Recently there have been a number of news stories and reports regarding fraudulent emails, fake checks, lottery scams, identity theft and “phishing” scams (fraudulent but official looking e-mails and websites used to gather personal information and passwords). Liberty Mutual Insurance takes your privacy and online security very seriously and we will never email you a request for your personal passwords, personal information numbers (“PIN”) or login information. We do occasionally send our customers information and updates about our insurance products, however, if you receive any suspicious e-mails or phone calls which request your personal information and claim to be from Liberty Mutual, you should review them carefully and if you are unsure of their authenticity, you should contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has posted “Common Fraud Schemes” on its website (https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud). If you receive a suspicious email or letter, along with a check or money order, you should Stop, Look, and Call.
- Stop. Scammers typically include upsetting or exciting (but false) statements in their letters or e-mails with one purpose in mind: They want people to react immediately to that false information by either depositing a fake check, clicking on a link, or inputting the requested data before they take time to think through what they are doing. Consumers, however, need to resist that impulse to act or click immediately. No matter how upsetting or exciting the statements in the letter or email may be, there is always enough time to check out the information more closely.
- Look. Consumers should look more closely at the claims made in the letter or e-mail, think about whether those claims make sense, and be highly suspicious if the letter or e-mail asks for numerous items of their personal information such as account numbers, usernames, or passwords.
- Call. To be sure that they are contacting the real company or institution where they have accounts, credit-card account holders can call the toll-free customer numbers on the backs of their cards, and bank customers can call the telephone numbers on their bank statements
Preventing Online Identity Theft
Here are some additional tips and resources that Liberty Mutual recommends to help prevent becoming a victim of online identity theft.
Take these important steps today to protect your name, credit and reputation:
REVIEW YOUR CREDIT REPORT from each of the three credit agencies listed below twice a year. See if there are accounts or addresses you don’t recognize. Is your social security number correct? Have there been more credit inquiries than normal? Any of these may be early signs of identity theft. If you find something suspicious on your credit report, call the agency’s fraud hotline immediately. You also may want to add a consumer fraud alert, which asks creditors to telephone you each time a new account is opened in your name.
- LIMIT THE USE OF YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. Provide your social security number only when necessary and never provide it in response to an unsolicited email. Don’t carry the card in your wallet and never print it on your checks.
- SHRED UNNEEDED IMPORTANT PAPERS—especially credit card solicitations—with a crosscut shredder. Some identity thieves try to piece cut papers back together.
- DON’T USE YOUR MOTHER’S MAIDEN NAME as a password on personal accounts; it’s too easy to learn. Change it to another word with the creditors. When creating a password, include letters, numbers and symbols (for example: E$G%2Q) since they are more difficult for identity thieves to guess.
- DON’T GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION ONLINE OR ON THE PHONE – unless you initiated the contact and you know the party you are dealing with.
- PROTECT YOUR ONLINE LOG-INS AND PASSWORDS – Don’t share your passwords or login names and avoid leaving or writing them down near or around your computer. Protect them as you do your ATM and credit card numbers.
- LEARN MORE ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT AND HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF BY VISITING:
- DON’T BE A VICTIM… If you suspect identity theft or online fraud, report it to your local police, the three credit agencies listed below and the Federal Trade Commission.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
INTERNET CRIME COMPLAINT CENTER
To report fraud: 888-766-0008
To order your credit report: 800-685-1111
To report fraud: 800-888-4213
To order your credit report: 800-888-4213
To report fraud: 888-397-3742
To order your credit report: 888-397-3742