Avoid Being Reeled in by E-mail “Phishing” Scam
Fraudulent “Phishing” expeditions reel in millions of people each day with communications designed to trick them into divulging personal, financial or account information. Phishing scams can snag the personal data that define an individual’s financial existence in today’s world. This critical identity data includes account and credit card information and social security number. Unlawful appropriation of this material by Phishing scams constitutes what is known as identity theft. These bogus e-mails often create a false sense of urgency designed to provoke consumers to take immediate action. For example, phishing emails will often instruct you to “validate” or “update” account information or face cancellation of your account. If you ever have concerns about the legitimacy of an e-mail that purports to be from UltraProducts.com, you should visit the phishing page in the Fraud Protection Center on the UltraProducts.com web site. If you are still uncertain, you may forward the e-mail to privacy@UltraProducts.com.
To ensure the security of your account, please send all other inquiries through our Secure Message Center at http://www.UltraProducts.com/sectors/help/contactus.asp. If clicking on this link does not work, please cut and paste the link into the "address" bar of a new browser window. We are unable to respond to account inquiries sent in reply to this e-mail.
You may also contact us offline at:
7795 West Flagler Street, Suite 35
Miami, FL 33144
For details on our e-mail practices, please visit the UltraProducts.com Privacy Statement.
© 2005 UltraProducts.com Company. All rights reserved.
Advice on Identity Theft Prevention
UltraProducts.com representatives are available Monday to Friday from 7am - 1am ET and Saturday to Sunday from 8am - Midnight ET to provide steps to help you prevent identity theft and offer advice on how to recover should you become a victim.
Overview – What is Phishing
Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) refers to deceptive communications designed to trick consumers into revealing personal, financial or account information, including account user name and password, credit card information, and social security number. E-mail is most commonly used for phishing due to its low cost, greater anonymity for the sender, the ability to reach a large target group instantly, and the potential to solicit an immediate response. However, fraudsters have also used online pop-up windows, direct mail and phone calls. Phishing e-mails often appear to come from legitimate financial institutions, insurance companies or retailers. Techniques such as a false "from" address, the use of seemingly authentic logos from financial institutions, or Web links and graphics may be used to mislead consumers into believing that they are dealing with a legitimate request for personal information. These fraudulent e-mails often create a false sense of urgency intended to provoke the recipient to take immediate action; for example, phishing e-mails frequently instruct recipients to "validate" or "update" account information or face cancellation. For more information on phishing and how to protect yourself, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.
How to Contact UltraProducts.com about Fraudulent E-mails
If you receive an e-mail that you believe could be fraudulent, immediately forward it to privacy@UltraProducts.com. Please do not remove the original subject line, or change the email in any way when you forward it to us. Please note that any submissions to this e-mail address will result in an auto-generated reply to notify you that we have received your e-mail. If we find it to be fraudulent, we will immediately take appropriate action.
Also, make sure that you immediately change any passwords and continue to monitor your account activities.
We Protect Your Privacy and Personal Information
How You Can Also Take the Initiative to Protect Your Vital Info
Criminal phishers often create a sense of urgency to provoke you to take action immediately. There is no need to respond instantly to an e-mail request. First, consider carefully whether the business in question would have sent you the request. If you are in doubt as to whether or not an e-mail is legitimate, do not respond to it. If the questionable e-mail offers a link asking you to provide personal information on a web page, do not click on the link, even if it looks genuine. In any cases of uncertainty, a safe alternative is to contact the company in question directly through familiar communications channels, such as the phone number provided on a billing statement or credit card. You can also log into the secure message center of the company's website.
All likelihood, phishing will continue to evolve into the use of more sophisticated tactics. For this reason, it is important to always think twice before you provide any personal information.
Fraud Protection Center
How Thieves Snatch Your Identity
Like grave robbers skulking around in the dark, criminals creep about in the ether world of cyberspace to snatch what’s near and dear to you. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name or personal information, such as your Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, telephone number or other account numbers, without your permission. Identity thieves use this information to open credit accounts, bank accounts, telephone service accounts, and make major purchases—all in your name. Information can be used to take over your existing accounts, or to open new accounts. Identity theft can result in damage to your credit rating and denials of credit and job offers. Worse, it can literally destroy your life. You can go to sleep one night with a full line of credit but no debt and wake up in the morning to find out you’re in a hole so big you might not be able to climb out of it.
How Does Identity Theft Happen?
Following are two examples of how identity theft can occur. These are not the only ways in which you can lose pieces of your identity to crooks, but we’ve selected two very common scams, both of which hit close to home.
It sounds almost like an Olympic event in an alternative world, but dumpster diving is serious business for the folks who are lurking in your neighborhood, waiting for an opportunity to rip you off. Here’s how dumpster divers operate:
Imagine one evening, you sit down watch TV. At the first commercial break you decide it’s time to pay a few bills. So you write your checks, throw away what you don’t need and go back to late night television, knowing that you’ve earned the right to relax for a spell. So you toss the paper into the recycle bin and put it on the curb for the morning’s trash pick-up. While you sleep, a shadowy presence hides behind the bushes, waiting for the opportunity to rifle through your trash, to find the goodies he’ll need to live high off the hog at your expense. These nasty “dumpster-divers” go through your trash looking for the papers you’ve thrown away. They discover a gold mine of information that can be used for fraudulent purposes—your name, address, phone number, utility service account numbers, credit card numbers, and your Social Security number.
Information Highway Robbery
Your Internet Provider (ISP) sends you an urgent message requesting that you update the information they have on file about you—your name, credit card number, bank account number, etc.—by replying to the email or going to a specific Web site address to provide the information. For all appearances, the email looks legitimate. The logos and graphic design of the attachment looks genuine, giving you a sense of security. You can trust these folks. However, neither the message nor the Web site address is from your ISP. They belong to a criminal who’s out to snatch your information to steal your identity.
Preserve Your Identity
Don’t let crooks take your identity from you! You’ve worked hard for your money, and you don’t have to fall prey to the criminals who work equally hard to steal what you’ve earned. Following are some rules you should follow to protect your vital financial and personal information against phishers and others who are angling to steal your identity.
- Do not give out your Social Security number to people or companies that you don’t know. Before disclosing any personal information, make sure you know why it is required and how it will be used. Make sure, to the best of your ability, that the entity who asks for this information is legitimate.
- Do not carry extra credit cards, your birth certificate or passport, or other cards that display your Social Security number in your wallet or purse, except when necessary.
- Shared information you no longer need that contains personally
identifiable information and account numbers. For example, credit
card receipts, billing statements and pre-approved credit offers
should be shredded before you discard them.
- Keep the personal information you have at home and at work in a safe place.
- Create unique passwords and personal identification numbers (PINS) and avoid using easily available information such as mother’s maiden name, date of birth, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Use passwords on your banking and brokerage accounts.
- Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies at least once a year. Review the reports to be sure no one else is using your identity to open new accounts or to use your existing accounts.