Fox 25 Consumer Watch: Compromised online, now what?
OKLAHOMA CIT Y (KOKH) —
Tech savvy or not, we all run the risk of clicking the wrong thing on line. If it's too late, and your personal information may have been compromised, you must act quickly to prevent identity theft.
There are many ways we might accidentally give up our personal and financial information. Whether it is a bad website, the wrong link, or a phishing email, here is what to do if you clicked the wrong thing.
- Check your status: Check your credit score, credit cards, and check your bank account. Make sure nothing has been taken, and document where you stand now.
- Make phone calls: Call your bank and let them know what happened. You can also place a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert will let creditors know they need they need to run additional checks before granting more or new credit. "A fraud alert only lasts 90 days, but if your identity has been stolen you can put a 7-year fraud alert on your credit," says Julie Bays, Consumer Protection Unit, Chief
- Clean up your computer: Make sure you have the most up-to-date software installed. Run a virus scan and consider using anti-virus software. You can opt to have professional help.
The Oklahoma Consumer Protection unit says the most common way people's identity is compromised online is through a phishing scam. That usually comes in the form an email pretending to be from your bank or a legitimate agency asking for your financial information.
Though there are a lot of dangers online, don't discount the old school ways of getting your information.
"The main way that identities are still stolen, especially in rural Oklahoma or smaller neighborhoods, is through your mailbox or in your trash can,” says Bays.
In this case, be sure to shred any sensitive or financial information before tossing it out. Another option to safetly get rid of financial documents is to attend a free shredding event. The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office is hosting Consumer Protection Day, and will have shredders available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.