Avoid Fraud, Identity Theft

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IID wishes to alert customers that fraudulent scams are being reported by utility consumers across the nation. In many cases, unscrupulous individuals posing as utility employees attempt to contact customers—over the phone (including cell phone), in person or through email—and threaten to turn off their electricity if the customer does not immediately provide financial information.

If you are contacted by anyone who threatens something like this, it is likely fraudulent activity. IID does not proactively contact residential customers and ask for credit card information over the phone. If your electric account is delinquent, IID will notify you—in writing—before your service is shut-off for non-payment.

If you receive a phone call that makes you feel uncomfortable, IID encourages you to call the district directly at 1-800-303-7756 where you can speak with a representative about your account and verify if IID was attempting to contact you.

To protect your identity and avoid being the victim of fraud, IID advises customers to not provide financial information over the phone, email or in any other fashion, unless you initiated the conversation.

Tips to avoid fraud
Ask who’s calling and why. Telemarketers must tell you it’s a sales call, the name of the seller and what they’re selling before they make their pitch. If they don’t, say “no thanks,” and get off the phone.
Consider why are you are being asked to "confirm" your information. Some callers have your billing information before they call you. They’re trying to get you to say “okay” so they can claim you approved a charge.
Limit your calls. Place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry at 1-888-382-1222.
Do not share personal information. This especially goes for your bank or credit card number, social security number, address or Medicare number.
Get it in writing. Before you make a purchase or donation over the phone, ask the caller to send you written material. If they do not have your address, do not give it to them.
Talk it over. Do not agree to buy anything, donate or subscribe to any service without talking it over with someone you know and trust.
Report it. Reporting fraudulent callers to the appropriate law enforcement authorities is critical. To report phone fraud, visit FTC.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Identity Theft 
If you think you're a victim of identity theft, you need to take these steps immediately:
Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports, and review them carefully. The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts.
Close the affected accounts. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
File a police report. This is an essential step in claiming your rights.
Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the country in their investigations.

Avoid Email Fraud
Phishing email messages, websites, and phone calls are designed to steal money. Cybercriminals can do this by installing malicious software on your computer or stealing personal information off of your computer.

Here are some red flags:
Spelling and bad grammar. Cybercriminals are not known for their grammar and spelling. Professional companies or organizations usually have a staff of copy editors who will not allow a mass email, poorly written, go out to its users. If you notice mistakes in an email, it might be a scam.

Beware of links in email. If you see a link in a suspicious email message, don't click on it. Rest your mouse (but don't click) on the link to see if the address matches the link that was typed in the message.

Links might also lead you to .exe files. These kinds of file are known to spread malicious software.

Threats. Have you ever received a threat that your account would be closed if you didn't respond to an email message?  Cybercriminals often use threats that your security has been compromised.

To report phone fraud, visit http://ftc.gov/or call 1-877-FTC-HELP

To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.

More information is available at:

https://www.alarms.org/guide-for-identity-theft-protection/

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt01.shtm

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft

*Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports