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It's summer and phishing attempts are on the rise again. Please take the time to read this friendly reminder from your community bank in order to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft.
If nothing else, remember this phrase!
“We will never call or email you to obtain your debit card number, account number, social security number or any other piece of personal information. “ Please do not provide this sensitive information to any callers, even if they appear to be legitimate. They may not be who they say they are.
Protect your computers and mobile devices
If you store sensitive information on your computer or mobile device, make sure it is encrypted and/or protected with a strong password. Use a variety of strong passwords to protect your online services such as email and banking - do not use the same password for everything.
Keep a close watch on your personal information
Your personal information resides in many places – know exactly where. Identity theft can start from obvious places like a lost wallet, to less obvious places such as your mailbox and trash. Wherever it resides, take steps to protect your personal information.
If you receive an email that you did not expect, and it contains links or attachments, the best practice is to immediately delete it. Remember the phrase! If someone contacts you via phone claiming to be from your bank, and requests that you verify sensitive personal or account information, immediately hang up. Banks will never contact you for this information - if you are not sure, call them back using a number you already have (not one the caller gives you).
Do not click on web links or visit unknown websites. Never download something unless you know its true origin and that the source is legitimate.
Monitor your credit reports for questionable activity – the three major credit reporting agencies provide free annual reports.
If you suspect that personal sensitive information may have been lost or stolen, act quickly. File a police report, and obtain a copy for reference. Notify your financial institutions. Contact the three major credit agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and place a “fraud alert” on your credit so that all requests for new credit accounts must be verified by you over the phone.
The safety and security of your personal information is of utmost importance to us. We hope that with these safeguards you will be better prepared when you are confronted with phishing attempts. We thank you for being a valued customer.