Prevention is the best protection
Online scams and identity theft are rampant as people spend more time on their devices. But if you know what to look for, you can learn how to protect your accounts and avoid the damage that comes from online criminal activity.
FB&T is committed to helping our customers, friends, and families keep their identities and financial information safe. Be assured that we are always staying aware and educating our employees of such emerging threats. While we are doing our part here at the Bank, we want to offer you tools, tips, and information on ways you can protect your information at home and on the internet. Please know that we are just a phone call, email, or in-person visit away and are always here to help.
What is Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft.
The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make—or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.
Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.
Immediate Steps for ID Theft Victims
Go to www.ftc.gov/idtheft for additional information, step-by-step instructions, and links to credit bureaus. You may also call the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261; or write to Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gives consumers four steps they can take to determine if fraudulent charges or debits have been made on their accounts:
CFPB Issues Consumer Advisory on Industry’s Data Breach – January 27, 2014
Other Cybersecurity Links and Resources:
Let us know when you will be traveling. Our debit card monitoring system analyzes transaction activity in order to prevent and protect you from fraudulent charges. One factor they use in their analysis is location. Debit card usage outside of a usual location could cause your card to be flagged or blocked. Just give us a call and we can make sure you don't experience any card interruptions.
Other tips to remember when traveling:
Debit Card Security
Protect Your Mobile Device
Your mobile device provides convenient access to your email, bank and social media accounts. Unfortunately, it can potentially provide the same convenient access for criminals. We recommend following these tips to keep your information – and your money – safe.
Don't become a victim of card cracking. Card cracking is a scam in where young adults are recruited to facilitate fraud. Click here to learn more from the American Bankers Association.
Elder Financial Abuse
Elder financial abuse affects millions of senior citizens each year and accounts for billions of dollars worth of fraud. It is a type of elder abuse in which misappropriation of financial resources or abusive use of financial control, in the context of a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, causes harm to an older person. Seniors are more vulnerable to this type of abuse because they usually have funds from retirement and their life savings, and they usually have a more trusting nature than other age groups.
Some common perpetrators can include family members, caretakers, neighbors, friends/acquaintances, etc. The abuse can be through the malicious use of a power-of-attorney designation, inappropriate use of bank cards or checks, threats of violence, and withholding care for the senior.
The abuse can also be from impersonators; fraudsters contacting the senior for lottery/sweepstakes winnings, unneeded home repairs, law enforcement, charities, utility companies, and even people pretending to be their grandchildren.
If you suspect that you or a loved one have been the victim of elder financial abuse, call the police and your financial institution.
The Latest Scams
Financial scams are on the rise! From elder financial abuse to phone spoofing, and everything in between. Please stay educated and check out these articles.