by Nicole Fleming, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
As news about the eBay hack hits the media, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. First, change your eBay password. When you create your new password, keep these tips in mind.
If you used your eBay ID or password for other accounts, change them, too. Hackers sometimes try stolen IDs and passwords on different websites to gain control of other accounts.
Don’t confirm or provide personal information in response to an email or text, and don’t click on links in unexpected messages. Legitimate companies won’t ask for bank or credit card information, Social Security numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information through unsecured channels. According to news reports, the eBay breach included customers’ names, passwords, email and postal addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth. Crooks may use this stolen information to send you email or text messages that appear to be from people or sites you trust.
Review your credit card and bank account statements often. If you see charges that you don’t recognize, contact your bank or credit card provider right away. Speak to the fraud department.
Check your credit reports — for free — every few months. Your credit report includes information about your credit card accounts and other bills you pay, so it’s a good way to find out if someone has opened credit in your name. You’re entitled to a free report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. To get your report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
Finally, make sure your friends and family know what to do. Send them this post — it’s free to copy and share.