Fraud Protection CenterNPC is committed to helping protect PayTally™ customers against fraud. The following information is meant to help you stay protected and safe from fraudulent activity.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name or personal information, such as your Social Security number, driver's license number, credit card number, telephone number or other account numbers, without your permission. Identity thieves use this information to open credit accounts, bank accounts, telephone service accounts, and make major purchases - all in your name.
HOW DOES IDENTITY THEFT HAPPEN?
Identity theft commonly begins with the loss or theft of a wallet or purse. But there are many other ways that criminals can get and use your personal information in order to commit identity theft. The following are some examples:
Phishing (pronounced "fishing") refers to fraudulent communication designed to deceive consumers into divulging personal, financial or account information. Phishing e-mails continue to be prevalent for individuals and companies. Spoofing well-known companies, these e-mails ask consumers to reply, or "click" a link to a fraudulent web page that will ask for personal information, such as their credit card number, Social Security number or account password.
These fraudulent e-mails are often difficult to identify but there are some techniques you can use to protect yourself. Below are some examples:
Always be suspicious of e-mails that do not greet you by name. While not impossible, it is more difficult and costly for phishers to associate an e-mail address with the e-mail owners name on a mass scale. Because of this, phishing e-mails most often are addressed generically like "Dear Customer" or "Dear Cardmember." If an e-mail does not address you by first and last name, it may be fraudulent.
Sense of Urgency
Phishing e-mails often try to create a false sense of urgency intended to provoke the recipient to take immediate action; for example, phishing e-mails frequently instruct recipients to "validate" or "update" account information or face cancellation. Be very cautious of any e-mail asking you to update sensitive information particularly if it has a generic greeting (see above).
Links in E-mails
Nearly every commercial e-mail today contains a "link to a website," or website address (URL). Links are used by businesses as a convenience for their customers to help them easily find information the customer is looking for. Unfortunately, phisher's also use links to drive customers to "fake" or "spoofed" websites. Look for the warning signs outlined above (generic greetings, sense of urgency). If you are suspicious of the e-mail, do not click on any links contained in it. Instead, go to the website by using your "favorites" if you have it saved, or type the website's URL directly into your browser.
What should you do if you entered sensitive information into a fraudulent website?
If you have already responded to an e-mail with your PayTally account information and you believe it to be fraudulent, please contact NPC immediately by calling 1-877-479-6634.
(also called "Vishing") is another way fraudsters try to collect sensitive information from you. In this type of fraud, the fraudster will either contact you by telephone or send you a fake e-mail and ask for you to respond by telephone. If you are ever in doubt about NPC contacting you by phone, simply call 1-877-479-6634.
What should you do if you supplied sensitive information over the phone to a suspicious party?
If you have already responded with your PayTally account information and you believe the caller to be fraudulent, please contact NPC immediately by calling 1-877-479-6634.
Dumpster Diving occurs when criminals physically go through your trash receptacle in an effort to find information you discarded. People routinely throw away junk mail, utility bills, and other types of correspondence. Usually, these items contain your name, address, and, at times, account numbers. Fraudsters can use this information to attempt to take over existing accounts or create/open new ones. One way to prevent this situation from happening to you is by shredding documents before discarding them.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud strikes millions of times every year and is one of the fastest growing white-collar crimes. The information and services in the Fraud Protection Center can help reduce your chances of becoming a victim.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud happens whenever someone obtains your credit card account number, and then uses it to make fraudulent purchases. This can happen if:
- A dishonest store clerk makes an extra imprint of your credit card.
- A thief gets your account number and expiration date from a discarded receipt
- A restaurant cashier swipes your credit card in a small handheld device known as a skimmer, which copies the information on your credit card in order to make a counterfeit copy of your credit card. This method is called “Skimming.”
- You were a victim of a phishing scam.
What is Check Fraud?
