Identity confirmation of individuals and organizations
Fraudulent activity often appears legitimate at first glance or provides an incentive too good to pass up. Individuals may pose as representatives of a reputable company, often using company names and corporate logos to make their solicitation more convincing.
Phone solicitations may offer cash gifts, free travel or prizes in exchange for personal or account information. Advertisements in newspapers may promote special rates and offers where, upon calling, you are asked for personal information or for an advance payment before the transaction can be completed.
Email addresses obtained from subscription lists, websites, chat rooms, online auctions, etc., may appear to be from institutions you have an account with. Mail can be illegally intercepted, and the information used to solicit your personal or account information.
Here are some ways to validate the legitimacy of organizations that you may deal with:
- Only subscribe to Internet-based newsletters from organizations you trust.
- Do not provide personal or account information over the phone until you have confirmed the identity of the organization. If you receive a phone solicitation, call the organization back using a number you know to be legitimate.
- If you see an advertisement for a loan or mortgage in a local newspaper, check out the source through one of these sites, Anti-fraud sites and reporting agencies.