The pandemic has accelerated identity theft – and the impact on ordinary people is significant. In fact, Americans have lost over $ 382 million to scams related to stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, bogus treatment for COVID-19 and more, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Worse yet, black and Latin consumers are more likely to be victims of fraud than their white counterparts. This is why it is crucial to recognize activities designed to steal your hard earned money.
JPMorgan Chase is available to help consumers learn how to spot suspicious activity, from fake emails and text messages to false claims about how to stay healthy.
Looking for signs of crooks
Phishing is the fancy name for emails claiming to be from reputable companies, including banks. They actually come from criminals trying to get your personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
The email may ask you to reply or click a link that takes you to a website that looks like your bank’s site. Then they will ask you to provide your username, password, account number, personal identification number (PIN), social security number, or other personal information. Additionally, if you click on any attachment to that email, it may download software called malware that tracks or steals your information.
So, be very careful when clicking on a link in an email; instead, go directly to the company’s website. And only click on attachments if you’re sure they’re from someone you know and trust.
Crooks are increasingly starting to contact victims via text or phone, most often from a number you don’t recognize, and tell you there is something wrong with your bank account, including it is closed, frozen or will be terminated unless you call a phone number or go to a website indicated in the message and provide your personal and / or account information.
Protect your money and information
• Protect your information online
Download and update antivirus software for your computer, and do not enter sensitive information into public computers or over unsecured networks. Also, be careful not to divulge your financial username and passwords on the internet – this includes financial websites and apps that offer tools to help you manage your accounts, invest, or prepare your taxes.
• Make purchases only on secure websites.
Look for a padlock symbol in a website address. This will help protect your credit card number, expiration date, and three-digit CVV.
• Change your passwords often.
Change your passwords frequently and use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Do not use your pet’s name, your child’s name, or anything else that could be easily discovered.
• Create a separate password for each financial institution.
This provides an additional level of protection in the event of a problem in an institution.
• Monitor your accounts.
Log into your accounts frequently, even daily, through online banking or your mobile banking app to monitor your transactions and account balance. Look for transactions that you don’t recognize. Consult your monthly statements and in the event of a problem, contact your bank immediately.
• Configure additional confirmation.
The proper name is two-factor or multi-factor authentication. It just means that you will need to take an additional step or two to access your information. For example, this could be requesting that an SMS with a code be sent to the cell phone number you gave the company before. At Chase, when you log into your Chase account for the first time electronically or with a device that we do not recognize, we will ask for your username, password and a temporary identification code. And we will send it to you by phone, email or SMS.
• Shred sensitive documents.
Destroy banking records, checks you deposited through mobile banking, and other documents containing your account information. Keep monthly chequing and savings account statements in a safe place until you file your income tax returns, and then destroy them as well. Chase and other banks offer paperless statements, allowing you to view information online without having to worry about paper.
• Check your credit report.
At least once a year, read your credit reports carefully. You can request a free annual credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies, even if you don’t suspect any unauthorized activity on your account. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
Lawsuit protections for clients
Chase helps protect customer accounts and information. The bank monitors all accounts around the clock, including using security measures that customers cannot see.
If one of our employees finds out or a customer reports a transaction that has not been authorized, Chase offers Zero Liability Protection, which means that the customer will not be held responsible for it.
Stop by a Chase branch to learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to customer safety through fraud prevention and protection tools.