Scams using fake checks are a fast-growing type of fraud that can cost victims thousands of dollars. There are many types of fake check scams, but it all starts when someone gives you a realistic-looking check or money order and asks you to send cash somewhere in return. At the heart of the scam is a fake check that you deposit in your bank account. Federal law requires banks and credit unions to make funds that have been deposited available quickly. Just because you can withdraw the money doesn't indicate the check or money order is valid. It can take weeks for fake checks to be discovered, and when they are, your bank will want the money back. You are responsible for the checks and money orders you deposit or cash, because you were in the best position to determine the validity of the check or money order - you dealt with the person who gave it to you. Remember: There is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to wire money anywhere in return.
Common Types of Fake Check Scams
While there are some common fake check scams, new variations constantly pop up, so it is important to learn the warning signs:
- Foreign Business Offers: They pretend to be businesspeople and government officials. Real companies and government agencies don't contact strangers in other countries with business propositions.
- Love Losses: They want to come to the United States to be with you. They have a check or money order in U.S. dollars that they say they cannot cash. But there's no real reason why they couldn't use the financial services in their own country to cash it.
- Overpayments: They give you a check or money order for more than the purchase price and ask you to send the extra money to someone else. But there's no reason why they cannot send that person the money directly.
- Rental Schemes: They claim to be moving from outside the area or another country. They send a check or money order for rent, plus extra, and ask you to forward the excess to someone else. But they could have easily done this themselves.
- Sudden Riches: The notice comes by regular mail, phone, fax, or e-mail: You have won a cash prize or inherited money. They send you a check or money order as an "advance" and ask you to send money to get the rest. That's not how legitimate contests or law firms' work.
- Work-at-Home: They hire you on the basis of an e-mail or phone call, without any personal interview or background checks. They ask you to process payments by depositing checks or money orders in your bank accounts. That is not how legitimate companies operate.
Below are some examples of the ways your PayTally account is protected.
Self-Selected User ID and Password
When you sign up to manage your account online, PayTally lets you create your own User ID and password to access your account. This information is encrypted during transmission using 256-bit encryption technology.
Secure Website for Servicing Your Account
PayTally uses 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. This means that when you are on our secured website the data transferred between PayTally and you is encrypted and cannot be viewed by any other party.
When managing your PayTally account online, your session will automatically end if you do not perform any transactions for 15 minutes. To continue using the online system, you will need to re-enter your User ID and password.
Have the PayTally website remember your User ID on your computer, so when you return your User ID will automatically be entered into the sign in box. A fraudulent website (spoof site) will not be able to display your User ID; this lets you know you are not on the genuine PayTally website. Note: You should not use the "Remember Me" functionality on a public or shared computer, for example, at a public library.
Below are some examples of how you can ensure you are communicating with PayTally or a trusted source.
First and Last Name in E-mail Communications
When you receive an e-mail related to your PayTally account, the e-mail will be addressed to you using your first and last name. If you receive an e-mail regarding your PayTally account but it does not contain this information, it may be fraudulent.
PayTally Invoices from Vendors or Suppliers
When receiving an invoice from a Seller via email, ensure that it is from a Seller that you know. The email should be from the Seller and it should contain the Seller’s contact information.
There are some simple and important steps you can take to help protect yourself from fraud.
Monitor Your Account Activity Online
Accessing your account online is a great way to stay up to date on recent charges and monitor your account for irregular activity.
Review Your Credit Report Regularly
Review these reports for any inaccurate information, or any transactions that you were not aware of or did not authorize. You can get a free annual report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com
Create Unique Passwords and Personal Identification Numbers
Avoid using easily available information such as date of birth, or the last four digits of your Social Security number when creating passwords and personal identification numbers. Use different passwords on your banking and brokerage accounts, and update all of your passwords regularly.
Bookmark the Websites You Visit Most in Your Favorites
Get in the habit of using your favorites to navigate to the sites you use to perform financial transactions such as your bank, brokerage, credit card, or auction house.
