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Identity Theft and Fraud

  • Security
  • November 2023
  • Premier America
Identity theft involves stealing a person’s identity and applying for credit or bank accounts in the victim’s name. The victim is left to deal with the collectors and merchants who demand payment on bills the criminal has left behind.

Tips to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:

  1. Only carry essential identification documents.
  2. Create photocopies of your wallet's contents and keep them in a secure location.
  3. Shred any papers with personal or financial details before disposing of them.
  4. Never share personal or account information over the phone.
  5. Safeguard all checks, including canceled ones.
  6. Avoid including your Social Security or driver's license numbers on checks.
  7. Regularly check your account and credit card statements for unauthorized charges.
  8. Immediately report any lost or stolen checks or credit cards.

Reporting Fraud

If you suspect that someone has gained access to important personal information such as your Premier America account number or your social security number, immediately call 800-772-4000.

What should I do if I become a victim of identity theft?

If you suspect you've fallen victim to identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers valuable information and resources on the subject. The FTC advises reaching out to one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Trans Union, or Equifax) to establish a fraud alert on your credit file. These alert prompts creditor to contact you before opening new accounts or modifying your existing ones. Once the credit bureau confirms the fraud alert, the other two bureaus will be informed automatically, and you'll receive all three credit reports free of charge.

Carefully review these reports and reach out to any listings that indicate changes or inquiries you didn't authorize. You have the right to request that the credit bureaus notify you before opening new accounts or modifying existing ones.

In case your Premier America ATM card or MasterCard® Credit Card is lost or stolen, please report it immediately.

Call 800-772-4000 during normal business hours
Call 800-811-2917 after normal business hours

Mail Theft

If you suspect mail theft, you should report the theft to the nearest postal inspector. Click here to visit the Postal Service's website.

Internet Fraud

If you suspect that you've fallen victim to Internet fraud, you can reach out to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC). Their mission is to combat crimes committed over the Internet. ICCC offers a straightforward and user-friendly reporting system that helps alert authorities to potential criminal or civil violations.
Phishing, Pharming, Vishing and Smishing

"Phishing" on the Internet refers to fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information like your Social Security number, driver's license, credit card details, or bank account information. Here are some questions to help you spot phishing attacks:
  1. Do you recognize the email sender? If not, avoid clicking links.
  2. Are there email attachments? If so, are they executable files? If yes, avoid them. If unsure, verify with the sender.
  3. Does the email ask for personal information? If yes, don't respond.
  4. Are there grammatical errors in the email? If yes, be suspicious.
  5. If you have a relationship with the sender, are they addressing you by name?
  6. Check links by hovering over them. Does the URL look legitimate, or does it seem like it will take you to a different website?
You can apply these questions to vishing or smishing attacks too.

Pharming

Pharming is a scam where malicious code on a computer or server redirects you to a fraudulent website without your consent. To protect yourself from pharming, follow computer safety guidelines. Be cautious when entering financial information online. Check for the key or lock symbol in your browser. If the website looks different than before, be skeptical and don't proceed unless you're sure it's safe.

Vishing

Vishing is like phishing but done over the phone. Scammers aim to trick you into revealing personal information for identity theft or fraud. To avoid falling for vishing:
  • If you receive a suspicious call, find the organization's official customer service number and call that instead of the number provided.
  • Forward the suspicious email to the organization's customer service or security email to verify its legitimacy.

Smishing

Smishing uses text messages to deceive consumers, often containing URLs or phone numbers. The number may have an automated voice response system. Be cautious and don't respond to smishing messages, especially those from "5000" numbers, which might indicate email-to-SMS messages.
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