Holiday Agency Partnership Release
U.S. ATTORNEY, U.S. SECRET SERVICE and BBB Offer Helpful Holiday 2009 Security Tips
Warn Shoppers & Businesses to Remain Vigilant This Season
The U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S. Secret Service and BBB (Better Business Bureau) warn the region to be on the lookout this time of year with regards to counterfeiters preying on cashiers distracted by long lines, and consumers juggling purchases and shopping lists both off and online.
Passing counterfeit notes and using stolen identities are just two holiday dangers. From parking lot purse snatchings to internet fraud, debt reduction scams to phony lottery winnings, the list is endless.
Bottom line? Look out, lock up, secure your computer, and remember, if it’s too good to be true, it likely is.
Holiday Security Tips to employ this season are:
*Avoid Getting Stuck with Counterfeit Bills Visually inspect your currency before walking away from a store register or bank teller.
If a retailer or consumer suspects a bill is counterfeit, they should compare the bill to a note of the same series and denomination that is known to be genuine. The note in question should display the proper watermark as well as the proper security thread that is consistent with that denomination.
The following resources contain valuable information on how to detect counterfeit notes by identifying the security features that are embedded within U.S. currency:
US Secret Service’s Know Your Money
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
*Guard Personal Info Retailers and consumers need to be mindful of criminals attempting to steal or use stolen credit cards, credit card numbers or store gift cards.
BUSINESSES: “Security and Privacy Made Simpler” Guide
BBB Credit Card Fraud Tips:
BBB/FTC Tips on Giving, Buying, Using Gift Cards
*Businesses: Train Staff to Ask for ID Retailers should maintain a policy of training all staff to actively and regularly compare credit card signatures with photo IDs. Consumers should carefully scrutinize card transactions and card statements to ensure their cards are not compromised. They should also THANK staff for asking for ID. These steps are taken to protect YOU, the consumer, from potential misuse of your card.
*Avoid Compromising Financial/Sensitive Info to Strangers Check 1st with BBB on a company before doing business or agreeing to services. Do research and look for BBB reports at: www.bbb.org Never provide personal information over the phone or the Internet to anyone that contacts you out of the blue via phishing scams. No credit card company or bank will ever contact you to verify your information.
FBI Tips How to Avoid Telemarketing Scams
FTC and BBB: Don’t Get Hooked by Phishing Scams (via Text Messages and/or Inboxes)
If you suspect you may have a counterfeit bill or you may be a possible victim of financial fraud, contact your local police and the U.S. Secret Service Resident Office.
You can also report questionable offers for review, or file a complaint with a company for resolve with BBB at 455-4200 or 800-356-1007 or by going to www.bbb.org
WEB SITE: www.bbb.org
PHONE: 509-455-4200 or 800-356-1007
US SECRET SERVICE
WEB SITE: http://www.secretservice.gov
IDAHO: (208) 334-1403
WEB SITE: http://www.justice.gov/usao
EWA District Phone: (509)353-2767
North ID District Office: CdA (208)667-6568
Montana District Phone: 457-5120