Identity Fraud vs Identity Theft
Identity fraud is usually limited to an isolated attempt to steal money from an existing account – such as a charge on a stolen credit card.
With identity theft, a thief uses stolen personal information, such as a Social Security number or bank account number, to open accounts or initiate several transactions in your name. This may cause financial loss or damaged credit.
In general, identity theft is more extensive than identity fraud. If fraudulent transactions occur on your account, it does not automatically mean your identity was stolen. It may be an isolated incident of theft that can be quickly resolved.
Where does identity theft and identity fraud happen?
Identity theft and identity fraud are portrayed as high-tech crimes affecting only those people who shop, communicate, or do business online. However, while thieves can obtain personal information via online methods. The majority of identity theft and identity fraud occurs offline. Stealing wallets and purses, intercepting or rerouting mail, and rummaging through garbage are some of the common tactics that thieves use to obtain personal information.
How can I protect myself?
Learn how to safeguard yourself and your accounts by reading the following tips.
Bank Account & Credit/Debit Card Security Tips
Bank Account Security Tips
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately.
- Review account statements carefully. Regular account review helps to quickly detect and stop fraudulent activity. Ask about suspicious charges.
- With Bank of Glen Ullin you can monitor your account online any time and as frequently as you like.
- Limit the amount of information on checks. Don't print your driver's license number or Social
- Security number on your checks.
- Store new and cancelled checks in a safe and secure location.
Carry your checkbook with you only when necessary.
- Use tamper-resistant checks. Bank of Glen Ullin checks include many safety features such as tamper-resistant packaging and chemically sensitive paper to deter alterations.
Credit Card and Debit Card Security Tips
- Always keep your credit or debit card in a safe and secure place. Treat it as you would cash or checks. Contact Bank of Glen Ullin immediately at 1-800-659-0928 if your card is lost or stolen, or if you suspect unauthorized use.
- Do not send your card number through email, as it is typically not secure.
- Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
- Review account statements carefully. Ask about suspicious charges.
- Cancel and cut up unused credit and other cards.
- If you receive a replacement card, destroy your old card.
- When selecting a Personal Identification Number (PIN) don't use any number or word that appears in your wallet (such as name, birth date, or phone number).
- Ensure no one sees your PIN when you enter it.
- Memorize your PIN. Don't write it down anywhere, especially on your card, and never share it with anyone.
- Shop with merchants you know and trust.
- Make sure any internet purchase activity you engage in is secured with encryption to protect your account information. Look for "secure transaction" symbols like a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your web browser window, or "https://…" in the address bar of the website. The "s" indicates "secured" and means the web page uses encryption.
- Always log off from any website after a purchase transaction made with your credit or debit card. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
- Safe-keep or securely dispose of your transaction receipts.
When using your card at an ATM:
Be aware of your surroundings when withdrawing funds.
Watch for suspicious persons or activity around the ATM. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, come back later or use an ATM elsewhere. If you observe suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the ATM at that time. If you are in the middle of a transaction, cancel the transaction, take your card and leave the area, and come back at another time or use an ATM at another location.
Report all crimes immediately to the operator of the ATM or local law enforcement.
Consider having someone accompany you when using an ATM after dark.
Never allow a stranger to assist you with using an ATM.
When using a drive-up ATM, keep your car doors locked and your engine running.
Ensure no one sees your PIN when you enter it.
Refrain from displaying cash, and put it away as soon as your transaction is completed. Wait to count your cash until you're in the safety of a locked enclosure, such as a car or home.
Take your receipts with you so potential criminals will not know how much you withdrew or how much money is in your account.
After completing your transaction, remember to remove your card, cash and any printed documents such as receipts or statements.
Safe-keep or securely dispose of your ATM receipts.
General Fraud Prevention Tips
Follow these tips to help protect yourself from fraud.
- Carry only necessary information with you. Leave your social security card and unused credits cards at home in a safe and secure location.
- Make photocopies of vital information you carry regularly and store them in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box.
- Do not provide your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary.
- Replace paper invoices, statements and checks with electronic versions, if offered by your employer, bank, utility provider or merchant.
- Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. Most fraud and identity theft incidents happen as a result of mail and garbage theft.
- Review your credit report at least once a year, looking for suspicious or unknown transactions. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. For a small fee you can obtain a copy at any time directly from:
- Place outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox to reduce the chance of mail theft.
- Promptly retrieve incoming mail to limit the opportunity for theft.
- Know your billing and statement cycles. Contact the company's customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement.
Online, Mobile, Computer & Email Security Tips
Online Security Tips
Today, the Internet plays an important role all over the world. As use of the internet continues to expand, more banks are using the Web to offer products and services or otherwise enhance communications with consumers.
