Protecting your money is a partnership.
- The bank and the customer must work together to prevent fraud.
- Banks use a combination of safeguards to protect customer information, such as employee training, strict privacy policies, rigorous security standards and encryption systems.
- Customers should monitor their accounts regularly and alert the bank right away if they suspect they are a victim of fraud.
ONLINE BANKING FRAUD:
- Never give your login information to anyone. This is especially true if over the phone or from a text or email.
- Log out completely when you finish a banking session.
- Never deposit a check for another person on their behalf. They may ask you to deposit it via mobile deposit and request you to give them the money upfront. This is a scam.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
MOBILE BANKING FRAUD:
- Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
- Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
- Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a Social Security number on your mobile device.
- Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
- Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
- Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
- Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of notifications (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
- Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren't very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
ATM & DEBIT CARD FRAUD:
- Check your bank statements often. Report unauthorized transactions immediately.
If you have any reason to suspect fraud, check your account balance right away by calling the bank, visiting your account online or through a mobile app, or at the ATM.
- Immediately notify your bank if your card is lost or stolen. If you have online banking you can put a freeze on your card until it's found.
- Don’t use an ATM that appears to be damaged or tampered with.
- Use your hand to shield the ATM keyboard as you enter your PIN. Often, criminals attempt to capture your PIN using a tiny camera attached to the ATM.
- Mark through any blank spaces on debit receipts, including the tip line at restaurants, so the total amount cannot be changed.
- Always take your receipts or transaction records with you and compare them against your statements
- Know your limits. Many issuers limit daily purchases and withdrawals for your protection.
- Be wary of those trying to help you, especially when an ATM "eats" your card. They may be trying to steal your card number and PIN.
- Do not give your PIN number to anyone over the phone or through texts and emails. Thieves often steal cards and then contact the victims for their PIN, claiming to be law enforcement or the issuing bank.
- Do not leave your ATM card lying around the house or on your desk at work. No one should have access to the card but you.
Fake checks continue to be one of the most common instruments used to commit fraud against consumers. Before you deposit a check you weren’t expecting or wire funds to an unknown recipient, here is what you should know:
How do Fake Check Scams Work?
There are many variations of the scam. It usually starts with someone offering to:
- Buy something you advertised for sale
- Pay you to work at home
- Give you an “advance” on a sweepstakes or you’ve won
- Give you the first installment on the millions you’ll receive for agreeing to transfer money in a foreign country to your bank account for safekeeping
- Fraudsters issue you a check or money order worth more than the amount owed to you and instruct you to wire the excess funds back to them before receiving your lump sum payment. After you’ve sent the money, you find out that the check or money order is bogus.
Tips to prevent fake check scams:
- Even if the check has “cleared,” you may not be in the clear. Under federal law, banks must make deposited funds available quickly, but just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good, even if it’s a cashier’s check or money order. If you have any questions about whether or not the check is good, talk to your banker. Be sure to explain the source of the check, the reasons it was sent to you, and whether you are being asked to wire money back.
- Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the check. Scam artists are using sophisticated technology to create counterfeit checks that mirror the appearance of legitimate checks. Some are counterfeit money orders, some are phony cashier’s checks and others look like they are from legitimate business accounts. The companies whose names appear may be real, but someone has dummied up the checks without their knowledge.
- Never ‘pay to play.’ There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back or send you more than the exact amount —that’s a red flag that it’s a scam. If a stranger wants to pay you for something, insist on a cashier’s check for the exact amount, preferably from a local bank or one with a local branch.
- Do not respond to online solicitations for “easy money.” Social media scams like card cracking may offer “quick ways to earn extra cash,” but keep in mind that easy money is rarely legal money.
- Verify the requestor before you wire or issue a check. It is important to know who you are sending money to before you send it. Just because someone contacted you doesn’t mean they are a trusted source.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately. Bank staff are experts in spotting fraudulent checks. If you think someone is trying to pull a fake check scam, don’t deposit it—report it. Contact your bank and report it to the Federal Trade Commission or The Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.
- Never give your Online banking credentials to anyone.
- Be careful who you allow on your computer for 'tech support'. Random pop messages with links to click or unsolicited calls to fix a computer problem are usually scams.