Check Fraud - Check Fraud is the way that fraudsters use checks to illegally obtain funds that do not exist in their account balance or do not belong to them. Whether they write hot checks, create checks with someone else's account number, or steal and forge checks - all of these acts are illegal fraud schemes.
E-mail Scams - Have you ever received e-mails that state you have won the lottery or that an unknown distant relative from another country needs your help cashing a check? These are e-mail scams and you should be very careful. Do not give out your personal information from an e-mail scam. This places you at risk for identity theft.
Identity Theft - ID Theft is becoming more and more of an issue for everyone. Identity theft is the process where a fraudster obtains your personal information and possibly uses it against you. Who do you give out your personal information to? Do you shred sensitive documents before throwing them away? How often do you check your bank statements and credit card statements for accuracy? Have you stopped receiving some of your mail? These are things to look out for when it comes to identity theft. To learn more about Identity Theft, please watch one of these videos: Personal or Business.
Mail Scams - With mail scams you may receive a letter regarding information about becoming a Mystery Shopper, Lottery Winnings, or Sweepstakes Winnings. Please be very careful when you receive mail you're not expecting.
Phishing - Fraudsters will send e-mails falsely claiming to be a legitimate business, one you may already have a relationship with, in an attempt to trick the user into surrendering personal and/or private information. This information is to then be used for identity theft. Remember - if the business should already have your personal information, do not give it out online. Call the business and make sure the e-mail is legitimate.
Pharming - Pharming is similar to phishing, however pharming seeks to obtain information through domain spoofing (which is basically IP Spoofing). Fraudsters will create a website that is a "copy" of a legitimate website. After changing the DNS entries, users are automatically redirected to the "copied" website. Unaware of the website switch, users will enter their personal information and the "copied" website records it and that information is ultimately used in identity theft scams. Phishing attempts to scam most people one at a time, but pharming allows scammers to target large groups of users all at one time. Double check the web address (URL) of the website you are entering your information on. If the web address is different than the one you typed in, you may want to contact the business another way.
Smishing - Smishing is similar to phishing, smishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver the messages to get you to surrender your personal information. Make sure that these text message are legitimate. Have you signed up for text message alerts? Try calling the business and verify the text message. Do not click on the links or call the phone numbers given in the text message.
Spoofing - Spoofing is changing technology to appear as though it originated from a different source. Fraudsters can spoof e-mail addresses and even phone numbers. They change e-mail headers to make e-mails appear to be from someone else and can change caller ID records to make phone calls appear to be from a legitimate business. If you receive e-mails or phone calls requesting personal information, do not give it to them. Call the business or person to make sure that the request is legitimate.