With our fraud and scam prevention tips, you can rest easy knowing you have the tools in place to protect your accounts and financial information. Education and awareness is the most important step in prevention.
Account and Card Activity
The primary reason to safeguard your debit and credit cards is to prevent unauthorized access to your financial resources.
- Report lost or stolen debit card, checks or account numbers by calling us immediately at 1-877-621-1776 or 1-270-686-1776.
- Monitor your transactions regularly and set up alerts so you can be notified if anyone makes a purchase or withdrawal on your account. If you spot suspicious or unauthorized charges, report them right away.
- Keep your contact information up to date so we can reach you if we detect unusual activity on your account
- Limit the amount of information printed on your checks to your name and address. Don’t include your phone number or Social Security number.
- Always keep your checks, debit, ATM and credit cards in a secure place or in your possession.
- Don’t give out your account information over the phone unless you initiated the call using the phone number on the back of your card or the company’s website.
- If you receive a replacement debit or credit card, cut up and discard your old card.
- Make sure to setup card alerts within digital banking for your new card and setup any recurring charges with your new card information.
- If you misplace your card, turn it off temporarily in digital banking and back on when you find it.
- Use a digital wallet to make purchases so that a unique digital card number is used when transacting in stores, in-app and online. By doing so, businesses do not see or store your full card number.
- If you’re concerned about Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and skimming, consider using an RFID wallet to block any RFID skimming attempts.
- When choosing a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or passwords, don’t use a number or word that appears in your wallet, such as name, birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number, or phone number. If you forget your PIN or want to change it, please call us at 1-270-686-1776 for assistance.
- Don’t share your card’s PIN with anyone or provide it through a text message, email or phone call.
- Cover the keypad while entering your PIN at an ATM, grocery store or any other location.
- Don’t write your PIN anywhere, especially on your card.
- Safely store or securely dispose of your transaction receipts or utilize our receipt tracking within digital banking.
Mobile and Device Security
We utilize our phones and devices for just about everything. Keeping these items secure is just as important as keeping your doors locked on your vehicle.
- Protect your phone by setting up a PIN with your mobile carrier so no one other than you can make changes to your account or transfer your service to a different mobile phone. Choose a PIN that’s not easy to guess.
- Safeguard your phone to help protect your accounts. When you’re not using your phone, use the built-in security functions to lock it.
- Don’t access your financial accounts through public Wi-Fi networks, such as those available in coffee shops or airports.
- Remove all personal data and reset your device to factory settings before discarding or selling your phone.
- If you change your number, call us at 1-877-621-1776 or 1-270-686-1776 to update your contact information so we can reach you if we detect unusual account activity.
- If your phone is lost or stolen, contact your mobile service provider to determine if the mobile service should be shut off. Contact Independence Bank so we can take appropriate measures to ensure your account is protected.
- Don’t store your banking password or other sensitive information on your computer, smartphone, or in an app where it could be discovered if your device is stolen.
- When you finish banking online, always sign off – don’t simply close the browser or app. For your security, our digital banking mobile app and online banking site will automatically sign you off after a period of inactivity.
- Don’t alter, remove carrier restrictions, or “jail break” your phone… this may make your phone vulnerable to malicious software.
- Only download applications and programs from a trusted source, like your mobile phone’s app store or the manufacturer’s website.
- Keep your devices up-to-date, including operating systems, anti-virus software, applications, security patches and browser versions.
- Ensure the automatic updates feature is enabled in your settings so that software updates will automatically download and install to help protect your phone with the latest security upgrades.
- Secure your home router with a strong password to help protect devices on your network from unauthorized access.
- Always change the default admin or user passwords on any internet device on your network. This could include printers or cameras too.
- Sign-in to the Independence Bank app using a biometric sign on (Touch ID or Face ID) instead of entering your username and password.
Identity Theft Protection
One of the biggest threats to consumers is that of identity theft. Your personal and financial information should be kept just as that… personal to you, and no one else.
- Store your Social Security card, passport, green card, financial documents, and unused credit, debit, or ATM cards in a secure location.
- Never provide your personal or financial information to a caller unless you initiated the call or other communication.
- Don’t send personal or financial information through email or text, as this is typically not secure.
- Do not share personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you initiated the contact or know the person you are dealing with.
- Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly online and asks for your personal information. It doesn’t matter how legitimate the email address or website may look. Only open emails that are from people or organizations you know, and, even then, be cautious if they look questionable. Be especially wary of fraudulent emails or websites that have typos or other obvious mistakes.
- Shred documents that contain sensitive information before discarding.
- Sign up for online billing and financial statements to help reduce the risk of identity theft from stolen paper documents.
- Review your credit report at least once a year to look for unauthorized accounts that are opened in your name. Receive a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Review account statements thoroughly to ensure all transactions are authorized. Also, pay attention to billing cycles and account statements and contact your bank if you don’t receive a monthly bill or statement since identity thieves often divert account documentation.
- We will never call, email, or send texts asking you to provide, update, or verify your personal or account information, such as passwords, social security numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN), or debit card numbers.
- When choosing a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or passwords, don’t use a number or word that appears in your wallet, such as name, birth date, the last four digits of your social security number, or phone number. If you forget your PIN or want to change it, please call 270-686-1776 and we will promptly assist you.
