What should you do if you receive a possible fraudulent message?
- If you receive an urgent phone call, email, social media inquiry or text message regarding an account you own and are asked to provide or confirm any personal information, do not provide.
- End the call immediately or click out of the email and contact your bank directly using a telephone number from your statement or one that you are familiar with, not the phone number from the caller.
- If you did provide any personal information through a call or email, alert your financial institution immediately.
To help protect your information while using a computer, we recommend the following:
- Select passwords that would be difficult for others to guess and change them often.
- Using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters make the strongest passwords.
- Do not share passwords with anyone.
- Do not write passwords or leave them where someone else may have access.
- Be cautious with who you share your computer with. If you do share a computer, make sure to log off and ask the other person to log in separately.
A computer virus is a program or code that can copy itself and be loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. Examples of viruses may be referred to as Trojan Horses or Worms.
Spyware is computer software that may monitor and collect your keystrokes and send personal information to third parties without your consent.
If you suspect your computer has a virus or spyware, make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software has the most recent updates. Run a complete scan using your updated anti-virus and/or anti-spyware software. If you have a virus or spyware on your computer, make sure to change passwords on all online banking programs.
How can you protect yourself against identity theft or fraud?
- Avoid emailing personal financial information.
- Review all bank and credit card statements as soon as you receive them, looking for unauthorized transactions.
- Verify your mailing address is correct and notify your financial institution if you don’t receive your statements. Better yet, sign up for online banking so you can monitor your account at your convenience.
- Never provide account information to unsolicited telephone callers. If someone should ask for personal information, (ie) address, social security number, birth date, etc., end the call immediately.
- Use strong passwords that include a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters.
- Don’t open links contained in emails you receive. A deceptive email may say that your bank account has been closed due to fraudulent activity or that it needs to be verified. If you receive an email such as this, do not open the attached file.
- Voice Phishing is on the increase. This technique uses voice response telephone systems to deceive consumers into revealing personal data.
At some time or another, we’ve all received those emails “phishing” for information. These emails use fraudulent websites designed to fool you into sharing personal financial information, such as account numbers, usernames, passwords, social security numbers, etc. By hijacking trusted names of well-known companies, “phishers” are able to convince people to respond to them.
Homestead Savings Bank will:
- Never send an email which requires you to enter personal or account information into the email since we already have that information on file.
- Not Threaten to close your account if you do not take immediate action of providing personal information.
- Not Ask you to reply by sending personal information or ask you to enter your user ID, password or account number.
The Department of Justice recommends following three simple steps when you see emails or websites that may be part of a phishing scheme: Stop, Look and Call
- Stop – Phishers typically include upsetting or exciting (false) statements in their emails with one purpose in mind. They want people to react immediately to that false information by clicking on a link and inputting requested data before they take time to think through what they are doing. Resist that impulse to click immediately. No matter how upsetting the statements may be, there is always enough time to check out the information more closely.
- Look – Look more closely at the claims made in the email, think about whether those claims make sense, and be highly suspicious if you’re asked for personal information such as account numbers, usernames, passwords, etc. If the email indicates that it comes from a bank or financial institution where you have an account but tells you that you have to enter any form of personal information, don’t do it. Legitimate financial institutions already have their customers’ account information on file, even if the email says that your account is being terminated.
- Call – If the message appears to be from a legitimate company, call or email them directly at an address you know is correct.
Reporting Possible Fraud
If you feel you may be a victim of identity theft or fraud, contact your financial institution immediately. In addition, you may want to consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report. Following are websites for the three major credit reporting agencies: TransUnion | Equifax | Experian