Protect Your Account Information

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Personal Information Over the Phone

Never give your personal information over the phone

Scammers may send emails, text messages, or pop-ups that appear to be from a legitimate business and ask you to call a phone number to update your account, receive a "major" credit card, a prize, or other valuable item -- then ask you for personal data, such as your Social Security number, credit card number or expiration date, or mother's maiden name. Because they use Voice over Internet Protocol technology, the area code you call does not reflect the scammers’ actual location. Instead of calling the business back, go to your financial statements or credit cards and call the legitimate business number. Find out if they sent the email and/or report the fraudulent message.

If someone you don't know calls you on the telephone and offers you ANYTHING in exchange for personal information, ask them to send you a written application. If they refuse, tell them you're not interested and hang up. The FBI says, “Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.”

The Better Business Bureau can also give you information about businesses that have been the subject of complaints.