- Don’t share your card’s PIN with anyone or provide it through a text message, email, or phone call.
- Cover the keypad while entering your PIN at an ATM, grocery store, or other locations.
- Don’t write your PIN anywhere, especially on your card.
- Safely store or securely dispose of your transaction receipts.
If you’ve become a victim of identity theft, report it to the appropriate parties immediately.
- Contact us by calling 1-877-621-1776 or 1-270-686-1776.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Call the FTC’s identity theft hotline toll-free at 1 (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338).
- Call the fraud departments of all three credit bureaus and ask them to put a “fraud alert” on your file. This tells creditors to call you before they open any more accounts in your name.
Business email compromise is a growing threat and target for fraudsters.
- Scammers will often send an email that appears to come from a known source making what looks like a legitimate request, such as payment of an invoice, altering payment method or mailing address.
- Call the company or specific person requesting the change with the number you have for them, not one provided in the email to validate the legitimacy of the request.
- Use extra precautions when the person requesting is insisting you to work quickly to facilitate.
- Scammers can also send malicious software to try and infiltrate your company network and gain access to financial information. Be mindful of links and attachments sent to you via email. If anything looks off on the email received, call the person who sent it directly with the number you have on file for them, not a phone number listed on the email.
- Many business email compromises can come from the vendor’s email being hacked. If you receive any new request to make any type of change or add anyone new, call the person directly to confirm.
- If your business has fallen victim to one of these scams, contact us immediately by calling 1-877-621-1776 or 1-270-686-1776 for assistance.
Fraudsters often work overtime using online measures to try and gain access to personal or financial information.
- Create a unique username and password for your Independence Bank accounts and don’t use any part of your email address. Always use unique passwords using different ones on for each service.
- For your password, use an uncommon phrase that includes a mix of letters, numbers and special characters. Remember, the longer the password, the harder it is to crack!
- Protect your online passwords. Don’t write them down or share them with anyone, including family or friends.
- Some browsers and smartphones allow you to save your username and password, commonly referred to as AutoSave or AutoFill. We recommend you disable this feature so that others who may use your device cannot access your accounts.
- If you don’t share your device, you can use the Save Username feature on our mobile app to sign on.
- Activate OOBA (Out-of-Bank-Authentication) two step authentication for an additional layer of security when you sign on to online or mobile banking by having Independence Bank send an access code to a device, such as your mobile phone.
- When shopping online, use secure websites to make purchases. Look for signs of secure transaction, such as a closed-lock icon and “https://…” in the address bar.
- Always sign off from any website after you make a purchase with your credit or debit card. If you cannot sign off, close your browser to help prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
- Make sure to unclick Save Card Information when using your card online for purchases.
- Don’t overshare on social media, especially information used by your bank or other companies to verify your identity. Consider setting your social media profile to private and restrict your contacts to only people you know personally.
Email and Text Messages
We’ve probably all received a text message or email before that looks way too good to be true or has many misspellings in it that makes it look just a little off. The fraudster WANTS you to click on their link or call the number they provide to gain access to your personal or financial information.
- If you receive a suspicious email or text message, don’t respond, don’t click any links, or open attachments. Don’t sign in to your account from a link in a suspicious message.
- For your security, Independence Bank may contact you by email, text or phone regarding your card or account activity. When Independence contacts you, we will not ask for your card PIN, access code or your online banking password. If you are uncomfortable about a request for information, do not respond and instead call Independence Bank direct at 1-877-621-1776 or 1-270-686-1776.
- A text alert from Independence Bank will always be from a 5-digit number and NOT a 10-digit number resembling a phone number. Five-digit short codes are commonly used by companies to send text messages. Add trusted short codes and phone numbers to your contact list so you recognize them when you receive a text.
- Create a unique password for your email account and don’t share it with anyone. If scammers gain access to your email account, they may be able to reset your passwords for other websites and lock you out.
Online Document Storage
Make sure that where you save your financial documents is safe and secure.
- Before saving financial documents to a third-party, online storage service, CAREFULLY review the provider’s security and privacy settings and terms of service. Independence Bank cannot ensure the security of your information after you download it from our website and add it to a third-party site.
- If you use a cloud-based service or website to store financial documents, ensure that the site has security features such as required log-in and data encryption denoted by “https” in the address bar.
- Storing your financial documents online may make them searchable and accessible to others, exposing your sensitive information. If you need to download a financial document, save it locally on your computer or on a secure storage device.
Protecting Your Loved Ones
Make sure that where you save your financial documents is safe and secure.
- Watch out for scams that attempt to trick older adults into sending gift cards or money or giving up personal information or property. These scenarios may include scammers posing as technical support, IRS/Medicare representatives, grandchildren, love interests or lottery/sweepstakes officials.
- Encourage older adults to get to know their neighbors and connect frequently with family. Isolation is often a contributing factor to elder financial abuse.
- Look out for signs of financial abuse by caregivers or relatives, such as requests for financial help or unexpected payments.
- If you suspect a loved one has been a victim of financial abuse, please contact us by calling 1-877-621-1776 or 1-270-686-1776 for assistance.