Stop Fraud Before It Happens
Defend yourself against Phishing
For all of the emerging threats and news that are cropping up on the horizon, phishing -- one of the oldest pain points in cybersecurity -- is continuing to quietly wreak havoc, and is as big of a threat as it has ever been.
Despite often being overlooked in terms of hype, phishing has been a mainstay in the cybersecurity threat landscape for decades.
With that in mind, here are a few quick best practices and tips for dealing with phishing threats.
Know the Red Flags
Phishes are masters of making their content and interactions appealing. From content design to language, it can be difficult to discern whether content is genuine or a potential threat, which is why it is so important to know the red flags. Awkward and unusual formatting, overly explicit call outs to click a hyperlink or open an attachment, and subject lines that create a sense of urgency are all hallmarks that the content you received could be potentially from phish and indicate that it should be handled with caution.
Verify the Source
Phishing content comes in a variety of ways, however, many phishes will try to impersonate someone you may already know -- such as a colleague, service provider or friend -- as a way to trick you into believing their malicious content is actually trustworthy. Don’t fall for it. If you sense any red flags that something may be out of place or unusual, reach out directly to the individual to confirm whether the content is authentic and safe. If not, break-off communication immediately and flag the incident through the proper channels.
Be Aware of Vishing and Other Phishing Offshoots
As more digital natives have come online and greater awareness has been spread about phishing, bad actors have begun to diversify their phishing efforts beyond traditional email. For example, voice phishing -- or vishing -- has become a primary alternative for bad actors looking to gain sensitive information from unsuspecting individuals. Similar to conventional phishing, vishing is typically executed by individuals posing as a legitimate organization -- such as a healthcare provider or insurer -- and asking for sensitive information. Simply put, it is imperative that individuals be wary of any sort of communication that asks for personal information whether it be via email, phone or chat -- especially if the communication is unexpected. If anything seems suspicious, again, break-off the interaction immediately and contact the company directly to confirm the veracity of the communications.
Identity Theft can affect all of us, but there are many ways to keep your identity from being "hijacked," and to assist you if you have been a victim of this growing crime.
- Protect your Social Security number (SSN), credit card and debit card numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), passwords and other personal information.
- Protect your incoming and outgoing mail.
- Keep your financial trash "clean."
- Keep a close watch on your bank account statements and credit card bills.
- Avoid identity theft on the Internet.
- Exercise your new rights under FACTA to review your credit record and report fraudulent activity.
What to do if you have been a victim of Identify Theft:
Set up a folder to keep a detailed history. Include a log of every action you take, copies of all correspondence and/or forms you receive or send, names and contact information of everyone you contact, as well as all information surrounding the contact.
- Keep track of the financial loss to you.
- Report the identity theft to the authorities.
- Contact all creditors. Do this by phone and in writing (save copies of the letters) to be sure they are properly informed.
- Contact the three major credit reporting agencies. Ask for a "Fraud Alert Victim Impact" statement to be placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts. Request that a copy of your credit report be sent to you.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is the national clearing house for complaints by victims of identity theft. Visit their website at www.ftc.gov/
- Ask businesses to provide you with information about transactions made in your name. The Washington State Identity Theft Law requires businesses to provide information about transactions made in your name.
Report Lost or Stolen Card
If you have lost or had your VISA Check Card stolen please call one of the following numbers.
VISA CheckCard 1.888.616.5678 or 1.800.500.1044
Credit Card 1.800.325.3678