was amiss for months. Simple, yet overlooked, steps can greatly reduce the likelihood you, or someone you love, will be a victim of identity fraud.
U.S.

Michelle Singletary: Watch out for social media scams

Your social media account on Twitter or Facebook may have connected you to a forgotten classmate or sweetheart, but it can also lead you straight into the hands of a predator.

All this Internet openness has made it much easier for people to be preyed upon by con artists who specialize in affinity fraud, using someone’s connection to certain groups to gain their trust and ultimately their life savings.
U.S.

Does my SIM card have a serial number? Is it the same as IMEI?

Yes, your SIM card has a serial number and it is different from your IMEI. You can normally find your SIM serial number (SSN) on the side of the card. The SSN typically has 19 digits and contains specific details about your operator, your location, and when it was made. The SSN is sometimes called the ICC-ID (Integrated Circuit Card ID).

See: What's my SIM card serial number for?

International

What is pharming and how should I protect myself?

Pharming is a Web attack where criminals are interested in obtaining your username and password from an e-commerce site or bank. Pharming can occur when you click a valid and correct link to a Web site or even when you have typed the URL of the Web site yourself. In a pharming attack, the criminal “hijacks” the intended site’s DNS (domain name system) server. The DNS is what points a certain address to a certain page. The result is that you are redirected to an imposter site that looks like your intended site.
International

What is pharming and how should I protect myself?

Pharming is a Web attack where criminals are interested in obtaining your username and password from an e-commerce site or bank. Pharming can occur when you click a valid and correct link to a Web site or even when you have typed the URL of the Web site yourself. In a pharming attack, the criminal “hijacks” the intended site’s DNS (domain name system) server. The DNS is what points a certain address to a certain page. The result is that you are redirected to an imposter site that looks like your intended site.
U.S.

What other problems, besides breaking the law, can you have if you use file-sharing programs?

One big risk with file sharing programs is that they automatically make you a part of the sharing network, meaning people can upload files from your PC. If you make a mistake, you can easily give people access to other information on your hard drive, like your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos or other personal documents that could be used for identity theft. Another common problem is that you can unknowingly download malware labeled as something else.
International

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