Card skimmers are small devices attached to existing credit/debit card readers that will steal the information off your card and put it into the hands of criminals.
There has been a significant increase in both reported skimmers and identity theft over the past few months.
Here are a couple of sources for tips on how to spot skimmers and protect yourself against card fraud and identity theft.
Krebs on Security: All About Skimmers - Several articles and photo guides
As always, if you suspect your card or ID has been compromised, call us immediately!
7 Tips to Prevent Tax Identity Fraud
Tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission for the past five years.
Tax identity fraud happens when a criminal files a false tax return using a stolen Social Security Number to fraudulently claim the refund. Identity thieves generally file false claims early in the year and victims are unaware until they file a return and learn one has already been filed in their name.
Prevent tax identity fraud with these seven tips:
File early – giving criminal less time to use your information to file a false return.
File on a password-protected wifi network – avoid using public networks like a wifi hotspot at a coffee shop.
Use a secure mailbox – drop your tax return at the post office or an official postal box instead of your mailbox at home.
Find a tax preparer you trust – through recommendations or research.
Shred what you don’t need.
Beware of phishing scams by email, text or phone – such as IRS impersonator.
Keep an eye out for your routine mail – such as W-2s, tax refunds, account statements and other mail containing your financial information.
If you believe you’re a victim of tax identity theft or if the IRS denies your tax return because one has previously been filed under your name, alert the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. Once you’ve contacted the IRS, call us immediately to review your accounts.
Source: American Bankers Association
Anti-Virus Software: Are you using it?
If you own or use a computer, I'm sure you've heard about Anti-Virus software at least once (hopefully!). But, the real question is, are you using it? You should be! Any device that connects to the internet needs some sort of Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware software installed, set up, and running to protect you from all of the nevarious cyber criminals out there.
The link below is for an article and simple guide on how to install and use free Anti-Virus software for beginners. It is definitely worth a read.
Google Chrome and E-Statements
Microsoft has announced that on April 8, 2014, they will no longer support Windows XP operating system. If you are currently using Windows XP, Microsoft recommends upgrading to a newer, supported operating system, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8, in order to ensure access to the latest security updates and patches they provide. For more information, please visit Microsoft's Website for the latest.