How to Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft
*Precautions for Everyone
Safeguard your Social Security Number
- Never provide your Social Security number unless you have initiated the contact and have confirmed the business or person's identity
- Do not use your full or partial Social Security number as a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or a password
- If you must provide your Social Security number in an email or on a Website ensure that it is encrypted, and you know how the recipient will protect it
- Do not record your Social Security number on a check, traveler's check, gift certificates, etc., unless required by law
- Don't carry your Social Security card and be cautious of your surroundings when disclosing your Social Security number.
- Reduce the amount of mail and paper with your personal information printed on it to reduce the chance of criminals stealing it
- Stop receiving paper account statements and canceled checks. View and download them online instead.
- Sign up for direct deposit to have your funds put directly in your account without paper checks.
Money mules are unsuspecting victims who become middlemen for criminals trying to launder stolen funds. Victims are lured by the promise of a new career opportunity making large sums of money for minimal work. Criminals recruit money mules, send them stolen money and then ask the money mules to wire or transfer the money unwittingly to the criminals. Using the money mule masks the criminal's identity.
The money mule may keep a commission for performing the transfer or wire. The victims of these scams may not only have their bank accounts closed and financial reputation ruined, but is often left financially responsible for returning the stolen funds.
Common signs of a money mule scam:
- Overseas companies requesting money transfer agents in the US
- Opening new bank accounts to receive money from someone you don't know
- Accepting large sums of money into your personal bank account for a new job
- Transferring or wiring funds out of your personal bank account to people you do not know
*Types of Online Fraud
Secure your Computer
- Anti-spyware and anti-virus protection detects and removes viruses and spyware, which can steal vital information
- A firewall prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to a computer, or monitoring transfers of information to and from the computer
- Operating system and software updates, sometimes called "patches" or "service packs," should be installed as soon as possible
- Web browser updates are deployed with your security in mind so keep them current
Phishing & Spoofing
Sometimes criminals may send you email that looks like it has come from National Bank & Trust. These phony emails ask you to go to a Website that also looks like National Bank & Trust and provide your personal account information. These emails may even ask you to call a phone number and provide account information. But the Website is a fake.
- Asking for personal information should raise a flag since National Bank & Trust emails will never ask you to reply in an email with any personal information, such as your Social Security number, ATM or Debit Card PIN.
- Urgent appeals claim that your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information. National Bank & Trust will not ask you to verify information in this way.
- Messages about system and security updates claim that the bank needs to confirm important information due to upgrades and state that you must update your information online. National Bank & Trust will not ask you to verify information in this way.
- Offers that sound too good to be true often are. You may be asked to fill out a short customer service survey in exchange for money being credited to your account, and you are then asked to provide your account number for proper routing of the supposed credit. National Bank & Trust will not request your information in this way.
- Typos and other errors are often the mark of fraudulent emails or websites. Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors, awkward writing and poor visual design.
To protect against phishing and spoofing:
- Make sure you are at National Bank & Trust's Website when you sign in to Online Banking. You can also type www.nbt-texas.com in your browser. If you're using a secure browser, you should always see https://fbl.secure.fundsxpress.com/piles/fxweb.pile/fx?iid=FBL once you are logged into online banking.
- If you receive a suspicious email, do not click on any links or reply to it. Simply delete it.
- To report a suspicious email that uses National Bank & Trust's name, you can contact us. mail message
Malware, short for "malicious software," includes viruses, spyware and trojans that are designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system. Malware is often used to steal personal information and commit fraud. There are several easy ways to minimize the risk of malware:
- Downloads from file sharing and social networking sites can be distributions points for malware
- Attachments and free software from unknown sources shouldn't be opened or installed
- Pop-up advertisements asking for personal or financial information are likely fraudulent, so it's better to close them
- Updated security and system software can protect your computer from malware threats
Traditional Online Threats
Viruses, malware and other programs that steal your personal information or financial details are also able to infect some mobile devices.
- Some tablets may support traditional anti-virus products. Consider installing AV if supported on your device
- Back-up the device's data. This will allow you to restore the data if you need to wipe the memory to remove a harmful software threat
Stay vigilant about security when taking advantage of the convenience these devices offer.
*Smart Phone and other Devices
Vishing uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to call, leaving an automated recording. It alerts the consumer that their account has experienced unusual activity. The message instructs the consumer to call the same phone number shown in the spoofed caller ID with the same name as the financial company they are pretending to represent. And sometimes, criminals who try to get consumers to turn over personal data send emails and text messages containing fraudulent phone numbers.
Rather than provide any information, you should contact National Bank & Trust at the customer service number you normally use to verify the validity of the message.
SMShing is phishing that happens via SMS text message. A criminal sends a text messages tricking you into replying with financial or personal information or clicking on links that will sneak viruses onto your mobile device. To guard against these scams:
- Don't respond to a text message that requests personal or financial information. National Bank & Trust will never ask you to respond in this way.
- Verify the phone numbers that appear in a text message. Store National Bank & Trust phone numbers in your mobile contacts for a quick cross-check. Or, you can go to the Contact Us page.
Mobile phones and tablets offer convenience, but they're also easy to lose or steal, which can put your information at risk.
- Password-protect your device so it can't be accessed unless the password is entered
- Enable an automatic screen-locking mechanism to lock the device when it's not actively being used
- Consider using a remote wipe program, this will give you the ability to send a command to your device that will delete any data
*Debit Card/Credit Card Fraud
Credit Cards and Debit Cards
Our credit card fraud analysis offers a complete review of unusual authorizations, address changes, and payments to secure your accounts against fraudulent activity.
Protecting against Credit Card Fraud
Following are some tips for making your National Bank & Trust credit card and Debit Card usage as secure as possible. If you suspect that you're the victim of fraud, you should report it immediately
- Sign immediately. Sign the signature panel on your credit cards and Debit Cards as soon as you receive them.
- Shut off paper statements. Choose instead to view your statements online rather than receive them by mail.
- Check your receipts. Check receipts against your online monthly billing or account statements to verify all of your transactions. Report any unauthorized transactions immediately. Once you have reconciled your billing statements, shred up all receipts and discard them at home.
- Check your statements and watch your charges. View your statements to verify that they properly reflect the amounts you have authorized. Also, watch for multiple charges.
- Keep a list of all your card account numbers, as well as of telephone numbers to call if your cards are ever lost or stolen. Make sure they're in a separate, secure place.
- Be cautious when giving out your card number. Never provide account information to anyone who called you.
Using ATMs Safely
- Use ATMs with surveillance cameras. National Bank & Trust ATMs may be monitored by surveillance cameras, which record activity in the area of the ATM.
- Be aware of people and your surroundings. When you enter or exit an ATM in an enclosed area, be sure you close the entry door completely. Do not open locked ATM vestibule doors for others, or allow any unknown persons to enter the ATM area while you are making your transaction. Authorized customers should have their own access.
- Put away your card and cash. After completing your transaction, secure your card and cash immediately, before exiting the ATM area. Count your cash later, in the safety of your locked car or home. Your ATM card is like cash, so keep it in a safe place.
- Protect your privacy. Shield the ATM keypad with your hand or body while entering your PIN.