Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Chamber holds fraud seminar for members

Posted: Friday, March 2, 2012

The Chamber of Commerce held a seminar titled “Avoiding Fraud in a High Tech World.” The seminar took place at the Chamber office on Wednesday, February 29. Randy Prange, chief information officer of Bippus State Bank, presented to the group. The topic for the seminar: Identity Theft vs. Fraud – What is the difference.

Prange said most fraud or identity theft comes from conversations you have over the telephone or surveys completed on the internet. He went on to say that the people who do these types of unlawful things are typically lazy. They want to get the information as quickly and easily as possible. Much of this information is gathered by what’s called “Pre-Texting, or phishing.” This takes place when a person calls you at home or your office and asks questions.

Prange continued, “You should always slow the conversation down. Always evaluate the questions that are being asked and why are they asking the questions. In most cases, the information the perpetrator wants, the business should already know.” He also said that this type of practice is becoming more sophisticated every day. Always be aware of what is being asked of you.

Surveys are another way in which to gather information about you or your business. Be very careful about surveys you respond too. Read the questions thoroughly and answer appropriately. As a rule of thumb, don’t complete surveys unless you know the person or place in which they originate.

Prange said everyone should check their credit report annually and should shred or burn all information that contains there name. If possible, use a cross-cut shredding machine. The cross-cut shredding machine cuts the paper horizontally and vertically. If you do not have a shredder, you can tear up your information and place coffee grounds or fruit peelings in with the documents. The grounds from the coffee and the acid in the fruit peelings will begin to erode the printing on the paper and begin to destroy the paper quickly. Prange said you would be surprised how information can be put back together.

“If you are shopping online and find an item that you really want always be sure the site is secure,” Prange explained. He continued, you should ask your friends if they use the sight and if they have had any trouble. You can go online to www.ripoff.com and read the comments from other individuals. If you do not read anything negative about the business and no one has reported anything negative, you may have found a reputable site. If you still do not feel comfortable, you can always purchase a pre-paid debit card from local retail establishments for the amount of your purchase. This way if you are compromised, the criminal can only rip you off for the amount of the pre-paid debit card. The cost for a pre-paid card comes with a $4.95 price tag to cover the insurance portion of protection.

And remember, if you think your identity has been compromised, go to www.ftc.gov. Everything you need to do will be found on this website.