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Fraud Prevention & Security Guide
Q: What can I do to protect my own personal information?
A: We recommend the following action steps to help safeguard your personal information from identity theft and other fraudulent activity:
Protect Personal Computers and Mobile Devices: You should consider installing virus protection software on your personal computers and mobile devices. Consult your computer manufacturer and mobile device provider to determine the appropriate software available for your specific models.
Use Strong Passwords and Change Them Frequently: We recommend that you create online login passwords that are at least eight characters in length with a mixture of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. For increased protection, you should consider changing your online login passwords regularly. We strongly recommend adding two-factor authentication as an extra level of security for your banking, investment, and e-mail account logins.
Store & Dispose Personal Information with Care: You should refrain from storing personal information (i.e., Social Security numbers, credit card numbers) on your personal computer and on social networking identity services such as Google+. You may want to purchase a cross-cut shredder to destroy any printed documentation containing your personal and confidential information.
Q: What can I do to protect my financial credit?
A: In light of recent massive data breaches, we recommend that you take the following steps to help protect your financial credit:
- Sign Up for Credit Monitoring and Identify Protection Services: You may want to consider signing up for credit monitoring and services to help protect your identity. LifeLock and Identity Guard are leading providers of these services, but there are other providers who can help meet your needs.
- Prevent Unauthorized Credit Information Releases: You should consider contacting the three credit agencies (Experian®, Equifax® and TransUnion®) to instruct them that you must be contacted before any credit information is released on your behalf. You can establish credit freezes at each of the credit bureaus at:
Q: What can I do to guard against phishing attempts?
A: We have seen a rise in phishing scams that imitate communications from leading, well-established financial institutions. Below are some tips you can follow if you believe a communication you receive looks suspicious:
- Email: Do not click any links or download any attachments in the suspicious email. Instead, open up your web browser and go to the website in question by typing it into the URL bar. Phishers have been known to use real company logos to make their communications seem legitimate. They also use spoofed email addresses, which are similar to the actual company’s address. However, the address may be misspelled slightly or come from a spoofed domain.
- Phone: Never give personal information over the phone. Hang up, look for the number of the company on their website, and call them directly to make sure it was a legitimate call and request.
- Electronic Signature Requests: RINET will always notify you in advance when a DocuSign or other e-sign request will be sent. If you receive any e-sign requests without any prior notification from RINET, please contact your RINET advisor. Please do not enter any account information or provide any electronic signatures.
Q: How do I report fraudulent Massachusetts Unemployment Claims made in my name?
A: Over the past year, we have seen an increase in illegitimate unemployment claims made through the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) system.
- Report the Fraud to the Commonwealth: If you or a family member have been impacted by this scheme, you are urged to utilize the Department of Unemployment Assistance fraud contact form at www.mass.gov/unemployment-fraud or call the DUA customer services department at 877-626-6800. This phone number is experiencing long delays, so you may want to report your issue using the fraud contact form first. You may also report the issue to the UI Program Integrity Department at UIFraud@detma.org.
- Report the Fraud to Your Employer: After reporting the fraudulent activity to the DUA, please also report the issue to your employer. This will help your employer become aware of the incident in case the DUA contacts them.
Q: Where can I go if I need more information or help?
A: Please contact your relationship advisor. Our staff is available to answer your questions and develop any additional recommendations specific to your situation.