IDENTITY THEFT & INTERNET FRAUD
Thousands of consumers each year become victims of Internet fraud, with losses amounting to millions of dollars. We are committed to working with our clients and other institutions to fight this growing problem.
Phishing and Spoofing are methods used by criminals to get their hands on information with the intention to commit fraud. This includes credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers, passwords and other sensitive information. Usually they send spam e-mail messages or pop-up windows on Web browsers that request personal information from consumers. Many times the messages look like official correspondence from a company the victim uses. Some messages ask victims to update, confirm or validate their account information. Security experts advise consumers to ignore such messages, to contact companies directly, and to monitor financial statements for irregular activity.
Unwanted Key-Logging software can record everything that is typed on a computer and send the information to an outside party. Key-Logging "Spyware" or "Adware" often infects a computer via a virus attached to an e-mail or other type of download.
- Use a firewall already provided by your operating system or obtained independently. A firewall is software/hardware used to protect a computer from intruders by controlling Internet connections to and from the computer, filtering inbound and outbound traffic and alerting the user to attempted intrusions.
- Use the most current operating system, as new versions contain the most up-to-date security features.
- Update your operating system often. Software manufacturers are continually updating software to counter fraud threats. Visit www.microsoft.com or www.apple.com, depending on which computer type you use.
- Use the most current Web browser for the most secure connection. It is recommended consumers use Microsoft Internet Explorer version 8.0 or later.
- Use up-to-date virus protection software and take advantage of continuous updates from the manufacturer that are designed to combat emerging virus threats.
- Prevent Spyware and Adware from entering your system by avoiding downloading from unknown sources, scanning for infected files often, and eradicating malignant files.
- Use secure sites when shopping and banking online. Look for an "s" following the "http" portion of the Internet address (https://) in your navigation bar. Also, look for an image of a padlock in the lower right-hand corner of your Internet browser.
- Guard user names and passwords. Create names and passwords that are random and difficult to guess. Change passwords often. Never share user names or passwords. When using public computers, make sure no one is watching while you are entering login information.
- Do not allow a computer to "remember" a user name or password if someone else has access to it. Never write down a user name or password.
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Identity theft occurs when a criminal uses personal information such as a person’s name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information to commit fraud or other crimes.
Some identity thieves seek sensitive information via fraudulent e-mail, mail or telephone offers. Others look for financial documents in the trash or a mailbox.
Credit card fraud is often associated with identity theft. Consumers are advised to sign their cards immediately upon receiving them, to protect account numbers, to report lost and stolen cards immediately and to shred receipts.
Victims of identity theft face possible losses of large amounts of money, and damage to their credit rating.
- Do not provide your driver’s license number or Social Security number on your checks. Only provide this information when necessary.
- Don’t mail bills from your mailbox. Thieves may use them to change your address.
- Never provide personal information over the phone, including your Social Security number, credit card numbers, address or account numbers, unless you initiated the call and the recipient is a trusted source. Nevada State Bank will never ask for a customer’s account number, PIN or Internet Banking password over the phone or e-mail.
- Request copies of your credit reports from any or all credit reporting agencies on a regular basis. Check for inaccuracies and have them corrected or investigated.
- Never carry your Social Security card, bank account numbers, PINs, passport or birth certificate in a wallet or purse. Any of these items can supply a thief with enough personal information to steal your identity and destroy your credit.
- Cancel credit cards you do not need or use.
- Shred credit card applications, receipts and any financial documents you receive before throwing them away.
- Report suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
Nevada is ranked third in the nation for identity theft crimes. Nevada's Attorney General and law enforcement officials have teamed up to release the Nevada Identity Theft Passport program, which aims to help victims of identity theft cope with repercussions. The program allows victims to seek a "passport" -- an alternative ID card of sorts, containing the victim's picture, signature and thumb print. The card can be used to prove that one's identity has been stolen and is expected to help victims explain their situation to merchants, banks and law enforcement officials.
If you suspect you have been affected by Internet fraud related to Nevada State Bank credit or debit card purchases, contact the Nevada State Bank Bank Card Customer Service Center at (888) 758-5349. If you believe you have been a victim of Internet fraud or identity theft, contact Online Banking Support at (888) 835-0551.
The Federal Trade Commission offers extensive information about Internet security and how consumers can avoid becoming victims of fraud. The FTC also maintains the federal government’s centralized identity theft complaint database, the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, and provides information to identity theft victims. For information, call (877) ID-THEFT or visit www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft
The Identity Theft Resource Center is a nonprofit, nationally respected program dedicated exclusively to identity theft. It provides consumer and victim support and advises governmental agencies, legislators and companies about this evolving and growing crime.
The Internal Revenue Service Web site contains information about how tax records are affected by identity theft. It also features information on preventing identity theft, and what steps to take if it occurs. Use the search function to find references to "Identity Theft."
This Web site provides free and non-technical cyber security and safety resources to the public, so consumers, small businesses and educators have the information they need to avoid cyber crime.
The Nevada Department of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General work to prevent consumers and businesses from falling prey to cyber crimes. They also assist in the arrest and prosecution of cyber criminals.
U.S Postal Inspectors monitor crimes involving the mail service. Their Web site includes information on mail fraud, mail theft and crime victims' rights, and includes links to identity theft resources.
CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES
IF YOU SUSPECT INTERNET FRAUD OR IDENTITY THEFT...
|Free Annual Credit Report
This site allows consumers to request a free credit report once per year from the above three major credit reporting agencies.