How to Protect Yourself Against Phishing

Phishing usually comes in the form of fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate sources. These ask customers to verify personal information or link to counterfeit Web sites that appear real.

Watch for emails that:

  • Urge you to act quickly because your account may be suspended or closed, or to update your personal information.
  • Don't address you by name, but use a more generic one like "Dear valued customer."
  • Ask for account numbers, passwords, Access IDs, or other personal information.
  • We will NEVER ask for sensitive information, such as account numbers, access IDs or passwords, via e-mail or over the telephone.

Tips from the American Bankers Association for safeguarding your information:

  • Do not give your Social Security number or other personal credit information about yourself to anyone who calls you.
  • Tear up receipts, bank statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
  • Keep an eye out for any missing mail.
  • Do not mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.
  • Review your monthly accounts regularly for any unauthorized charges.
  • Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure accuracy. You may call 1-877-322-8228 for a free credit report from any or all three credit reporting agencies.
  • Do business with companies you know are reputable, particularly online.
  • Do not open email from unknown sources and use virus detection software.
  • Protect your PINs (don’t carry them in your wallet!) and passwords; use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically.
  • Report any suspected FRAUD to your bank and the fraud units of the three credit reporting agencies immediately at the following numbers:
  • TransUnion: (800) 680-7289
    Experian: (888) 397-3742
    Equifax: (800) 525-6285

If you become a victim, contact:

We are committed to safeguarding our customers’ financial information. Maintaining our customers’ trust and confidence is a top priority. To learn more about how we protect your information, you may view our Privacy Statement by accessing it at the top of any page of our website. 

Identity Theft

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone acquires your personal information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. It is a serious crime and cases are growing. An all-too-common example is when an identity thief uses your personal information to open a credit card account in your name.

No matter how cautious you are, there is no way to completely prevent identity theft from occurring. But there are ways you can help minimize your risk. This page contains valuable information on how you can protect yourself by managing your personal information wisely, the warning signs of identity theft, and what to do if you do become a victim.

Helpful Tips

Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know whom you're dealing with.

  • Don't carry your Social Security card with you; leave it in a secure place. Carry only the identification and credit and debit cards that you need.
  • Don't put your address, phone number, or driver's license number on credit card sales receipts.
  • Social Security numbers or phone numbers should not be put on your checks.
  • Shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you're discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail.
  • Secure your credit card, bank, and phone accounts with passwords. Avoid using easily available information like birth date, the last four digits of your SSN, or your phone number. When opening new accounts, you may find that many businesses still have a line on their applications for your mother's maiden name. Use a password instead.
  • Secure personal information in your home, particularly if you have roommates or hire outside help.
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. If you're planning to be away from home and can't pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service to request a vacation hold.
  • Ask about information security procedures in your workplace. Find out who has access to your personal information and verify that records are kept in a secure location. Ask about the disposal procedures for those records as well.
  • Before revealing any personally identifying information (for example, on an application), find out how it will be used and secured, and whether it will be shared with others. Ask if you have a choice about the use of your information. Can you choose to have it kept confidential?
  • For more helpful consumer tips, visit FDIC Consumer News:  https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news

Check your credit report

Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure accuracy. You may call 1-877-322-8228 for a FREE credit report from any or all three credit reporting agencies. (The law allows credit bureaus to charge for additional copies of your credit report).

Make sure it is accurate and includes only those activities you have authorized.

By checking your report on a regular basis you can catch mistakes and fraud before they wreak havoc on your personal finances. Don't underestimate the importance of this step.

Credit Bureaus

Log on to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-FACT-ACT (877-322-8228) to get your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion -- once every 12 months for free.

Equifax - www.equifax.com or call 1-888-378-4329

Experian - www.experian.com or call 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)

TransUnion - www.transunion.com or call 1-833-395-6938

Caller ID Spoofing

Believe it or not, the number appearing on your caller id box may not be the true telephone number that the call is coming from. For a small fee, criminals can purchase technology that will allow them to display any phone number they want on your caller id!

This is an example of how it works.

A Spoofer would call an unsuspecting victim and have a local police department, court house, or some other municipal phone number appears on the victim’s caller id. The Spoofer would go on to explain to the victim, that there is a problem and the victim has not reported to jury duty. The Spoofer would then go on to tell the victim, “Well, maybe I have the wrong person. Why don’t you tell me your social security number and we can get this straightened out." The victim, convinced they are speaking with a trusted authority, is then tricked into giving their personal identification information to the Spoofer.

The scenario that the Spoofer uses may change, but the premise stays the same, they are attempting to scare you into giving them personal information. If you are ever contacted on the phone by someone asking for personal information, the best thing to do is hang up and call them back to verify they are who they say they are and that the phone number is accurate.