ID Theft & Fraud Prevention

Common Threats and How to Avoid Them

Citizens Bank of Americus is dedicated to protecting our customers and educating you about your own security. The following are the most common threats to Internet users and simple ways everyone can protect themselves while on the Internet.

Social Engineering

Social Engineering: A hackerís use of psychological tricks on legitimate users of a computer system, in order to obtain information (for example, a password) needed to gain access to the system.

Social Engineering is one of the largest preventable threats. Hackers can call or email customers pretending to be from legitimate institutions and ask the customer to verify personal information or passwords. Hackers may also visit public access places (public libraries, computer labs, etc.) and look for saved passwords on these PCs.

Ways to protect yourself from social engineers:

  • Be careful not to disclose information to someone you donít know over the phone, through email, or when using the Internet.
  • Donít share personal information through Internet chat rooms.
  • Understand how information will be used before sharing it with merchants.
  • Know if you have a choice in how your information is used and shared.
  • Have checks printed by reputable check vendors (like the bankís preferred provider)
  • Donít include your Social Security Number, driverís license or other information on requests for printing checks.
  • Limit the number of items with personal information and account numbers in your wallet when you travel.

Phishing or Brand Spoofing

Phishing: Pronounced ďfishing,Ē the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate business in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

Ways you can protect yourself from phishing:

  • BE SUSPICIOUS.
  • Be wary of providing any personal information in any transaction that you did not start contact.
  • Contact the company cited in the email using a telephone number or Web site address you know to be genuine.

Viruses, Worms & Trojans

Virus: a small, infectious program designed to alter the way a computer operates without the knowledge or consent of the user. They are not usually self-replicating and require the assistance of a user to propagate. Viruses can be spread via removable devices, e-mail, and in some office software documents.

Worm: a form of virus that does not require user intervention to replicate over a network. Working "behind the scenes" without the user knowledge, a single worm may initiate connections to hundreds of machines in minutes. As a result time is a critical factor when dealing with a worm.

Trojan: This virus is one that is concealed within a "normal" program. When executed, the program may release the Trojan code and possibly allow an attacker administrative control of the PC.

Ways you can protect yourself from viruses, worms and trojans:

  • Purchase and install Anti-Virus software and update it daily before checking your email.
  • Obtain all Microsoft security updates.
  • Be SUSPICIOUS.
  • Do not open ANY unexpected email attachments.
  • Do not download or install unauthorized software.
  • Do not leave a CD/DVD or flash drive in your machine when you shut down or restart the computer. Write-protect your disks after you have finished writing to them.
  • Verify that the author of the email has sent the attachments. Newer viruses can send email messages that appear to be from people you know or sites you routinely visit.

Contacts

Equifax

www.equifax.com

To order your credit report: call 1-800-685-1111 or write to: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud: call 1-800-525-6285 or write to: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian

www.experian.com

To order your credit report: call 1-888-EXPERIAN or write to: P.O. Box 949, Allen, TX 75013-0949
To report fraud: call 1-888-EXPERIAN or write to: P.O. Box 949, Allen, TX 75013-0949

TransUnion

www.transunion.com

To order your credit report: call 1-800-916-8800 or write to: P.O. Box 100, Chester, PA 19022
To report fraud: call 1-800-680-7289 or write to: Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634

Other Contacts

Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)

http://www.idtheftcenter.org/

ITRC is a cooperative initiative of the financial services industry that provides a free victim assistance service for customers of member companies .

Social Security Administration

www.ssa.gov

To order Earnings Benefits Statement call 1-800-772-1213
To report fraud call 1-800-269-0271

Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft

www.ftc.gov/idtheft

To file a complaint: call 1-877-438-4338 or write to 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580

Securities Exchange Commission

www.sec.gov

To report fraud: online complaint form or email enforcement@sec.gov or write SEC Complaint Center, 450 5th Street N.W., Washington, DC 20549-0213