Cyber Security Month
Week 1: Fraud and Scams….be on the lookout!
Thousands fall victim to fraud each month, and we want you to be aware of some of the many fraudulent scams.
So far we have seen several different scams that affect our customer; these include different types of scams to get your personal information in order to gain access to your account. The scammer may simply ask for your online banking information if you already have it set up or the scammer may request your account and personal details that they will then use to set up an online banking account. You may be asking yourself “why would I give out that information?” or you might be thinking “of course I know not to give out my personal or account information.” But the scammer usually has a seemingly legitimate reason to need this information.
Below are a few examples of common scams that lead to fraud.
Romance scam – Online person begins a relationship with the customer. This person is a professional scammer, not a true love. After building trust the scammer then tells a story that ends in need to send the customer money and have it sent back to themselves or a third party.
Jobs – Advertisement for jobs that do not exist but serve as a means to get access to the customer’s information. These jobs usually involve a deposit to the account, and the customer is instructed to send a portion of the funds elsewhere.
Loans – Advertisement for loans or quick money that are not legitimate that lead to the customer providing personal and account information which gives scammer access to the account.
Easy money scheme on Facebook – This typically involves a friend of a friend and an opportunity to make quick easy cash by simply allowing funds to be deposited than withdrawn from the customer’s account. Every scenario listed above ends with the person giving account access to the scammer.
How can you protect yourself?
NEVER give out Debit/ATM PIN numbers, passwords of any type, online banking usernames etc.
Only give account and routing number to places you have a business relationship with. A business relationship includes previous experience or a product or service that you require. This does NOT include a company/individual that you do not know or have not had prior business with, asking to do business with you for money.
Before releasing your account and routing number to a company for payments or deposits be sure it is a legitimate company. Use the internet to research the company name, not any links or phone numbers sent to you by the company/individual. Business must have a business license in the state they operate.
The level of sophistication of fraud schemes has increased; make sure you know from other sources that the form or information you are given is legitimate.
If you are ever in doubt of a check you can take it to the institution it is drawn from and cash it there. By negotiating the check at the institution it’s drawn from, you can find out right away if the check is good or not. This would prevent the check from bouncing your account and negatively affecting your relationship with your bank.
If you have given your information out or have reason to believe your information has been
compromised contact the bank as soon as possible to make someone aware of the situation.
Scammers know a simple fact, if they can trick you into depositing into your account, you will be responsible for the loss and theft of your money. Knowing who is conducting business and what transactions are happening in your account is an important part of transacting deposits at Peoples National Bank.
If you are ever in doubt about a check, deposit, or payment please contact the bank and
ask for assistance.
Week 2: Staying protected while always connected
Staying Protected While Always Connected
Most of us have developed a very close relationship with our mobile devices: we carry them with us throughout the day, check them frequently, and even sleep with them nearby at night. Although mobile devices allow us to instantly connect with friends and family, to access the internet, get directions, and make purchases, this increased convenience also comes at an increased risk. Many of these online activities require us to provide personal information such as our name, email address, account number, and credit card information. This puts us at an increased risk of having this information compromised by cybercriminals.
The Department of Homeland Security is encouraging all Americans to follow these simple steps to ensure the security of their personal information online:
- Keep your private information private. Avoid sharing your full name, address, and other personal information online. Frequently check a website’s privacy options to ensure you have enabled the highest level of privacy as options may get updated or changed completely.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Links in emails, tweets, posts, and online advertisements are often how cybercriminals compromise your computer or mobile device. If it looks suspicious, it’s best to delete it, even if you know the source. If appropriate, mark the message as “junk email” so that future messages from the sender do not end up in your inbox.
- Set strong passwords. Setting passwords that are long, unique, and hard to guess is one of the most important things you can do to protect your online accounts. Changing passwords regularly and using different passwords for different accounts goes a long way to protect your online information.
- Secure your accounts. Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many websites now offer additional ways for you to verify your identity before you conduct business on their sites, such as two-factor authentication.
- Secure your mobile device. In order to prevent theft and unauthorized access, use a passcode to lock your mobile device and always lock it when it’s not in use. Never leave your mobile device unattended in a public place.
Week 3: Keeping your Debit and Credit Cards Safe: How to Spot Fraud
Every day, scam artists target millions of people in an attempt to steal money or confidential banking information. Avoid becoming a victim. Learn how to spot illegal activity.
Be alert for these warning signs:
- Missing bills or statements – You did not receive a bill or statement you expected to receive in the mail.
- Unexpected charges – Unfamiliar charges show up on your credit card, checking, savings or other accounts.
- Denied credit – You are unexpectedly denied credit or given unfavorable terms.
- Unsolicited credit cards – You receive credit cards that you never applied for.
- Collection calls – Creditors or collection agencies are attempting to collect money for unfamiliar purchases or services.
If you suspect fraud, contact the bank immediately.
Week 4: Don’t be the Victim of a Check Scam!
ARE YOU A LOTTERY WINNER?
- Are you sending any money back?
- Are you sending money via Fed Ex or UPS, Western Union, or wiring money?
- Did the check come in the mail?
- Are you helping a “Friend” you have NEVER met?
NOTE! Legitimate lottery winnings would deduct taxes! Legitimate paying jobs never make you send money back!