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Be Prepared: Scams Take No Holiday

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 6:06am
STAMFORD, Conn. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Consumers everywhere can relax this Holiday Season with Frontier Communications’ Peace of Mind suite of services. The hackers, cyber thieves, spammers and more counting on snatching your personal and/or business identity will find it tough getting through Peace of Mind’s Hard-Drive Backup, Unlimited 24-hourTech Support, PC Security Check, Wireless Network Diagnostic and Repair and more. All of these services are available to any consumer, anywhere.

Peace of Mind is a gift everyone will appreciate, especially now. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), the last quarter of the year offers the biggest shopping season and the times of greatest opportunity for identity thieves and pickpockets.

“Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in America, affecting more than 10 million victims every year according to Money Management International (MMI),” shares Steve Crosby, Senior Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs for Frontier Communications.

“Frontier is committed to offering tools that help consumers; we hope that the availability of Peace of Mind and the tips below will make holidays safer.” Money Management International and Frontier’s advice includes:

* Don’t leave your wallet or statements lying around—even at home.

* Don’t carry Social Security cards or anything with your Social Security number on it.

* Keep track of your credit card receipts and duplicates.

* Never tell anyone your credit card number over the phone, unless you initiate the phone call.

* Never allow your credit card number to be used as identification.

* Collect your mail regularly and thoroughly destroy unwanted credit solicitations.

* Never respond to an email or phone call asking for personal information.

* Lock your vehicles and keep GPS devices, presents, purses and valuable items out of sight.

* Expecting a package at home? Make sure someone is there to accept it or arrange to pick it up.

* Review a copy of your credit report at least twice a year and scrutinize your credit card bills. Scammers know there are big dollars in smaller charges. They are counting on you to skip over that fraudulent charge for $19.95.

If you become a victim, do the following as soon as you can:

* File a police report.

* Immediately notify issuers of credit.

* Contact the fraud department of each of the credit reporting agencies to place a temporary 90-day Fraud Alert on your file.

* Monitor your credit file.

* Contact the Attorney General’s office for your state, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission (877-IDTHEFT).

“As a major provider of communications services, including phone and broadband, we know all too well that abuses can occur,” says Crosby. “Here are some specific tips that reflect our experience:”

* Suspicious about a call from someone purporting to be a business partner? Listen to your gut and don’t provide any personal information until you are 100 percent certain they are the real thing.

* Do not call back numbers left by solicitors. Don’t respond to messages asking you to call someone in the "809" area code or some other area code that you normally don't call. If you make the call, you may be unwittingly dialing into an expensive overseas pay-per-call service. The result can be large charges on your next phone bill.

* Report suspicious calls to the Attorney General’s Office for your state.

* Register your telephone number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry at 888-248-4622.

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