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Protect Your Accounts
The best way to help prevent fraud is to make sure you know what threats you're facing. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you make transactions online.
Phishing (pronounced "fishing") is a type of criminal activity that uses fraudulent techniques to gather sensitive personal information, such as Passwords, account numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), Social Security Numbers and other account information. By pretending to be a trustworthy person or business in a seemingly official electronic communication like an email, a criminal can use sophisticated lures to "fish" for users' Passwords and personal or account information.
However, scammers may use other contact methods to obtain your personal or account information, such as text messages (also known as short message phishing or "smishing") and phone calls (also known as voice phishing or "vishing"). With these methods, you could receive a text message, phone call or voice mail directing you to a fake website or phone number that appears to be legitimate, where you would be asked to provide your personal or account information.
For example, you could receive a text message from an unusual number that says your bank account will be closed, frozen or terminated unless you call a telephone number or go to a website. Often, these messages will imply or state that there will be negative consequences if you don't respond. This is an attempt to scare you and convince you to provide your personal or account information.
If you are ever unsure about the authenticity of a Chase email, phone call or text message, please call the toll-free number on the back of your credit/debit card or the toll-free number printed on your statement.
Don't respond or reply to an email, phone call, or text message that:
- Requires you to supply personal or account information directly in the email
- Threatens to close or suspend your account if you do not take immediate action
- Invites you to answer a survey that asks you to enter personal or account information
- States that your account has been compromised or that there has been third-party activity on your account, then asks you to enter or confirm your personal or account information
- States that there are unauthorized charges on your account, then asks you to provide your personal or account information
- Asks you to enter your User ID, Password or account numbers, PIN or card expiration dates into an email, non-secure webpage or text message
- Asks you to confirm, verify or refresh your account, credit card, or billing information
It's almost always a scam to see an email or website that:
- Asks you to provide your account information because someone wants to send you money
- Claims you have a refund coming to you
- Says you have won a contest
For legitimate programs, such as Chase QuickPaySM (see below for more information), we will never require you to enter personal or account information unless you are on our secure website.
Email scams often try to create a feeling of urgency so you'll respond before you can think. These messages typically threaten to cut off a service or close your account if you don't "update" or "verify" your personal or account information. Or they may pretend to be helpful, like offering a security update, but require you to enter your personal or account information first. These are red flags and such tactics should alert you that the request may not be legitimate.
Another more recent example is a scam involving an email that appears to come from one of your friends urgently asking you to send them money because they've lost their wallet or they are stuck in a foreign country. Never respond; call your friend to verify first.
Note: With Chase QuickPay, you may get email messages informing you of money you’ve received. These email messages will direct you to the Chase website and will never ask you to enter your account information by email.
It's absolutely critical to use a highly secure Password for all of your financial accounts. Never use your pet's name, your child's name or anything else that a fraudster could easily find out. The most secure Passwords are a combination of letters and numbers, not simply an address, phone number or birth date. For added security, remember to change your Password on a regular basis and avoid using the same Password for multiple accounts.
If you think you've given out personal information about your Chase accounts (like your Chase account number, Password, or PIN), or you’ve typed it into a website that may not be legitimate, please immediately call the toll-free number on the back of your credit/debit card or the toll-free number printed on your account statement. We will take steps to help you secure your account.
You should always have up-to-date antivirus software and a personal firewall installed on your computer. Make sure you have antivirus software that scans incoming communications and files for viruses that may cause you trouble. Be cautious about offers for "free" antivirus software and make sure you get your software from a highly reputable company. Also look for antivirus software that removes or quarantines viruses and that updates automatically on a regular basis.
A firewall is software or hardware designed to block unauthorized access to your computer. It's especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection (such as from a cable modem) because your connection is always open. Most common operating system software (including Windows® XP and Vista) often come with built-in firewall functionality, but you may have to enable it.
We use a variety of technologies and techniques to help ensure that our products and services are secure. You should protect yourself, too, by making an effort to protect yourself when you use your personal computer or conduct business online.
Here are some of the steps you can take:
- Don't give out financial information such as checking account and credit card numbers—and especially your Social Security Number—on the phone unless you initiate the call and know the person or organization you're dealing with. Don't give that information to any stranger, even one claiming to be from Chase.
- Don't pre-print your driver's license, telephone or Social Security numbers on your checks.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Chase will block payment on the check numbers involved. Also, review new checks to make sure none has been stolen in transit.
