What to do if you are a victim of identity theft
1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your reports
If you suspect your personal information has been used to commit fraud or theft, contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus and request that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file. At the same time, request a copy of your credit report. Follow up in writing and include copies (not originals) of your documentation, such as the police report or your credit card statement with circles around the items in question.
2. Close your accounts
Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each company. Follow up in writing, and include copies (NOT originals) of supporting documents. It's important to notify credit card companies and banks in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, and request a return receipt so you can document what the company received and when. Keep a file of your correspondence and enclosures.
3. File a report with local police
File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Ask for a copy of the report. Credit card companies may need proof of the crime to erase the debts caused by identity theft.
4. File a Complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
By sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC, you will provide important information that can help law enforcement officials across the nation track down identity thieves and stop them. The FTC can refer victims' complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces.
You can file a complaint:
- online at IdentityTheft.gov,
- by phone at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261,
- or by mail:
Identity Theft Clearinghouse
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Be sure to call the Hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.
The FTC's consumer Identity Theft website at IdentityTheft.gov is the federal government's one-stop resource for identity theft victims. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process.
Identity Theft and Phishing
A recent study estimates that identity theft will victimize more than ten million Americans this year! Don't let it happen to you.
Unfortunately, phishing is now a well-established approach to ID theft. It occurs when a perpetrator posing as a legitimate financial organization uses email to retrieve personal and financial data.
Pharming occurs when an email purporting to be from a known organization carries a computer virus that infects a victim's computer in one of two ways. One sends the victim, who types in a legitimate domain name, to a bogus site. The other records keystroke information and transmits it to a criminal who then uses the data to access the account.
Avoid becoming a victim
Some suggestions on how to avoid becoming a victim of phishing or pharming:
- Never click on links in email text
- Be suspicious of any email that does not end with a .com domain name
- Ensure that the website is secure
- Update Internet browsers and Windows operating systems
- Never act upon any email or pop-up ad that asks for personal or financial information
- Review bank and credit card statements immediately
- Report suspicious activity to your bank
- Report suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission.
This problem is not going away, nor is there any foolproof solution for it. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact us immediately.
Debit Card Phishing Scam
We have been made aware that some cardholders are receiving phone calls from an automated voice service (AVS) stating that there is an issue with their debit card. At this time the calls are only occurring in Pennsylvania. The recording asks the cardholder to provide personal information over the phone.
Please note that this is a Phishing Scam: you should disconnect immediately and NEVER provide any information to the AVS. If you did provide personal information to this AVS, please contact us immediately at 215.789.4200 so that we may close your account and reissue your card to avoid future fraud.
Remember: we will never ask for your personal information in any email we send to you.