Symptoms and Treatment
What is a UAV Drone?
|Fake Credit Report Sites: Cashing in on Your Personal
You may have seen Web sites or received unsolicited email offering credit
reports, sometimes for free. Be aware that some of these online operators
may not actually provide credit reports, but may be using these sites
as a way to capture your personal information. From there, they may sell
your information to others who may use it commit fraud, including identity
This is a variation on "phishing," also called "carding,"
a high-tech scam that uses spam or fraudulent Web sites to deceive consumers
into disclosing their credit card numbers, bank account information, Social
Security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection
agency, urges you to take the following precautions when visiting sites
or responding to email that offer credit reports:
If you get an email offering a credit report, don't reply or click on
the link in the email. Instead, contact the company cited in the email
using a telephone number or Web site address you know to be genuine.
Be skeptical of unsolicited email offering credit reports. Keep an eye
out for email from an atypical address, like XYZ123@website.net, or an
email address ending in a top level domain other than .com, like .ru or
||Check whether the company has a working telephone number and legitimate
address. You can check addresses at Web sites like www.switchboard.com,
and phone numbers through reverse lookup search engines like www.anywho.com.
Check for misspellings and grammatical errors. Silly mistakes and sloppy
copy - for example, an area code that doesn't match an address - often
are giveaways that the site is a scam. Look at the company's Web address:
is it a real company's address or it is a misspelled version of a legitimate
company's Web address?
Check to see whether the email address matches the Web site address. That
is, when you enter the company's Web address into the browser, does it
go to the sender's site or re-direct you to a different Web address? If
it re-directs you, that's a red flag that you should cease the transaction.
Find out who owns the Web site by using a "Whois" search such
as the search at www.networksolutions.com.
Exit from any Web site that asks for unnecessary personal information,
like a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your bank account, the
three-digit code on the back of your credit card, or your passport number
and issuing country. Legitimate sites don't ask for this information.
All legitimate sites will want to verify who you are, and will respond
to an electronic request for a credit report by asking you for an additional
piece of information. If a site does not ask a follow-up question, the
site is almost certainly a fake.
Use only secure Web sites. Look for the "lock" icon on the browser's
status bar, and the phrase "https" in the URL address for a
Web site, to be sure your information is secure during transmission. All
real sites are secure.
Watch your mailbox and credit card statements: If you've responded to
a bogus site, you may never receive the credit report they offered for
free. If you paid one of these sites for a credit report, your credit
card may never be charged. If you find that you have unauthorized charges,
contact your financial institutions and credit card issuers immediately.
Report suspicious activity to the FTC and the U.S. Secret Service. Send
the actual spam to the Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force at LA.ECTF.firstname.lastname@example.org
and to the FTC at email@example.com. If you believe you've been scammed, file
your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC's Identity Theft
Web site (www.consumer.gov/idtheft) to learn how to minimize your risk
of damage from identity theft.
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