- Store cancelled checks—and new checks—in a safe place.
- Notify Chase of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize."
- Guard your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for your ATM and credit cards, and don't write on or keep your PINs with your cards. You should also guard your ATM and credit card receipts. Thieves can use them to access your accounts.
- Be creative in selecting Personal Identification Numbers for your ATM and credit cards, and Passwords that enable you to access other accounts. Don't use birth dates, parts of your Social Security or driver's license numbers, address or children's or spouse's names. Remember: If someone has stolen your identity, he or she probably has some or all of this information.
- If you receive financial solicitations that you're not interested in, tear them up before throwing them away, so thieves can't use them to assume your identity. Destroy any other financial documents, such as bank statements or invoices, before disposing of them.
- Don't put outgoing mail in or on your mailbox. Drop it into a secure, official Postal Service collection box. Thieves may use your mail to steal your identity.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to direct your information to his or her address.
- If your bills include suspicious items, don't ignore them. Instead, investigate immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.
Don't open attachments, even if they appear to have come from a friend or a co-worker, unless you're expecting it or are absolutely sure you know what it contains. One red flag is any email from a friend that doesn't contain a personalized message, and instead contains generic messages such as "check this out" or "thought you'd be interested in this." Don't let curiosity wreak havoc on your computer. Call your friend to make sure the email is legitimate before you open the attachment or click any links in the email.
At Chase, we're always looking for ways to help you stay in control of your finances and help keep your accounts safe. Our free Account Alerts* is a great tool to help detect unauthorized withdrawals or other suspicious account activity. For example, you can sign up to receive Alerts by text, phone or email when a withdrawal from your account exceeds a threshold amount you set.
Review your credit reports carefully and often. Each major credit reporting agency is required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once a year, upon request. Look out for credit inquiries from unfamiliar companies, accounts that you never opened and unexplained debts; all of these are warning signs of fraud and identity theft. To order your free annual credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.
Remember to log on to Chase OnlineSM often. If you notice suspicious activity in your accounts, report it immediately to the appropriate parties.
One of the most convenient ways to access and navigate your accounts is with our free Chase Mobile® App. Chase Mobile allows you to access your accounts from your phone, virtually anywhere, anytime. To sign up, visit Chase.com from your computer and enroll in Chase Online. Once enrolled, download the free Chase Mobile App (available on many smartphones) and follow the prompts. Because we use a variety of technologies to protect your financial information, Chase Mobile provides portable, simple and secure access to your account.
Android and iPhone owners can use these links to safely download the app:
* There is no charge from Chase, but message and data rates may apply. Such charges include those from your communications service provider. Delivery of Alerts may be delayed for various reasons, including service outages affecting your phone, wireless or internet provider; technology failures; and system capacity limitations.
If you own your own business, it's important to:
- Maintain appropriate internal controls, including segregation of duties. For example, have different people involved in reconciling accounts from those making payments.
- Periodically assess your risk and evaluate your internal controls, including reviewing your users and the permissions you grant them. Your System Administrator can establish user permissions and online transaction limits for each of your users.
- Regularly review your transactions and statements to detect unauthorized activity. We promptly post your transaction details on Chase Commercial Online. It can be very useful to monitor and control transactions—including those originating online and through other channels, such as checks you've written or withdrawals you've made.
- Chase offers an online Positive Pay Service and Reverse Positive Pay Service to help you monitor and control checks clearing against your accounts.
- Customize Account Alerts to receive notification when certain account activity takes place.
Protect Yourself Online
We use a variety of technologies and techniques to help make sure our products and services are secure. You should protect yourself too by making an effort to protect yourself when you use your personal computer or conduct business on-line.
- Don't let others use your personal computer.
- Log off or lock your workstation whenever you leave your computer.
- Change your Passwords often. Be sure to choose Passwords that are hard for others to guess.
- Don't give your Passwords to anyone. And don't record your Passwords in an easy-to-find place.
- If you notice suspicious activity in your accounts, report it immediately to the appropriate parties.
- Install anti-virus, anti-spyware and other internet security software on your personal computer. Use it regularly and keep it up-to-date.
- Be leery of email messages you receive from people you don't know, and don't open any attachments they may contain. When in doubt, delete the message without opening it.
- Take advantage of your personal computer's security features.
- Make sure your browser uses the strongest encryption available and be aware of the encryption levels of the sites and applications you use.
- Use only software from reliable vendors