FRAUD PREVENTION & PROTECTION
Identity Theft Can Happen to Anyone: Protect Yourself
It is important to know what to do in the case of suspected identity theft. Below are resources for consumers and businesses to stay informed and report identity theft. Visit http://www.idtheft.gov/ and click on "Taking Action" for links to federal agency Web pages on ID theft.
Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus and tell them that you're an identity theft victim. Request that a "fraud alert" be placed in your file, along with a victim's statement asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts or changing your existing accounts.
To report fraud: 1-800-525-6285
Or write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Or write: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
To report fraud: 1-800-680-7289
Or write: Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
Monitor your credit at www.annualcreditreport.com
Federal Trade Commission
If you've been a victim of identity theft, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Call the toll-free number or visit the Web site listed below for more information.
Identity Theft Clearinghouse Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
FTC Identity Theft Hotline: 1 (877) IDTHEFT or 1 (877) 438-4338
The Federal Trade Commission also provides an online guide to help businesses safeguard sensitive data. Visit http://www.ftc.gov/infosecurity.
Social Security Services
If you believe someone is using your Social Security number, report it to the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at 1.800.269.0271. You can also visit your local Social Security office or the agency's web site at: http://www.ssa.gov/reach.htm.
United States Post Office
If someone has taken your identity by stealing your mail, report it to your local postal inspector. Contact your local post office or visit http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov.
Lost or Stolen Debit Cards
During banking hours, call: (800) 549-4307. After banking hours, call: (800) 500-1044
ONLINE BANKING FRAUD PREVENTION
User ID and Password Guidelines
- Create a "strong" password with at last 8 characters that includes a combination of mixed case letters and numbers
- Change your password frequently.
- Never share username and password information with third-party providers.
- Avoid using an automatic login feature that saves usernames and passwords.
- Do not use public or other unsecured computers for logging into Online Banking.
- Check your last login date/time every time you log in.
- Review account balances and detail transactions regularly (preferably daily) to confirm payment and other transaction data and immediately report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.
- View transfer history available through viewing account activity information.
- Whenever possible, use Bill Pay instead of checks to limit account number dissemination exposure and to obtain better electronic record keeping.
- Take advantage of and regularly view system alerts; examples include:
- Balance alerts
- Transfer alerts
- Password change alerts
- ACH Alerts (for cash management users)
- Do not use account numbers, your social security number, or other account or personal information when creating account nicknames or other titles.
- Whenever possible, register your computer to avoid having to re-enter challenge questions and other authentication information with each login.
- Review historical reporting features of your online banking application on a regular basis to confirm payment and other transaction data.
- Never leave a computer unattended while using Online Banking.
- Never conduct banking transactions while multiple browsers are open on your computer.
Tips to Protect Online Payments & Account Data
- Take advantage of transaction limits.
- When you have completed a transaction, ensure you log off to close the connection with the financial organization's computer.
- Use separate accounts for electronic and paper transactions to simplify monitoring and tracking any discrepancies.
- Reconcile by carefully monitoring account activity and reviewing all transactions initiated by your company on a daily basis.
- Use limits provided for monetary transactions
- Review historical and audit reports regularly to confirm transaction activity.
- Utilize available alerts for funds transfer activity.
ACH (Automated Clearing House Batches) in Cash Management
- Use limits for monetary transactions.
- Review transaction reporting regularly to confirm transaction activity.
- Utilize available alerts for ACH activity.
EMAIL / WEBSITE FRAUD PREVENTION
Tips to Avoid Phishing, Spyware and Malware
- Do not open e-mail from unknown sources. Be suspicious of e-mails purporting to be from a financial institution, government department, or other agency requesting account information, account verification, or banking access credentials such as usernames, passwords, PIN codes, and similar information. Opening file attachments or clicking on web links in suspicious e-mails could expose your system to malicious code that could hijack your computer.
- Never respond to a suspicious e-mail or click on any hyperlink embedded in a suspicious e-mail. Call the purported source if you are unsure who sent an e-mail.
- If an e-mail claiming to be from your financial organization seems suspicious, checking with your financial organization may be appropriate.
- Install anti-virus and spyware detection software on all computer systems. Free software may not provide protection against the latest threats compared with an industry standard product.
- Update all of your computers regularly with the latest versions and patches of both anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- Ensure computers are patched regularly, particularly operating system and key application with security patches. Install a dedicated, actively managed firewall, especially if using a broadband or dedicated connection to the Internet, such as DSL or cable. A firewall limits the potential for unauthorized access to your network and computers.
- Check your settings and select, at least, a medium level of security for your browsers.
- Clear the browser cache before starting an online banking session in order to eliminate copies of Web pages that have been stored on the hard drive. How the cache is cleared depends on the browser and version you are using. This function is generally found in the browser's preferences menu.
Tips for Wireless Network Management
Wireless networks can provide an unintended open door to your business network. Unless a valid business reason exists for wireless network use, it is recommended that all wireless networks be disabled. If a wireless network is to be used for legitimate business purposes, it is recommended that wireless networks be secured as follows:
- Change the wireless network hardware (router /access point) administrative password from the factory default to a complex password. Save the password in a secure location as it will be needed to make future changes to the device.
- Disable remote administration of the wireless network hardware (router / access point).
- If possible, disable broadcasting the network SSID.
- If your device offers WPA encryption, secure your wireless network by enabling WPA encryption of the wireless network. If your device does not support WPA encryption, enable WEP encryption.
- If only known computers will access the wireless network, consider enabling MAC filtering on the network hardware. Every computer network card is assigned a unique MAC address. MAC filtering will only allow computers with permitted MAC addresses access to the wireless network.
OnGuardOnline.gov is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. The Federal Trade Commission manages OnGuardOnline.gov, in partnership with other federal agencies.
ABA Education Foundation Consumer Site
The ABA Education Foundation is a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Banker’s Association (ABA) that provides financial education programs that help bankers empower their communities with financial knowledge. On this site you can find the latest information on banking safety tips, current consumer scams, how to protect your money and your identity.
Tips on Safe Banking Over the Internet
The FDIC will tell you how to confirm that an online bank is legitimate and that your deposits are insured, keep your personal information private and secure, understand your rights as a consumer, and learn where to go for more assistance from banking regulators.