Residents of Illinois might be targeted for consumer fraud. Whenever you click on a link, visit a website or leave a computer unattended, you could be giving unscrupulous individuals access to your personal information. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself from fraud or minimize the damage done if your information is accessed for any reason.
Never share sensitive information with anyone
It’s important to never share email, bank account or other key passwords with colleagues or acquaintances. Furthermore, you should change passwords regularly to ensure that accounts can’t be compromised in the event of a data breach. Finally, log out of your accounts after using them, whether using a public or private device.
Monitor credit reports
If you notice any changes to your credit report, it could be a sign of possible identity theft. You can send a fraud alert or freeze your credit reports to prevent new accounts from being opened without your permission. If an account is opened without authorization, contact the credit agencies immediately. You should also reach out to the company where the account was created to let them know that you have been a victim of consumer fraud.
Trust but verify
Government agencies, banks and credit card companies will not ask for personal information by phone or email. If you receive such a request, call the entity in the email or phone call directly to verify that it is legitimate. You can also contact your bank, or credit card company to report attempted phishing or other scams.
If you experience debit or credit card fraud, your bank may provide reimbursement or reverse a fraudulent charge. Furthermore, if you know who defrauded you, it may be possible to take legal action to obtain actual damages as well as punitive or other damages allowable by law.