Protect Your Credit Repair Business Against Identity Theft and Internet Scams
As technology moves forward, cybercriminals find new sophisticated ways to steal your identity, your personal information, and your money.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), roughly half of American adults (110 million) had their personal information exposed by cybercriminals in 2015 alone; two-thirds of Americans (65%) who use the Internet received at least one online scam offer during 2013; and identity theft has been at the top of the Federal Trade Commission’s Top Consumer Complains list for 15 years in a row.
To help protect your credit repair business against online threats, here’s a list of common Internet frauds from the Federal Trade Commission, as relayed by the DHS:
Identity theft is the legal use of someone else’s personal information in order to obtain money or credit. If you find a bill for a product or service you didn’t purchase or discover a bank account withdrawal you didn’t make, you may have become a victim of identity theft.
These attacks use legitimate-looking emails or malicious websites to collect personal and financial information or infect your machine with malware and viruses.
Imposter scams occur when you receive an email or a call from someone you may trust requesting that you wire them money to pay taxes or fees or to help someone you care about.
“You’ve Won” scams
If you receive an email telling you that you have won a prize, lottery or sweepstakes, you may be vulnerable to a “You’ve Won” scam. Though the person seems excited for you to collect your winnings, they then tell you there is a fee or tax to pay for the prize and request your credit card or bank account information.
These calls, letters or emails promise big savings on health insurance but claims that you need to provide sensitive information, such as health insurance information, Social Security number, or financial information.
Think Before You Act
Be wary of communications that offer something that sounds too good to be true and ask for personal information. Guard your personal information and strengthen your online accounts against these cyber criminals.
Resources Available To You
If you become a victim of cybercrime, immediately notify your local authorities to file a complaint. Keep and record all evidence of the incident and its suspected source.
These are the government organizations that you can file a complaint in the event of a cybercrime:
- The Federal Trade Commissions free, one-stop resource, www.identitytheft.gov, can help you report and recover from identity theft.
- Report fraud to the FTC at ftc.gov/OnGuardOnline or www.ftc.gov/complaint
- Report computer or network vulnerabilities to US-CERT via the hotline 1-888-282-0870 or www.us-cert.gov. Forward phishing emails or websites at email@example.com.
- If you are a victim of online crime, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at http://www.IC3.gov.
- If you believe someone is using your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration’s fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
It is important for you to take the necessary steps and have the right partners in place that also make security part of their top priorities.
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