SAN FRANCISCO - February 8, 2011
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) offers tips to help people keep fraud prevention top-of-mind as encouraging findings are released in the new 2011 Identity Fraud Survey Report from Javelin Strategy & Research, an independent industry research firm. The study found that the number of reported identity fraud incidents in 2010 declined 28 percent over 2009.
"Wells Fargo has a long commitment of educating people about fraud and helping them protect themselves,” said Secil Watson, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Internet Services Group. “We offer tips, the Fraud Information Center, and we co-sponsor the Javelin Strategy & Research Identity Fraud Survey Report as part of this commitment. We'd like to see continued declines in reported fraud and we want to underscore the importance of people's continued vigilance in protecting their accounts and personal financial information.”
- Keep updated: Keep your computer operating system up-to-date to ensure the highest level of protection. Help protect your computers with regular anti-virus software updates.
- Change passwords: It’s a good idea to regularly change your online banking passwords. Be sure your online banking username and password differ from those used on other websites.
- Use official apps: Mobile banking applications, or "apps," are programs you can download to your mobile device. To ensure the safety of your personal and account information, download mobile apps from reputable sources only. If you have suspicions about the authenticity of a mobile banking app, web-enabled mobile phone users can bookmark and visit the company's official mobile banking site, including wf.com.
- Go paperless and monitor: According to Javelin Strategy & Research, fraudsters continue to use traditional methods to gather information, including paper mail that may contain account numbers or other confidential information. Wells Fargo's multi-layered approach to online and mobile banking security makes going paperless - through bill pay and online statements - good alternatives to paper.
- Sign up for alerts: Keep a close watch on your finances to quickly spot suspicious activity. Wells Fargo offers many types of alerts, such as a low balance alert that tells you when your account balance falls below your chosen amount. Based on customer preferences, alerts can be sent through email or to a mobile device for quick notification. In addition, Wells Fargo Visa credit card customers can sign up for Rapid Alerts to be alerted near real-time when their cards are used.
- Review credit report: At least once a year, check your credit report for any suspicious or unauthorized activity.
- Be careful what you disclose: If you’re suspicious about a request for your personal information that you've received through an email, text message, website, by mail or phone, first verify the request. Use a legitimate source to confirm the request by calling the number listed on the company's website, billing statement, or on the back of the debit or credit card. Never share your mother’s maiden name, Social Security number, bank account numbers, or account usernames and passwords. Keep your phone number and home address private so they can't be collected.
- Store a copy of your personal & financial information in a secure location: Take a moment to inventory or photocopy the personal and financial information you carry in your purse or wallet, including items such as your driver’s license and credit cards. Store this list in a secure location. This important step will help you know whom to contact if your wallet or purse is ever lost or stolen.
In addition to a dynamic, layered security approach to online, mobile, and overall banking, Wells Fargo provides a variety of tools and services to help customers monitor their accounts and protect their information. Wells Fargo makes its Fraud Information Center available to everyone on wellsfargo.com.
Find tools and resources: In addition to free tools and resources to help reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft, the Fraud Information Center features the Identity Theft Repair Kit.
This kit includes a checklist for resolving identity theft and resolution worksheets with phone numbers for Wells Fargo, credit bureaus, and other agencies.
Wells Fargo Insurance also offers a comprehensive service called Identity Theft Protection, provided by Trilegiant Corporation, which includes up to $10,000 in identity theft insurance, a personal credit report, regular triple-bureau credit updates, and ongoing monitoring that helps customers manage their credit and alerts them to activities that may indicate identity theft (restrictions and deductibles apply, refer to terms and conditions).
"Wells Fargo is committed to providing our customers with the resources they need to protect their assets and decrease their chances of identity fraud” said Robert Dudacek, Wells Fargo Insurance senior vice president and Direct Response Group manager. “Educating consumers on how identity fraud can happen and the ways in which they can better protect themselves is critical. This report provides valuable information and resources on fraud prevention and Wells Fargo is pleased to help make it available.”
For more fraud prevention tips and information, visit Wells Fargo's Fraud Information Center. Wells Fargo also provides consumers with quick and easy access to online educational tools and resources through its Financial Education Center.
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.
Wells Fargo cardholders are protected by our Zero Liability protection. This means that a cardholder is not liable for any unauthorized transactions made at merchants, over the phone, on the Internet or at the ATM, when promptly reported.
About Wells Fargo Online, Mobile & Text 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. As of Q4 2010, Wells Fargo has 18.3 million active online customers and 4.7 million active mobile customers. Global Finance Magazine ranked Wells Fargo Best Consumer Internet Bank and Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Bank in North America (November 2010). Wells Fargo won the 2010 Future Mobile Award from Juniper Research (August 2010). Wells Fargo’s mobile banking services earned a Gold ranking in the Javelin Strategy & Research “2010 Mobile Banking Scorecard” (August 2010). In addition, Wells Fargo ranked #1 overall in the Keynote Fourth Quarter 2010 Mortgage scorecard.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With approximately 280,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.