Identity Theft & Online Security
It's very important to act wisely in all of your online activities to protect yourself against loss or identity theft. No solution is 100% foolproof these days against hackers and scammers, but there are some important steps you can take to better protect yourself online and greatly reduce the likelihood of experiencing a loss.
Be On Your Guard
In addition to the very technical work that hackers do to get into the online systems of companies, one of the biggest threats these days is the wide variety of scams that criminals use to take people's money. We at High Point Bank have seen many types of scams perpetrated on our own customers, and sadly, it can be hard for law enforcement to recover funds once the individual has been scammed.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself against a scam is to be on your guard. If something seems fishy, or too good to be true, then it almost certainly is. This helpful booklet from the NC Department of Justice can alert you to a number of common scams that people fall for, far too often. Examples include sweetheart scams, work-at-home scams, phony lottery scams, overseas money transfer scams, and pleas from phone charities. Protect yourself by reading more about these and other scams, and don't get fooled.
Use Tools to Protect Yourself
There are a number of very good anti-virus and security software products on the market. Chances are that your computer or device is employing one of these products right now. But often, hackers can stay one step ahead of these products. That's why High Point Bank recommends that our customers download Trusteer Rapport, from IBM. Trusteer Rapport protects your financial accounts online from takeover and theft. It's the perfect complement to the security systems that High Point Bank already has in place.
Trusteer Rapport is a proven financial security solution. It's an easy download, won't slow down your computer, and is provided at no cost to you, our customer. Download it today for PC and Mac computers (not intended for iPads or mobile devices). Or for more information, view our Trusteer Rapport FAQ piece.
Identity Theft Awareness
There are numerous things you do throughout the day that make it easy for someone to steal your identity. A thief can access your personal information by stealing your purse or wallet, rummaging through your trash for information, stealing your mail, or completing a false change-of-address form to redirect mail to their own address. A thief may even contact you by phone or email, acting as a representative of a legitimate company or your bank.
Once a thief has that information they can steal your identity without your knowledge and it could take you years to repair it. You can minimize this risk by managing your personal information cautiously.
Here are some great resources to help you prevent Identity Theft:
Fighting Back Against Identity Theft (Federal Trade Commission)
visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. You may receive one free annual report per year from each of the three major reporting agencies (credit bureaus).
If you suspect someone has stolen your identity, contact one of the three major reporting agencies and place a fraud alert on your credit reports.:
- Equifax: www.equifax.com or 1-800-685-1111
- Experian: www.experian.com or 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
- TransUnion: www.transunion.com or 1-800-916-8800