Wells Fargo Provides Tips to Protect Your Money & Your Information

Money management services and tools help consumers keep track of their money

SAN FRANCISCO - February 11, 2010

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) continues its long tradition of educating consumers by sharing fraud prevention tips today that coincide with new findings of the 2010 Identity Theft Survey Report from Javelin Strategy & Research, an independent industry research firm.

"Wells Fargo co-sponsors the Javelin Strategy & Research ID Fraud Survey Report because the report helps raise consumer awareness on identity fraud,” said Teddy De Rivera, executive vice president, Wells Fargo Internet Services Group. “We believe this research helps consumers become better informed about current fraud attempts and methods. At Wells Fargo protecting our customers and their information is a top priority. Wells Fargo has a dynamic, layered approach to Online Banking and Mobile Banking security that protect customers, their accounts and information and we continue to enhance our systems and processes as electronic banking evolves.”

In addition to using comprehensive controls and procedures to protect customers’ funds and information, Wells Fargo advises everyone to take an active role in protecting their personal and account information. Here are seven tips:

  1. Don’t Over-Share Information on Social Media Sites: Social networks may encourage people to share information that should be kept private. Avoid sharing personal details such as your birthday, your mother’s maiden name, your pet’s name, or names of high schools you attended through social networking sites. Keep your mobile and home phone numbers, email address, and home address private.

  2. Monitor Your Financial Records & Accounts on a Regular Basis: Make sure you receive statements on time and when scheduled. Review account records and statements to verify that the correct owners are listed. Consider using electronic tools such as alerts sent to your email address or mobile device to stay abreast of your account activity. Use online and mobile banking to view a snapshot of your accounts. In addition to monitoring bank accounts, consumers should also be monitoring their credit reports. Wells Fargo makes available an optional credit monitoring service called Identity Theft Protection, which includes up to $10,000 in identity theft insurance, a personal credit report and triple-bureau quarterly updates (restrictions apply, refer to terms and conditions).

  3. Report Fraud Incidents to the Authorities: Nearly half of all fraud victims surveyed in the Javelin survey filed a police report, resulting in more arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of fraudsters and identity thieves than in the prior year. To help consumers keep track of who they have contacted, Wells Fargo offers an Identity Theft Repair Kit, which includes checklists of steps for resolving identity theft and resolution worksheets with phone numbers for Wells Fargo, credit bureaus and other agencies.

  4. Be in the Business of Protecting Your Information:Small business owners should be vigilant: separate accounting responsibilities, making payables and receivables processing different work positions; protect all accounting documents by locking away check stock, signature equipment, invoices and critical account information; and monitor the movement of employees, vendors and contractors in and out of your offices. Reconcile and monitor account activity frequently. Examine bank statements punctually.

  5. Go Electronic with online access: Regular account review using online banking can help identify fraudulent transactions sooner. Wells Fargo customers can set up automatic alerts to help detect potential fraud more quickly.

  6. Think Defensively: Make sure all of your computers’ anti-virus software is up-to-date. Also install browser, operating systems and software updates as soon as they are available. Use automatic alerts to stay on top of account activity. When making purchases online, ensure the website address starts with https://... The “s” helps ensure that your information will be passed along in a secure manner. Use legitimate sources to contact Wells Fargo:
    • Type https://www.wellsfargo.com into a web browser and clicking on the "Contact Us" link.
    • Call 800-869-3557 for Wells Fargo customer service.
    • Find official contact information on online or paper bank statements from Wells Fargo.
    • Confirm the telephone number by cross-checking it with the phone number on the back of your ATM, debit or credit card.

  7. Be Savvy with Mobile Devices: Never disclose personal information, such as account numbers, passwords, or any combination of sensitive information through text message, email, or over the phone. If a mobile banking application seems suspicious, web-enabled mobile phone users can bookmark and visit WF.com, Wells Fargo’s official mobile banking site.

“We encourage all of our customers to take advantage of Wells Fargo’s tools and services that allow them to monitor their accounts the way they want,” said Lisa H. Robinson, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Internet Services Group. “We want to underscore the importance of customers checking their accounts regularly, whether they’re reviewing online or paper statements, using mobile banking to see a snapshot* of account information, or viewing account information at the ATM.”

Wells Fargo also provides Hands on Banking, a free, interactive program that explains the essentials of money management and features lessons on how customers can protect themselves and keep their information secure. The program offers a special course targeted to young adults. In addition, Wells Fargo's Fraud Information Center (https://www.wellsfargo.com/privacy_security/fraud), located on Wells Fargo’s public web site, provides fraud awareness, prevention tips, and resolution tools for all consumers to learn about fraud.

Wells Fargo has a tradition of helping consumers protect themselves against fraud and, if necessary, resolve it. In addition to supporting the Identity Theft Survey Report from Javelin Strategy & Research since it began in 2003, Wells Fargo is a founding member of ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center. In addition, Wells Fargo along with Bank of America, BB&T and JP Morgan Chase formed Early Warning Services, to help eliminate fraud in financial systems. Established as a trusted source for strategic fraud management, Early Warning Services facilitates the secure exchange of information and knowledge between organizations for the sole purpose of preventing fraud. Wells Fargo also partners with the Anti-Phishing Working Group, and law enforcement, as necessary.

Wells Fargo Online uses a combination of front-end (e.g. encryption, security questions, out-of-band two-factor authentication called Advanced Access, timed log-offs, individualized username and password, account alerts) and back-end controls (e.g. real-time risk analysis, computer fingerprinting, continuous surveillance and technology updates, powerful firewalls) for a safe and secure website. These measures are highlighted in the How We Protect You section of the web site (https://www.wellsfargo.com/privacy_security/online/protect).

Wells Fargo guarantees that its customers will be covered for 100% of the funds in their Wells Fargo account in the unlikely event that someone the customer has not authorized removes those funds through Wells Fargo Online® or Wells Fargo Business Online®. Customers are responsible for protecting their password and account information and for providing prompt notification of an unauthorized transaction. Mobile Banking is also covered by our Online Security Guarantee. Visit Online Security Guarantee to learn more.

About Wells Fargo Online & Mobile Banking
Wells Fargo is a leading provider of online and mobile financial services for individual consumers, small and middle market businesses, and large corporations with a full range of banking, money movement, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk management products. Wells Fargo launched its personal computer banking service in 1989 and was the first bank to offer Internet banking through wellsfargo.com in May 1995. Wells Fargo has been named the No. 1 Consumer Internet Bank in North America by Global Finance magazine (November 2009), earned an “A” grade from ABI Research for Wells Fargo Mobile. ABI evaluated and graded mobile banking offerings from 29 U.S. banks in four categories — reach, breadth of services offered, security, and discoverability of mobile banking services and consumer information. (September 2009); ranked the No. 1 website out of 68 leading U.S. corporations' websites for technology innovation by the Brookings Institution (July 2009) and was awarded two Monarch Innovation Awards by Barlow Research for online services for small business, including Foreign Exchange Online and My Spending Report with Budget Watch (February 2009).

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.

*Which may not include all of a customer’s outstanding transactions.