We continue to hear about scams and security breaches that put people at risk of identity theft and fraud. No one is exempt from being a victim, so it’s important for all consumers to take precautions to safeguard personal and financial information. Scammers go to great lengths to steal identifying information. They often try to scare people into making quick decisions. Scams are presented by phone, through email and postal mail and text messages. They can appear to come from reputable businesses, government agencies, civic organizations and even family members. Scams by phone can be coming from a local number.
Your actions are the best line of defense when it comes to protecting personal and financial information. It’s essential to be aware of all transactions you’ve initiated and organizations in which you’ve established relationships. Here are some best practices that can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud:
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- Unless you have initiated a transaction with a reputable company, never give out your Social Security number, date of birth, account number or any other personal or financial information over the phone, through the mail, email or text message.
- Review all Internet, telephone, cell phone and credit card account statements for accuracy. Fraudulent fees can be charged to these types of accounts.
- Shred all receipts, bank statements and invoices that are no longer needed. Be sure to shred any pre-screened credit offers.
- Pay close attention to account billing cycles. Contact the sender if bills or financial statements are late.
- Do not create Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords that can be easily guessed. When creating a password use capital letters, numbers and special characters. Keep all passwords and PINs secure. If written down, keep them in a safe place away from electronic devices.
- Do not access your online accounts using links provided through email. Access your accounts directly by visiting the official company site provided at account opening. Look for the lock icon at the top of the screen before entering any personal information. Log off from accounts and close your browsers after transacting business online.
- Public Wi-Fi may not be secure, so avoid visiting websites that require personal and financial information.
- Carefully look at email addresses before opening them, and never open an email attachment unless you’re expecting to receive a document. Fraudsters may make slight adjustments to familiar and reputable email addresses to fool you.
- If you’re being pressured over the phone to give out information, simply hang up. Scammers often play on people’s emotions forcing them to make irrational decisions.
- Caller ID “Spoofing” is a practice where scammers disguise their identity to trick people into answering unwanted phone calls. If you receive a call from a local number that you don’t recognize do not answer the phone. If the call is legitimate the caller will leave a message. Do not respond to text messages from people that you do not know.
- Be sure that computer and mobile devices are protected with anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Use only secure websites when transacting business online.
- Order and carefully review your credit report(s) by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Look for suspicious activity, addresses and/or accounts that you don’t recognize. You can obtain one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year. We recommend ordering one credit report from a different credit reporting agency every few months. For example in February order from Equifax, and in June order from Experian and in September order from TransUnion.
At CNB we are always upgrading our security measures to protect our customers’ information. Our secure electronic banking services allow customers to review account activity at any time. We also offer two additional account monitoring services to reduce fraudulent activity on debit cards.
Fraud Center Monitoring Service
Our Fraud Center Monitoring service monitors fraudulent activity on debit cards. This service uses technology to recognize purchasing patterns and can detect transactions that occur outside of normal activity. This service is automatically available to our customers that have been issued CNB debit cards. For this service to work we must have your current phone number and email address on file.
™ Text Alert Service for Debit Cards
Guardian™ notification service sends text message alerts to mobile phones or to sms-enabled devices each time specific card activity is detected. If the activity is fraudulent, you will need to respond to the text within 12 hours to have your card immediately closed to prevent any other fraudulent transactions from occurring. If you authorized the transaction in question, do nothing and continue to use your card. To receive this service you must enroll.
To learn more about our account monitoring services visit the Products & Services
section of our website or call your local CNB office to speak with one of our representatives. If you suspect that you may have become a victim of fraud, please contact your financial institution right away. We are here to assist you with your banking questions and are dedicated to keeping your personal and financial information secure.