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. However, 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:
- E-mail Greetings
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 Account Holder."
- 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 business 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 "favourites" if you have it saved, or type the website's URL directly into your browser.
What Should You Do If You Suspect an E-mail Is a Phishing Attempt?
If you are suspicious of an e-mail you receive, you should forward the e-mail to the legitimate company being impersonated. Today, most financial institutions have an e-mail address where you can forward the suspicious e-mail.
If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from AFEX that you believe to be suspicious, please forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review the e-mail and, if it is fraudulent, we will take appropriate action.
- Phone Phishing (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.
What Should You Do If You Supplied Sensitive Information over the Phone to a Suspicious Party?
If you have already responded to a suspicious caller with your AFEX account information and you believe it to be fraudulent, please contact AFEX immediately by calling your Account Executive.
- Dumpster Diving occurs when criminals physically go through your trash receptacle in an effort to find information you discarded.
Account Protection Services
AFEX goes to great lengths to protect your Account from fraudulent use. Below are some examples of the ways we protect your Account from fraudulent use.
- Automated Trade Confirmations
After conducting a transaction with AFEX, the Account’s Primary Contact or Designated Email Address will receive a Trade Confirmation disclosing the trade order, including the transaction amount, rate exchange applied, and delivery instructions, if applicable.
- Monitoring Your Account for Suspicious Transactions
AFEX has sophisticated monitoring systems and controls in place to detect fraudulent activity and protect our Client' accounts from misuse.
- Irregular Account Activity Alert
If we detect a questionable transaction on your account, we will contact you to verify its legitimacy and may request supporting documentation.