Target Data Breach: How To Protect Yourself Against Fraud
Most of us are following the Target data breach story carefully and now know that Target has announced the breach is resolved, which means they’ve found the malware that caused the breach and have removed it from their systems. This is great news, of course, but in an abundance of caution, your Capital City Bankers urge you to remain vigilant in the coming days.
The concern to be on guard for: phishing attempts.
Cyber criminals are capable of sending very legitimate looking e-mails designed to “phish” the account or login credentials of the recipient. We know from Target’s communications over the last several weeks that partial client information, including e-mail addresses, were taken during the breach, and those e-mails could potentially be used in phishing scams.
The most important thing to remember is that we will never call or e-mail you and ask for sensitive information like your account number, social security number or user name and password. Above and beyond that, following is a list of simple Do’s and Don’t’s that will help protect you against phishing and other types of fraud – now and in the future:
- Contact us immediately if you have responded to an e-mail so we can take steps to protect your account and information. 888.671.0400.
- Check your credit card and bank account statements regularly and look for unauthorized transactions, even small ones. Some thieves hope small transactions will go unnoticed. Report discrepancies immediately to 888.671.0400 or email@example.com.
- Look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your Internet browser when submitting financial information online.
- Shred all personal and financial information such as bills, bank statements, ATM receipts, and credit card offers before you throw it away.
- Keep your personal documentation (e.g., birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.) and your bank and credit card records in a secure place.
- Call the post office immediately if you are not receiving your mail. To get the personal information needed to use your identity, a thief can forge your signature and have your mail forwarded.
- Be aware of your surroundings when entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at an ATM.
- Limit the number of credit cards and other personal information that you carry in your wallet or purse.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
- Cancel all inactive credit card accounts. Even when not being used, these accounts appear on your credit report, which is accessible to thieves. If you have applied for a credit card and have not received the card in a timely manner, immediately notify the appropriate financial institution.
- Closely monitor the expiration dates on your credit cards. Contact the credit issuer if the replacement card is not received prior to your credit card’s expiration date.
- Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.
- Review your credit reports annually.
- Use passwords on your credit cards, bank accounts, and phone cards. Avoid using the obvious passwords – such as your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, and the last four digits of your Social Security or phone number.
- Respond to e-mail that warns of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately. Contact the company to confirm the e-mail's validity using a telephone number or web address you know to be genuine.
- Give your Social Security number, credit card number, or any bank account details over the phone unless you have initiated the call and know that the business that you are dealing with is reputable.
- Leave receipts at ATMs, bank counters, or unattended gasoline pumps.
- Leave envelopes containing your credit card payments or checks in your home mailbox for postal carrier pickup.
- Record your Social Security number or passwords on paper and store them in your wallet or purse. Memorize your numbers and/or passwords.
- Disclose bank account numbers, credit card account numbers, and other personal financial data on any website or online service location, unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.
*Do’s and Don’t’s adapted from information provided by the American Bankers Association and Visa.