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Don't Be the Victim of Fraud Callers

Fraud & Identity Featured Article

Don't Be the Victim of Fraud Callers

August 24, 2017
By Paula Bernier Executive Editor, TMC

Never give your financial account information to people over the phone. The same goes for your passwords. And that goes double for people who live in India and are affiliated with the Navy there.

I say that last bit because there were two instances this month in which people in India with Navy connections were duped into providing their bank information and had unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts as a result. The Indian Express reported the news last week in this story.

In the first case, a person who worked for the Navy lost Rs 25,000. In the second, the wife of a Navy employee enabled a bad actor to withdrawal Rs 68,000 from a joint account she held with her husband.

The Indian Express explained that in the second case, the woman got a call from a person pretending to work for her bank. The caller apparently told the woman that her debit card was set to expire by the end of the month. To prevent that from happening, the caller said, the woman could provide her card along with a password. She supplied this information and later discovered several unauthorized transactions on the card.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. offers the following tips on how to avoid this kind of fraud from occuring to you. The FDIC is, of course, a U.S. institution. But these tips would seem to apply for people wherever they are.

• Do not share personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the internet unless you initiated the contact or know the person you are dealing with.

• Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly and asks for your personal information. Be especially wary of fraudulent e-mails or websites that have typos or other obvious mistakes.

• Don’t give out valuable personal information in response to unsolicited requests. Financial account information and your driver’s license number are some of the details that should be kept confidential.

• Shred old receipts, account statements, and unused credit card offers.

• Choose PINs and passwords that would be difficult to guess and avoid using easily identifiable information such as your mother’s maiden name, birth dates, the last four digits of your social security number, or phone numbers.

• Pay attention to billing cycles and account statements. Also contact your bank if you don’t receive a monthly bill or statement since identity thieves often divert account documentation.

• Review account statements thoroughly to ensure all transactions are authorized.

• Guard your mail from theft, promptly remove incoming mail, and do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox with the flag up for pick up by mail carrier.

• Obtain your free credit report annually and review your credit history to ensure it is accurate.

• Use an updated security program to protect your computer.

• Be careful about where and how you conduct financial transactions. For example, don’t use an unsecured Wi-Fi network because someone might be able to access the information you are transmitting or viewing.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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