Set Up “Remember Me” on Websites You Visit Regularly
Have the PayTally website remember your User ID on your computer, so when you return your User ID will automatically entered into the Sign In box. A fraudulent website (spoof site) will not be able to display your User ID, letting you know you are not on the genuine PayTally website. Note: You should not use the Remember Me functionality on a public or shared computer, like at a public library.
Secure Your Personal Information at Home and at Work
Consider keeping your sensitive personal information such as bank, mortgage, and credit card statements, Social Security cards, and other documents and passwords, in a safe location accessible only to you both at home and at work.
When Using Checks
The most important thing to remember is that there is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to wire money anywhere in return. If someone asks you to do that, be suspicious. Con artists use the anonymity of the Internet and e-mail to scam unsuspecting people. PayTally can validate the authenticity of a Check quickly and anonymously. You should be suspicious if any of the following apply:
- Checks are offered by someone you met online or from someone you know mostly through e-mail communications.
- You receive Checks by mail.
- You are asked to wire, send or ship funds from cashed Checks, especially if the return address is a large U.S. city or another country.
To find out more on information on check scams, visit www.fakechecks.org. The site is sponsored by the National Consumers League and the US Postal Service, along with other private, public and non-profit organizations, to educate Americans about the threat counterfeit check scams pose to their personal financial health.
Shred Documents Containing Your Personal Information
Identity thieves have been known to "dumpster dive" to obtain discarded documents with personal information. Before discarding documents containing personal information, consider shredding them first.
Avoid Giving Out Personal Information Over the Phone
This is especially true when the telephone call is initiated by another party. Identity thieves may pose as a representative of a legitimate organization with whom you do business and may contact you to "verify" your information. If you are contacted by someone who claims to be from NPC, call 1-877-479-6634 and you will be routed to the appropriate department for assistance.
Before Disclosing Any Personal Information
Make sure you know why it is required and how it will be used. Do not give out your social security number to people or companies that you do not know.
Carry Only The Information
You Need Only take with you the credit cards you need, and avoid carrying your Social Security card, your birth certificate or passport, except when necessary.
Have the Postal Service Hold Your Mail
Have the Postal Service hold your mail at the post office if you plan to be away for any period of time. Since identity thieves have been known to obtain personal information by collecting an individual's mail, promptly remove your incoming mail from your mailbox and place outgoing mail in post office collection boxes.
If You Are A Victim
What To Do If You Are a Victim of ID Theft
These step-by-step guidelines were developed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help you repair the damage caused by identity theft. Here you'll find contact information on the relevant authorities, forms and sample documents you can download, as well as useful identity theft links. More information is available from your local police and the agencies themselves.
Contact the Police
Contacting the police allows them to start investigating the crime. You should also obtain a copy of the police report; which should include the police report number and the name of the investigator. Banks, credit card companies, and other agencies may require this information as proof of a crime. When filing a police report, provide as much documentation as you can to prove you have been a victim of identity theft. Documentation including collection letters, credit reports, and an Identity Theft Affidavit can help the police create a thorough report. If the identity theft occurred while you were away from home, you may also need to file a police report in the jurisdiction where the theft actually occurred. Be persistent if necessary. You may be told they cannot provide a report. Be sure to let the police know that you need a report to provide to other agencies in order to resolve the identity dispute. If your local police will not file a report, contact the county and state police. You may also ask that they file a miscellaneous incident report instead.
Contact the Credit Bureaus
Notify the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) that you have been a victim of identity theft and request that your file be flagged with a "Fraud Alert." Fraud Alerts expire after six months, so you may want to ask how you can extend it if needed. Request copies of your credit report from each bureau to review. If information contained within your report is inaccurate, you may dispute it and request that it be changed. Request your credit report again in a few months. This will help you confirm that the requested changes have been made and whether your report has been changed without your knowledge. This may also identify additional occurrences of identity theft. You can get a free annual credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
EQUIFAX Order Credit Report: 1-800-685-1111 Report Fraud: 1-888-397-3742
EXPERIAN Order Credit Report: 1-888-397-3742 Report Fraud: 1-800-525-6285 www.experian.com.
