Handling an Account Takeover Attempt

Account Takeover

An account takeover is similar to identity theft. The difference is that the fraudster takes over an active account rather than opening new accounts in the victim’s name. The fraudster has all the necessary information to access the existing account and use it in a fraudulent way.  If you suspect someone is trying to takeover your account(s), there are several steps you can take to minimize and prevent further damage.

Steps to Take:

  • Immediately cease all activity from computer systems that may be compromised. Disconnect the network connections to isolate the system from remote access.
  • Immediately contact your financial institution and request assistance with the following actions:
    • Disable online access to accounts. Change online banking passwords.
    • Open new accounts as appropriate.
    • Request the financial institution's agent review all recent transactions and electronic authorizations on the account.
    • Ensure no one has requested an address change, title change, or PIN change, or ordered new cards, checks, or other account documents to be sent to another address.
  • Maintain a written chronology of what happened, what was lost, and the steps taken to report the incident to the various agencies, banks, and firms impacted. Be sure to record the date, time, contact telephone number, person spoken to, and any relevant report or reference number and instructions.
  • File a police report and provide the facts and circumstances surrounding the financial loss.
  • Obtain a police report number with the date, time, department, location, and officer's name taking the report or involved in the subsequent investigation.
  • Having a police report on file will often facilitate dealing with insurance companies, banks, and other establishments that may be the recipient of fraudulent activity.
  • The police report may initiate a law enforcement investigation into the loss with the goal of identifying, arresting, and prosecuting the offender and possibly recovering losses.

The above is for information purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice.