Tools To Protect Yourself From Scams

BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION

The security of your money and identity is as important to us as it is to you and it is a shared responsibility to protect it – both on and offline.  Understanding the risks and knowing how fraudsters might trick you is a critical step in protecting your assets and your good name.

1. Be cautious and suspicious of ANY request for money, passwords, account numbers or other confidential information – no matter how urgent or where it seems to be coming from.

2. Monitor your accounts. Check your credit report for accuracy at least once a year for free. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228. Use Online Banking and Mobile Banking.

3. Protect Your Information

 

TOOLS TO PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER AND MOBILE DEVICE:

  • Virus Management: After installing your antivirus and antispyware, be sure to run and update it regularly which helps protect against malware. Watch for signs of spyware—frequent pop up ads, unexpected icons on your desktop, random error messages or sluggish computer performance are all signs of infection. Use a personal firewall that is not only installed but turned on at all times.
  • Think before you click. Even the most innocent email attachments can be infected with computer malware.
  • The best way to ensure your operating system is current is to turn on automatic updates. Use an updated and current browser and pop up blocker and up-to-date versions of all other software and apps on your system.
  • Strong passwords on all critical Internet applications that are changed at least every 90 days.
  • Protect your password. Guard your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for your ATM and credit cards, and don’t write on or keep your PINs with your cards.
  • Be wary of sharing too much personal information on social networking web sites.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM VISHING AND OTHER TELEPHONE SCAMS

Many thieves use the telephone to commit fraud. These criminals are looking for unsuspecting individuals who will give them important information, like Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, credit card numbers or bank account numbers. Once they have your information, they use it to make fraudulent purchases, obtain credit or to access bank accounts.

  • Never offer personal or account information over the phone to anyone who has called you.
  • Hang up if they ask for personal information or if you receive a call asking you to provide personal information to win a prize.
  • If you are uncertain of the identity of a caller, hang up and initiate the call yourself using a known phone number.
  • Do not call any phone number received in a voice message or email asking for personal information. It could lead you to a phony answering system.
  • Remember that Monroe Bank & Trust will never call you and ask for your personal information over the phone.

TOOLS TO PROTECT YOUR MAIL AND PERSONAL INFORMATION

Financial information, checks, monthly bills, account and credit card statements can be stolen from your home, mailbox or even from your trash, and used to access your accounts and steal your identity.

  • Go paperless with Online Banking.  Sign up for electronic statements, direct deposit and Bill Pay.
  • Shred checking and credit card statements, cancelled checks, pre-approved credit card offers, or anything with your personal information on it before disposal. Keep track of credit card, debit card and ATM receipts. Never throw them out in the trash, or if you do, shred them.
  • If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to direct your information to his or her address.
  • Place your garbage out on the morning of pickup rather than the night before. This gives dumpster divers less opportunity to go through your trash.
  • Place out-going mail in an official, secure mailbox.
  • Store your mail, bank statements, and other papers where they are out of sight and out of reach of anyone who might be in your home.
  • Check your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement for suspicious activity. It usually comes in the mail about three months before your birthday.
  • Keep legal documents, such as your birth certificate, locked in a secure place.
  • Take care when using ATM machines to shield the keyboard from view when you enter your PIN. Someone could look over your shoulder, memorize your PIN, and use it to gain access to your information later.
  • Don’t pre-print your driver’s license, telephone or Social Security numbers on your checks. Don’t carry your Social Security card; leave it in a secure place. Minimize the amount of personal information a criminal can steal. Don’t carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport
  • Report lost or stolen checks, mobile device, credit and debit cards immediately.
  • Keep a list of all your card account numbers. Keep the list in a safe and secure place and include the telephone numbers to call if your cards are ever lost or stolen.
  • Limit the credit offers you receive by contacting the National Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies at 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688.)

Please contact us at 800-321-0032 immediately if you believe you have given out any personal information.

Send this to a friend