TRANSUNION Order Credit Report: 1-800-888-4213 Report Fraud: 1-800-680-7289 www.transunion.com.
You may also want to file a statement with the bureaus asking them to notify you before any new accounts are opened or any existing accounts are changed in your name. This may reveal illicit attempts to open additional accounts in your name. Close the accounts you know or suspect involve identity fraud.
If your personal checks have been stolen or you suspect they have been misused, contact your financial institution to stop payments. Familiarize yourself with your state's laws concerning stolen and forged checks. You can contact your State Attorney General's office or local consumer protection agency to find out about any laws in your state related to identity fraud. Most states hold the financial institution responsible for losses related to a forged check. However, it may be your responsibility to notify the financial institution of the possible forgery in a timely manner. You may also want to contact the major check verification companies directly. These companies can alert retailers who use their databases not to accept your checks: Telecheck: 1-800-710-9898 Certegy, Inc: 1-800-437-5120. You can also find out if the thief has been passing bad checks on your account by calling SCAN at 1-800-262-7771.
Credit Accounts and ATM Cards
Report the incident to all institutions with which you hold credit card and ATM cards. Ask the financial institution or agency to send you a fraud dispute form to complete. When reopening new accounts, be sure to use new PINs to reduce the risk of future identity theft. If your financial institution is not assisting you with the issues related to your identity theft, you may contact the agency with jurisdiction over your financial institution. If you are not sure what agency has jurisdiction over your particular financial institution, you can find out by visiting www.ffiec.gov/enforcement.htm. If you suspect your investment or brokerage accounts have been altered without your permission, report it to the Securities and Exchange Commission. You can file a report using their online Complaint Center at www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml. Keep in mind that each creditor may have its own process for handling a case of identity theft. Therefore, be sure to specifically ask each creditor what its process is, what is expected of you, and what you can expect from them.
Contact the Authorities
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) counselors can take your report and provide additional advice on how to proceed if you believe you may have been a victim of identity theft. Their website is full of tips and also provides information on how to learn about laws in your state pertaining to identity theft. Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Clearinghouse Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20580 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) http://consumer.gov/ncpw/everyone/identity-theft-and-privacy/
Social Security Administration
The SSA Office of the Inspector General investigates allegations of identity theft. If you know or suspect your SSN may be involved in identity theft against you, you may want to contact the SSA to notify them and to request a copy of your Social Security statement. Social Security Administration SSA Fraud Hotline P.O. Box 17768 Baltimore, MD 21235 1-800-269-0271 firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
The USPIS is the law enforcement entity of the U.S. Postal Service and is the entity that investigates identity theft - specifically when the identity theft involves stolen mail or other violations of the integrity of the mail service. U.S. Postal Inspection Service 475 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20260 1-800-372-8347 www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect
Keep a Record of Your Actions
Keep a file of documents related to the identity theft. You will want to include documents such as disputed bills, credit reports, police reports, and any correspondence. Maintain a record of your telephone conversations with the persons and agencies you contact for assistance. Be sure to record the date and time of the call, the name and title of the person you spoke with, and the things you discussed. Follow up all telephone conversations in writing and send these letters certified with return receipts requested; maintain copies of these written correspondences for your file. Maintain copies of any written correspondence you exchange related to the identity theft. Keep original documents for your file; mail only copies.
Additional Fraud Resources
Identity Theft Resource Center PO Box 26833 San Diego, CA 92196 1-858-693-7935 email@example.com
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse 3100 5th Avenue, Suite B San Diego, CA 92103 1-619-298-3396 firstname.lastname@example.org www.privacyrights.org
STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Contact your State Attorney General's office or local consumer protection agency to find out whether your state has laws related to identity theft.