Types of fraud
Lottery and sweepstakes scams - Criminals mail so-called "official" notices declaring that you have won a lottery or sweepstakes. The mailing includes a check with the name of a legitimate business, but the check is counterfeit. The recipient is instructed to deposit the counterfeit check and deliver the proceeds to pay taxes or other expenses to redeem the prize. After the criminal has the money, the counterfeit check is discovered to be a fraud and the victim loses the money. If you receive a check that looks like it is from Genworth in connection with a "lottery", that check is counterfeit and part of this type of fraudulent scheme.
Mail fraud (advance-fee frauds) - Similar to the Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams, fake notices are mailed from other countries (oftentimes purporting to come from foreign officials) saying they have millions of dollars they would like to deposit into your bank account -- if you first provide them with bank account numbers, advance fees, etc.
Check scams - This involves the targeting of people who have placed ads in websites or magazines to sell items such as vehicles and property. For example, the scam artist calls the seller and offers to overpay for the item. The seller is sent a check for more than the purchase amount and is asked to forward the excess amount (often to an offshore location). The check can be personal, a cashier’s check or from a company. The buyer's check is eventually declined, and the seller is out the funds and the item that was “sold”.
Newspaper ad scams (“Fix Your Credit”) - Here, the fraud typically involves the use of small-circulation newspapers to publish fake classified ads (often stealing the name of a legitimate business) offering low interest rates or to repair credit. People who respond to the ads are asked to pay an advance fee or provide their personal information. If you see a classified ad that says someone from Genworth will help “fix your credit,” that is part of a scam. Do not respond to the ad (but do get in touch with us so we can help end the scam).
Inheritance scams - Criminals notify you, generally by mail, that you are the beneficiary of a will or have received an inheritance from a stranger. This is a type of Advance-Fee Fraud similar to the Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams. If you receive an "inheritance" check that says it is from Genworth, that check is counterfeit and part of a scam.
Dumpster diving - Thieves will rummage through trash looking for account statements and other financial or personal information that could be used to steal your money or your identity. You can protect against this behavior by properly disposing of your confidential information (for example, using a cross-cut shredder).
Plain old theft - Crooks steal purses and wallets with credit cards; they steal checkbooks; they steal mail and look for account numbers, letters offering pre-approved credit, and anything else of value.
Phishing - Someone “phishes” for your information by sending e-mails designed to appear as if they come from a legitimate source. They often will include company logos and trademarks as bait to lure the recipient into believing the e-mail is legitimate. The e-mail may even contain a link to a spoof copy of the legitimate website. E-mail recipients are asked to “update” personal information such as account numbers, social security numbers and passwords.
Pharming - A criminal "pharms" for your information by redirecting you to a sham website without your knowledge or consent. The sham website may look like the actual site you had intended to visit -- and likely will include legitimate company logos and trademarks. By duping you into believing the sham is legitimate, the aim is to get you to provide your confidential personal information such as account numbers, social security numbers and passwords.
Spyware, malware and computer viruses - These are computer programs loaded on to your computer, generally through the Internet and without your knowledge or consent. Some programs impair the performance of your computer, while others collect data that you type such as passwords, account numbers, etc.
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How to report fraud
Please contact us if you believe Genworth’s name was used in connection with:
- Any type of fraud,
- Any type of identity theft, or
- A suspicious email or telephone call from someone that you suspect to be falsely representing Genworth.
Please provide us with a copy of the email, letter and/or check or, if you were contacted by phone, the date and time of the call. You also should notify your local police department.
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Additional anti-fraud resources
To learn more about fraud and ways to protect your identity or report a consumer-type scam:
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Protecting yourself online
At Genworth, we have implemented technical, physical, and process safeguards to maintain the confidentiality of your information. Below are some areas where you can help protect yourself.
Protect your password
Keep your Genworth website username and password confidential to prevent unauthorized access to your account and personal information.
- Use a strong password that has at least 8 characters with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
- Do not share your password with anyone.
- Do not write your password down.
- Change your password on a regular basis.
- Do not use personal information, dictionary words, or easily guessed sequences as your password.
Healthy computing tips
- Install anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware security software on your home computer and make sure it is set to automatically receive updates.
- Keep your computer Operating System secure by setting it to receive automatic updates to apply the most recent patches and security fixes.
- Use a personal firewall on your home computer to block unwanted communication or unauthorized access.
- Avoid using free public wireless networks to access our secure websites, as you could expose your sensitive information to anyone using the same public wireless network.
- Do not click on links in unsolicited emails as they could download malware to your computer.
- Avoid opening or installing attachments from unknown or unsolicited email sources.
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