The Internet does offer the potential for safe, convenient new ways to shop for financial services and conduct banking business, any day, any time. However, safe online banking involves making good choices-decisions that will help you avoid costly surprises or even scams.
This article offers some tips for conducting safe online transactions and ensuring your online safety. Given below are some of the standard precautionary measures that could be taken to ensure that your security is not compromised.
- Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources.
- Do not use your Social Security number as a username or password. Change your usernames and passwords regularly and use combinations of letters, numbers, and "special characters" such as "pound" (#) and "at" (@) signs.
If your current Bank of Glen Ullin username or password is your Social Security number, change it following these directions:
- Sign in to an Online Banking session
- Click on the My Preferences tab
- Click on Change Username or Change Password
- Protect your online passwords. Don't write them down or share them with anyone.
- Protect your answers to security questions. Select questions and provide answers that are easy for you to remember, but hard for anyone else to guess. Do not write down your security questions or answers or share them with anyone. If you have selected security questions on other websites, avoid using the same questions to protect your Bank of Glen Ullin online account. Please note that we will never ask you to provide answers to your security questions via email.
- Use secure websites for transactions and shopping. Shop with merchants you know and trust. Make sure internet purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account information. Look for "secure transaction" symbols like a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your web browser window, or "https://…" in the address bar of the website. The "s" indicates "secured" and means the web page uses encryption.
- Always log off from any website after making a purchase with your credit or debit card. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
- Close your browser when you're not using the internet.
- Using the "Auto Complete" function of your browser to save your Access Code or PIN is highly discouraged. Remember, when you log into certain websites and your username and/or your password automatically fill in for you? Yes, this is called the "Auto Complete" feature that stores your username and password on your computer and automatically types it for you. This feature could be disabled in Internet Explorer by navigating to Tools-Internet Options-Content-Auto Complete. Also un-checking all those boxes clears stored passwords and form information. (Doing this also helps erase all the words that you had searched for using your search engine like Google, Yahoo & etc.)
Mobile Banking Security Tips
When you use a mobile device (cellular phone, blackberry, etc.) for browser or text-based account access, keep these tips in mind:
- Use the keypad lock or phone lock function on your mobile device when it is not in use. These functions password-protect your device so that nobody else can use it or view your information. Also be sure to store your device in a secure location.
- Frequently delete text messages containing your account information (including your account balance), and especially before loaning out, discarding, or selling your mobile device.
- Never disclose via text message any personal information (account numbers, passwords, or any combination of sensitive information like your social security number or birth date that could be used in ID theft).
Computer Security Tips
- Keep your computer operating system up to date to ensure the highest level of protection. Check or upgrade all your browsers and application software to support SSL (Secure Socket Layer) 128-bit encryption or a higher encryption standard with the most updated security features available.
- Normally, data transferred between the banks' computer and your browser is encrypted. There are various levels of encryption. We at the Bank of Glen Ullin offer 256-bit encryption.
- Install a personal firewall on your computer.
- Install, run, and keep anti-virus and malware software updated. There are a lot of free spy ware removal programs available. Spybot is one such useful program.
- Turn your computer off completely when you are finished using it – don't leave it in sleep mode.
- Conduct online banking activities on secure computers only. Public computers (computers at internet cafes, copy centers, etc.) should be used with caution, due to shared use and possible tampering. Online banking activities and viewing or downloading documents (statements, etc.) should only be conducted on a computer you know to be safe and secure.
Email Security Tips
Be wary of suspicious emails. Never open attachments, click on links, or respond to emails from suspicious or unknown senders.
If you receive a suspicious email that you think is a phish, do not respond or provide any information.
Identifying the most common online threats
Phishing - Fraudulent emails purporting to be from your bank or a similar trusted source lures you to a copy cat website (one that may look just like our bank's site). Once there you are instructed to verify certain personal information, which is then used to hijack your accounts and your identity. If you receive a suspicious email, delete the message and call the bank to inform us of the email.
Pharming - Also called "domain spoofing", this cyber crime intercepts internet traffic and reroutes it to a fraudulent site. Once there, the victim is asked to enter personal information, just as with Phishing.
Malware - This is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owners knowledge. Examples od malware (malicious software) include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, and adware.
Drop by the bank anytime to learn more about online banking and the security measures that are in place for your protection. Or contact any of these financial industry regulators.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation > http://www.fdic.gov
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System > http://www.federalreserve.gov
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency > http://www.occ.treas.gov
Office of Thrift Supervision > http://www.ots.treas.gov
Federal Trade Commission > http://www.ftc.gov