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Protect Your Identity


In the wake of the recent data compromises reported by major retailers, please be aware that "phishing" scams are on the rise.  Take steps to help protect yourself against potential fraud and identity theft.

 

>  WHAT IS PHISHING?
Phishing refers to criminal activity that attempts to fraudulently obtain sensitive information, such as social security number, driver's license, credit card information or bank account information by sending the intended victim an email. Sometimes a scam artist will first send a benign email and then follow that up with a phishing email that usually contains a malicious link. Cyber-criminals have typically used emails to launch this type of attack, but with the widespread use of social media networks and smartphones with internet access, these types of attacks are multiplying.

>  HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF FROM PHISHING?
There are several steps you may take to avoid becoming a Phishing Victim.
  • Don't open or reply to "pop-ups" or emails from an unknown source. Be suspicious of emails purporting to be from a financial institution, government department or other agency requesting account information, account verification or banking access credentials such as usernames, passwords, PIN codes and similar information.
  • Be careful when opening up email attachments. Opening file attachments or clicking on web links in suspicious emails could expose your system to malicious code that could hijack your computer.
  • Don't respond to any email that directs you to update your personal information by dialing a telephone number that you don't recognize. Use only the number on the back of your debit card or contact American Business Bank at (213) 430-4000.
  • Make sure you only disclose your personal information to a trustworthy source.
  • Note that American Business Bank will never call or email you to request or verify your personal information.
  • Use a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software to protect your computer against intrusions. Free software may not provide protection against the latest threats compared with an industry standard product.
  • Keep your computer patched and updated. When software companies find security vulnerabilities in their software, they will issue an update to patch the vulnerability.
  • Review your account balances and detail transactions regularly to confirm payment and other transaction data and immediately report any suspicious transactions to the Bank.

>  WHAT IF I AM A PHISHING VICTIM?
If you think you are a victim of identity theft or if you notice something suspicious, immediately contact us at (213) 430-4000 and call the following:
  • The Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is the federal agency responsible for receiving and processing complains by people who believe they may be victims of identity theft. Trained counselors will provide information on the steps you should take to resolve problems and repair damage to your credit record. Certain cases may be referred to law enforcement agencies, regulatory agencies or private entities that can help. Call toll-free 877-IDTHEFT (438-4338). The FTC also maintains the U.S. government's central Web site for information about identity theft at www.consumer.gov/idtheft. Go there to fill out an online consumer complaint form or link to educational materials.
  • The three major credit bureaus. Ask them to place a fraud alert in your file, so that lenders and other users of credit reports will be careful before starting or changing accounts in your name. The special toll-free numbers for the fraud departments are: Equifax at (800) 525-6285, Experian at (888) 397-3742 and Trans Union at (800) 680-7289.
  • Other banks, credit card companies or any other financial institution that may need to know. Ask to speak with someone in the security or fraud department, and follow up with a letter. If necessary, close old accounts and open new ones, and select new passwords and "PIN" numbers (Personal Identification Numbers).
  • Your local police or the police where the identity theft occurred. Fill out a police report that will detail what happened. Get a copy of the completed report because that can help you clear up questions and problems when dealing with your creditors and other financial institutions.