How to Protect Yourself
Fraudulent Websites and Phishing
Personal information shared over the internet can be used to commit fraud. A fraudulent website is a common method for thieves to lure you into clicking onto the copycat website and entering your personal information, such as User IDs and passwords. Always check that you have typed the correct website address before entering personal information. Phishing Attacks used spoofed emails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal information such as credit card numbers, account user names and passwords, social security numbers, etc.
Malware or “malicious software” is designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s knowledge or consent. Malware covers a host of software including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware and other malicious software. In addition to computers, malware have now entered into the smart phones and mobile devices market as they become increasingly popular. These malwares can be used to obtained confidential information about the user of infected computers, such as account numbers and PINS, login credentials, email contents, etc and used to perpetrate fraud.
- Emails that urge the recipient to click on a link
- Emails that are not consistent with other emails received
- Emails that do not contain any personalization: such as the recipient’s name, last four digits for social security number, or any other information that the sender should know
- Emails that claim the user has to click on a link to verify account information, re-activate an account, new orders/canceling an order
What should you do if you receive a suspicious email?
- Do not respond
- Do not click on any links within the email
- If it is an email that appears to be from Washington Federal Bank, you can forward it to email@example.com
- If it is an email from another company or financial institution, you can forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delete the email
- If you responded or click on a link and provided information, please contact Washington Federal Bank for Savings immediately at 773-254.3422.
How to protect yourself and your computer:
- Do not open attachments from unsolicited emails
- Install a firewall to prevent unauthorized access
- Install anti-virus and anti-spyware on your computer and keep all virus definitions up to date
- Install updates and patches for your computers operating system and all installed applications (e.g., Java, Adobe, Itune, etc.)
How to protect yourself and your smart phone or mobile devices:
- Always lock the devices when not in use
- Set your devices to automatically lock after being idle for a set amount of time
- Always download your apps from reputable sources
- Review all app’s permissions so you understand what the app is capable of doing/accessing
- Don’t fall for phishing scams
- Always do a factory reset and erase all contents before recycling or selling your devices
Contact the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report
Report any identity theft incidents as quickly as possible to one of the three major credit bureaus listed below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need to contact one. The credit bureau you call is required to contact the other two.
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 www.equifax.com
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742 www.experian.com
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289 www.transunion.com
When you place a fraud alert on your credit report, any new credit requests or changes to existing account information will be reviewed very carefully to verify the requestor is really you.