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Frequently Asked Questions about Fraud

 

Following are some frequently asked questions about online fraud and identity theft.

What is "phishing"?

Many financial institutions and companies that conduct business on the Internet, including SunTrust, have become the target of a form of online fraud called "phishing"(sounds like "fishing"). Phishes usually take the form of unsolicited emails or pop-up Web pages. To make the phishes look official, scammers often include image and logos from legitimate companies. Learn more about phishing.

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What is identity theft?

Identity theft is a serious crime where people try to illegally use your personal information. You can learn more about identity theft with the SunTrust Online Fraud and Identity Theft Guide.

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How can I protect myself from online fraud?

You can help protect yourself from online fraud and identity theft by being careful with your personal and account information. Never provide your confidential information in response to unsolicited emails and pop-up Web pages. You can also download our Online Fraud and Identity Theft Guide, which includes tips on how to help protect your personal and account information.

For more information on how to safeguard your computers and personal information, review the online educational tool on FDIC's Web site.

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How is SunTrust protecting its clients from online fraud?

SunTrust is committed to protecting the security of your accounts and your identity. The security of our clients' accounts and personal information is our highest priority. We have a team dedicated to online fraud and we are working with law enforcement agencies, industry groups, and other financial institutions to help minimize the impact of online fraud. We have aggressive processes, policies and technologies in place to help us fight these scams. We're also proactively communicating with our employees and our clients about online fraud. See our latest alerts on online fraud here.

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Has SunTrust been the target of online fraud?

Many financial institutions and companies that conduct business on the Internet, including SunTrust, have become the target of a form of online fraud called "phishing"(sounds like "fishing"). We're aware of online fraudulent activities and have aggressive policies in place to fight online fraud. We have a team dedicated to online fraud and we are working with law enforcement agencies, industry groups, and other financial institutions to help minimize the impact of online fraud. We're also proactively communicating with our employees and our clients about online fraud. See the latest online fraud alerts here.

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How do scammers clone the SunTrust Web site?

The nature of the software used to browse the Internet causes images to be downloaded to each computer. Thus, images of SunTrust's Web site - as well as other Web sites - can be copied. We're proactively taking steps to make this process more difficult through the use of sophisticated technology that attempts to identify unusual or suspicious activity related to the SunTrust Web site.

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Is the SunTrust Web site secure?

We use secure transmission mechanisms to encrypt communications that contain your confidential information. The encryption helps prevent information from being intercepted by third parties. In addition, we use safety measures such as firewalls and pass codes to protect your accounts. Learn more about how we help protect you here.

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How do I know if the Web site is really a SunTrust Web site?

By typing the URL into your browser or using a bookmark that you previously created, you ensure that you've reached a SunTrust Web site.

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How did the scammer get my email address?

Scammers can purchase email lists through legitimate or illegitimate sources or randomly generate email addresses using computers. We assure you that your email was not obtained from SunTrust. SunTrust does not sell personal or account information - including email addresses.

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How can I prevent receiving these fraudulent emails?

Keep anti-spam, anti-spy ware and anti-virus filtering software up to date on your computers. This may reduce the number of fraudulent emails you receive. You can purchase this software through retailers such as Wal*Mart, Target and Best Buy, as well as online providers such as Symantec and McAfee.

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Where can I report a suspicious or fraudulent email or Web site for your review?
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How do I know if the email is from SunTrust?

Fraudulent emails often include logos and images from our Web site. The important thing to remember is that SunTrust will never send unsolicited emails to clients asking to provide, update or verify personal or account information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, PINs, credit or check card numbers, or other confidential information. If you did not initiate the email communication with us, you should not provide any confidential information. You can securely communicate with us by email when you log into online banking or through our secure contact form.

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Do I really have an account with SunTrust?

Please call 800.SUNTRUST and speak with a customer service representative. A representative will be able to answer your question after validating certain information.

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Should I be concerned about someone stealing my identity?

Identity theft is dangerous because it can remain hidden for a relatively long time before it's identified. SunTrust is committed to protecting your account and identity. You can learn more about online fraud and identity theft with our Online Fraud and Identity Theft Guide.

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If thieves obtain my information, how can I ensure that they do not steal more of my money when I change my account/check card numbers?

Please be reassured that no further activity can take place on a closed Check Card or account. In the future, you can take preventive measures by never providing your personal information in response to unsolicited requests by email or pop up Web pages. You should also use caution when disclosing personal or account information in response to unsolicited phone calls.

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Can the scammers open new accounts with my Social Security number?

Your Social Security number is one of the key pieces of your identity. That's why it's so important to use caution when disclosing your Social Security number. If you have disclosed your Social Security number in response to an email or Web site that you suspect is fraudulent, you should follow these steps immediately:

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I can't remember if I responded to an email or Web site asking for my information. What should I do?

Closely monitor your accounts for any suspicious or fraudulent activity. You can monitor your SunTrust accounts through online banking. You should also request your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies:

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How can you verify that no one from SunTrust has "sold" my email address to a scammer?

SunTrust does not sell personal or account information - including email addresses. Your email was not obtained from SunTrust. Scammers can purchase email lists through legitimate or illegitimate sources or randomly generate email addresses using computer software. You can learn more about SunTrust's email practices here.

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Why does the link in the fraudulent email take me to your Web site?

Fraudulent emails will often include URLs or links that look like they take you to a SunTrust Web site. Scammers are able to hide the real URL, so it's difficult to tell that the link is taking you to a fraudulent Web page. In addition, the email may also include the SunTrust logo or images from our Web site. Please remember that we will never send unsolicited emails asking clients to provide, update or verify personal or account information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, PINs, credit or check card numbers, or other confidential information.

In some cases, if you click on a link in an email, it may take you to the SunTrust Web page and a new window will pop up. Do not enter information into these pop-up windows. These are fraudulent as well. To protect yourself, never click on links in emails and do not disclose personal or account information to unsolicited emails or pop-up Web pages.

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Will I get any of my money back?

SunTrust will do everything it can to help you get your money back. To start the process of recovering your losses, you may be asked to complete an Affidavit of Fraudulent Activity. This form must be completed as instructed by the investigator and returned to SunTrust. Once SunTrust receives the affidavit back, the investigation can continue, and you will be informed of the outcome. Depending on the type of claim and the specific details of the case, we may also need additional documents, such as:

By following these steps and promptly completing and returning the forms we send you, we can better help you protect your accounts and identity.

To help prevent fraudulent activities on your account, we strongly recommend that you close your compromised SunTrust account and open a new one. Our staff members are happy to assist you with this process at any branch.
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Has anyone notified the Fed?

The federal government is aware of these Internet scams and is working with financial institutions to minimize the negative impact of online fraud. You can visit the Federal Trade Commission's Web site at ftc.gov and select the "Theft ID" link on the left side of the Web page for more information. You can also visit fdic.gov and select the "Consumer Protection" link to learn more about how you can help protect yourself against online fraud.

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Who has access to my accounts?

Only a core group of SunTrust employees are given access to your information. Our strict protocols state that only employees who have prior permission, proper training, and the necessary credentials have the ability to see your finances and serve you.

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How did someone get my information?

Identity thieves look for pieces of your personal information. Here are just a few ways in which thieves might obtain your identity:

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