At American Express, we work hard to protect you from fraud, but your active involvement plays a very important role. Here are some simple and important steps you can take to help reduce your risk:
- Monitor Your Account Activity Online
Accessing your account online is a great way to stay up to date on recent charges and monitor your account for irregular activity. If you have not already, click here to set up your online account.
- Review Your Credit Report Regularly
Make sure to regularly review your Credit Report for any inaccurate information, or transactions that you did not authorize.
- Create Unique Passwords and Personal Identification Numbers
When creating your User ID, password and personal identification number, avoid using easy-to-find information such as your date of birth, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Also, be sure to use different passwords across all your banking, email and social media accounts, and consider updating all of your passwords regularly.
- Bookmark the Sites You Visit Most in your "Favorites"
Get in the habit of bookmarking and using your "Favorites" to navigate to the websites you use to manage your financial transactions. This can help you to safeguard against phishing scams.
- Go Paperless
Help reduce the risk of mail fraud by switching to Paperless Statements, which are accessible securely online through your password-protected AmericanExpress.com account. Click here to enroll in Paperless today.
- Secure Your Personal Information
Keep your sensitive personal information such as bank, mortgage, and credit card statements, Social Security cards, and other documents and passwords, in a safe place (accessible to only you), both at home and at work. Shred these documents before discarding.
Before disclosing any personal information, make sure you know why it is required and how it will be used. Do not give out your social security number to people or companies that you do not know. Be careful of over sharing personal information on social networks to avoid creating a trail of information that thieves can use.
- When Using Travelers Cheque and Gift Cheques
You should contact American Express at 1-800-525-7641 if any of the following circumstances occur:
- You are asked to accept Travelers Cheques or Gift Cheques but did not watch the Cheque holder countersign in the lower left-hand corner, or if the Cheque is unsigned.
- You are asked to cash or accept Gift Cheques in denominations of $500 or $1,000. The maximum denomination of an authentic Gift Cheque is $100, so any Gift Cheque with a denomination of more than $100 is a fake.
- The Cheques are offered by someone you met online or from someone you know mostly through e-mail communications.
- You receive the Cheques by mail.
- You are asked to wire, send or ship funds from cashed Cheques, especially if the return address is a large U.S. city or another country.
When in doubt, check with American Express; we can validate the authenticity of a Cheque quickly and anonymously.
- Avoid Giving Out Personal Information Over the Phone
Identity thieves often pose as a representative of a recognized organization and contact you to "verify" your account information. In particular, you should look out for this if you are not the one who initiated the phone call.
If you are contacted by someone who claims to be from American Express, you can always verify their legitimacy by instead calling the number on the back of your Card and entering your account number. If it's a legitimate call, you will be routed to the appropriate department for assistance.
- Carry Only The Information You Need
Only bring the credit cards you need, and avoid carrying your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport, except when necessary.
- Traveling? Have the Postal Service Hold Your Mail
Have the Postal Service hold your mail if you plan to be away for any period of time. Since identity thieves have been known to obtain personal information by collecting an individual's mail, be sure to remove your incoming mail from your mailbox promptly, and always place outgoing mail in certified post office collection boxes.
- Sometimes, New Card Applications are pending because of fraud concerns and you may receive a phone call from 866-379-3643, so that we may better assist.
If You Are a Victim
If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft, inform American Express as soon as possible by contacting the number on the back of your Card.
Also visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website for step-by-step guidelines on how to repair the damage caused by identity theft.