Be cautious. Treat unsolicited email requests for financial information or other personal data with suspicion. Unsolicited means the email wasn’t initiated in response to an action by the consumer. Do not reply to the unsolicited email or respond by clicking on a link within the unsolicited email message.
Verify the message. Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if it is genuine. Visit a secure Web site or call a phone number that you know to be legitimate.
Check for security. Only enter personal information on a secure website that you know to be legitimate. Before submitting any information, look for the “padlock” icon on your browser’s status bar and check that the address in your browser reads https://? these signal that your information is secure during transactions.
Use up-to-date software. Be sure to update anti-virus software and security patches to system software regularly, and use update versions of your internet browser. Phishing messages can exploit weaknesses in your browser and initiate a drive-by download of spyware or malware without your knowledge.
Monitor your transactions. Check your monthly statements to verify all transactions. Notify your bank immediately of any erroneous or suspicious transactions.
Report it. In Canada, report any suspicious e-mails to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1 (888) 495-8501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A creditor informs you that an application for credit was received with your name and address, which you did not apply for.
- Telephone calls or letters state that you have been approved or denied by a creditor that you never applied to.
- You receive credit card statements or other bills in your name, which you did not apply for.
- You no longer receive credit card statements or you notice that not all of your mail is delivered.
- A collection agency informs you they are collecting for a defaulted account established with your identity and you never opened the account.