The best practice for any consumer to stay safe from identity theft or fraud is to stay informed. It's important to not only be educated about what security threats are out there, but also to be keenly aware of your own financial and personal activities. United Prairie Bank provides you with many tools to stay on top of your financial information, and we've put together a helpful toolbox of information and resources to help you stay secure.
Current Scams/Security Alerts
Equifax Data Breach - September 8, 2017
Credit reporting agency, Equifax, released information to the public that over 143 million Americans' personal information was exposed due to a data breach that took place from mid-May through July 2017. Hackers accessed names, social security numbers, birth dates, and in some instances, driver's license numbers, amongst a few other potential pieces of information.
To find out if you could be impacted, visit the "Potential Impact" page at the Equifax website at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ or call 866-447-7559.
Visit the Security Center at unitedprairiebank.com to learn more about keeping your information safe.
Know the Signs of a Scam
Every individual will likely be a target of a scam or fraudulent activity at some point, so be aware of some of the most common threats:
- Malware - Malicious software intended to harm computer systems through viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc.
- Phishing - Attempts to collect personal information, such as user names and passwords by an attacker claiming to be an official source via email, phone call or text typically.
- Pharming - Online fraud that redirects a true website's traffic to a bogus website in attempts to collect personal, login information or card payment information.
- Social Engineering - Manipulating people through targeting emotional responses to trick them in attempt to give up or turn over valuable information.
It's a good practice to be wary of anyone contacting you via email, phone, in-person who is asking personal information of you that you were not expecting contact from.
Learn more about common fraud schemes and how to protect yourself at the FBI Common Fraud Schemes page.
Stay informed of the most current security and fraud threats and be diligent with your personal information.
Here are some tips to help keep your identity secure:
- Read the latest FDIC Consumer Newsletter. This publication provides practical guidance on how to become a smarter, safer user of financial services.
- United Prairie Bank, nor any other trustworthy financial provider, will initiate emails or requests for your personal or financial information. If you receive a request, it's a good practice to call or stop by your local bank to inquire about the request.
- Change passwords often on your online accounts. Do not use passwords that contain words or names that may be easy to guess. It's a good idea to use special characters in place of letters and combinations of letters, numbers and special characters. (Ex. i8a$@ndw1ch)
- Review your account transactions, account statements and credit card statements regularly to watch for any discrepancies and report any immediately.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited emails, or other contacts, including attachments or requesting personal or financial information.
- Install, update and regularly run anti-virus and anti-spyware protection programs on your home and work computers.
- Utilize government information and consumer protection tools that will help you deter threats.
If You Become a Victim
- Contact your local United Prairie Bank location immediately for assistance in regards to your banking relationships.
- Notify the issuers of any and all credit cards you hold to determine the proper course of action with those carriers, and close any accounts that may have had unauthorized activities.
- Contact at least one of the major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report.
- Contact your local police department to file a report.
- Keep documentation of your contacts and activities regarding the identify theft incident for future reference.