Fraud Prevention Tips

General Tips

  • Never give out financial or personal information about yourself to anyone via the telephone, email or any other method of communication when you don’t know with whom you are dealing.
  • Every home should have a shredder; do NOT throw financial or personal documents (bank statements, income tax returns, ATM receipts, for example) in the garbage, but rather ensure that they are shredded.
  • Review your credit report at least once a year, looking for suspicious or unknown transactions. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. Use a different agency at three different times during the year so that you are continually monitoring your credit history.
    • Equifax: 1-800-685-5000 or www.equifax.com
    • Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com
    • TransUnion: 1-877-322-8228 or www.transunion.com
  • Always remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Online Transactions and Email

  • Be wary of suspicious emails. Never open attachments, click on links or respond to emails from suspicious or unknown senders. Remember, neither financial institutions nor businesses will send you unsolicited emails asking you to supply your account or password information.
  • Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources.
  • Do not use your Social Security number or any account number as a username or password. Change your passwords regularly and use combinations of letters, numbers and “special characters.”
  • Use secure websites for transactions and shopping. Make sure Internet purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account information. Look for “secure transaction” symbols like a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your web browser window, or https:// in the address bar of the website. The “s” indicates “secured” and means the web page uses encryption.
  • Always log off from any website after making a purchase with your credit or debit card. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
  • Keep your computer operating system and web browser up-to-date to ensure the highest level of protection.
  • Install, run and keep antivirus software updated.
  • Turn your computer off completely when you are finished using it – don’t leave it in sleep mode.
  • Conduct online banking activities on secure computers only. Public computers (computers at Internet cafes, copy centers, etc.) should be used with caution, due to shared use and possible tampering. Online banking activities and viewing or downloading documents (statements, etc.) should only be conducted on a computer you know to be safe and secure.

Debit and Credit Cards

  • Do not send your card or account number through email, as it is typically not secure.
  • Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • When selecting a personal identification number (PIN), don’t use any number or word that appears in your wallet (such as name, birth date or phone number).
  • Memorize your PIN. Don’t write it down anywhere, especially on your card, and never share it with anyone.

As always, you can contact us if you have any questions or concerns.