Preventing fraud can include keeping your personal items and information safe, and safely navigating the internet. Lease Reporters is committed in helping consumers with fraud and with protecting consumer credit information.
Online Security and Your Private Information
From day to day, the rewards of the digital age typically overshadow the risks. That is, until a scam, virus or other malicious attack puts your computer or identity in danger.
Cyber crimes can extensively damage your computer or other devices and rob you of personal information. That’s why it’s important to use security software and be cautious. By doing so, you can protect the investment you’ve made in your computer equipment as well as your overall finances and identity.
Cyber security is your main line of defense. Be sure you are well equipped with anti-virus software, a firewall, an updated operating system and a file-backup system. With new cyber threats constantly emerging, security is an ongoing battle.
Think before you:
- Click: Viruses and Trojan Horses, which criminals use to takeover computers, often need your help to activate and infect your computer. Disguised as a video, attachment or link, these malware (malicious code) programs download to your computer once you click on a targeted link.
- Search: Once information goes online, it stays online. Each and every one of your search terms links back to your computer’s IP (Internet protocol) address through your browser, so be careful what you type.
- Share: Be wary of websites that ask for more information than is really needed to set up an account or conduct a transaction. Also be careful not to over share on social networking sites. Be sure you use privacy controls to limit access to your personal information on all networking sites.
If You Believe You Are a Fraud Victim
If you believe you are a victim of fraud, you may find the following suggestions helpful.
Protect yourself: A security alert system gives you time to verify if you are a fraud victim. If you determine you are a fraud victim, you may add a seven-year extended victim statement to your credit report.
- Inform creditors: Contact all creditors associated with the account and inform them that the account is fraudulent.
- Document all contacts: Make notes on everyone you speak with. Ask for names, department names and phone extensions, and record the date you speak with each person.
- Understand the process: Each creditor may have a different process for handling a fraud claim. Make sure you understand exactly what is expected from you, and then ask what you can expect from the creditor. At the conclusion of an investigation, ask the creditor for a document that states you are not responsible for the debt.
- Follow up: Make sure everything a creditor/credit reporting agency has requested is received. It is always a good idea to place a follow-up call or send a letter for confirmation.
- Review credit reports regularly: Obtain another credit report several months after you believe everything is cleared up. If a new fraudulent account is discovered, you will know how to handle it. If your credit report is back to normal, you can feel confident that all issues were resolved as you expected.
- Do not throw away files: Keep all notes and correspondence related to the fraud incident in an accessible file in case they are needed in the future.
What Credit Reporting Agencies Do to Prevent Fraud
Credit reporting agencies takes the security of your personal information very seriously. Several steps have been taken to protect your credit information. These fraud prevention practices include:
- Dropping several digits from each of your credit account numbers and your Social Security number on your personal credit report.
- Offering fraud prevention products to ensure the integrity of the credit database and to protect consumers and creditors
- Continually monitoring access to databases with software that detects unusual activity for immediate investigation
- Working with law enforcement to catch fraud perpetrators
- Requiring a business to designate a permissible purpose under federal law before it can access consumer credit information
- Following procedures to ensure that only reputable businesses are accepted as clients
- Building barriers to prevent computer hackers from accessing consumer credit data
HOW TO REPORT FRAUD
File a report. File a report at www.ic3.gov with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Administration (BJA). IC3 gives victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism. IC3 in turn alerts authorities by referring reports to the correct law enforcement or regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level.
Let us know about it. If you receive a suspicious email, report it to [email protected] Do not change the subject line or send it as an attachment. Simply forward the suspicious email message to us. We will contact you if we need additional information.
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