While First State Bank of Bloomington works to protect your banking privacy, you also play an important role in protecting your information. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your identity:
Mobile Banking Security Best Practices
Mobile banking is both convenient and safe, according to cybersecurity experts, but consumers need to take certain precautions. The FBI recently warned that hackers could exploit new mobile banking customers by using several techniques, including app-based banking Trojans and fake banking apps. Here are some of the risks and the steps you can take to reduce them.
- Download a verified banking app via your bank’s website. Many banks feature links to the app stores from their websites to help you download the right app. Then, use a reliable app store, paying attention to the owner/developer of the app and whether there are other apps with the same name. When in doubt, always contact the bank to make sure, and never download an app found on an open forum.
- Make sure your bank uses two-factor or multi-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication requires customers to use not only a password or PIN to login to their account, but also a second way to confirm their identity, such as duplicating a code that had been sent via text message to their mobile device. First State Bank of Bloomington offers this layer of security.
- Use a strong password. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to use a password that contains random upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t ask your browser to remember it for you either; use a reputable password manager instead.
- Avoid using public wi-fi. When you log onto a public wi-fi hotspot, you often get a warning that you’re not on a secure network, and that others may be able to watch your online actions. That’s a strong reason not to conduct any financial business using a public network. Instead, use your cellular network or your home wi-fi to better protect your personal information.
- Practice phishing/smishing awareness. Phishing emails are where scammers attempt to manipulate recipients into divulging personal information, while smishing scammers use such bait in text messages. Consumers should be familiar with their banking application in the first place to detect abnormal questions or pop-ups that look slightly different than the usual features.
- Set up alerts via email, text, or the bank’s app. This quick notification helps the consumer to detect potential fraudulent activity, which can then be addressed with the bank in a timely manner. Please contact a banker if you need assistance with setting up your account alerts.
General Scam Tips
- Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Visit usa.gov/coronavirus for links to federal, state, and local government agencies.
- Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and medical supplies when they don't, or they'll charge much more than legitimate sellers.
- As always, don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer and result in personal information being stolen.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit the cdc.gov/coronavirus (CDC) and the who.int/emergencies/diseases (WHO).
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation, and refuse to donate in the form of cash, gift cards, or wiring of money.
- Monitor your credit reports. All three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies are offering free weekly credit reports through April 2021. Request these reports at annualcreditreport.com.
Government Check Scams
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has warned Americans that criminals are likely to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis to target financial information, and urged taxpayers to be on the lookout for malicious calls, texts, emails and social media posts that requested financial or other personal information. These scams could lead to identity theft or tax fraud.
In particular, the IRS highlighted a new “wave” of dangerous phishing emails around the coronavirus stimulus checks that the agency is preparing to either directly deposit in bank accounts or mail out over the next several weeks. The IRS will not call you to verify or collect financial information, nor will they send you unexpected emails on the topic. Anyone asking for information and promising that you'll get a faster payment in return is attempting to scam you.
Read more from the IRS at irs.gov/coronavirus.
Unemployment Claim Scam
The FBI has seen a spike in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims complaints related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic involving the use of stolen personally identifiable information (PII).
U.S. Citizens from several states have been victimized by criminal actors impersonating the victims and using the victim’s stolen identities to submit fraudulent unemployment insurance claims online. The criminals obtain the stolen identity using a variety of techniques, including the online purchase of stolen PII, previous data breaches, computer intrusions, cold-calling victims while using impersonation scams, email phishing schemes, physical theft of data from individuals or third parties, and from public websites and social media accounts, among other methods. Criminal actors will use third parties or persuade individuals who are victims of other scams or frauds to transfer fraudulent funds to accounts controlled by criminals.
Many victims of identity theft related to unemployment insurance claims do not know they have been targeted until they try to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, receive a notification from the state unemployment insurance agency, receive an IRS Form 1099-G showing the benefits collected from unemployment insurance, or get notified by their employer that a claim has been filed while the victim is still employed.
For more details and tips on how to protect yourself, please visit fbi.gov/news.
Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it may instead lead to more robocalls. Hang up on robocalls and don’t press any numbers.
Learn more about these scams from the Federal Trade Commission at consumer.ftc.gov.
Scammers Pretending to be the FDIC
Fraudsters know that people trust the FDIC name, so scammers use the FDIC’s name and logo, and even the names of actual employees, in perpetrating fraudulent schemes. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself against government imposters like these:
- The FDIC does not send unsolicited correspondence asking for money or sensitive personal information and will never threaten you.
- No government agency will ever demand that you pay by gift card, wiring money, or digital currency.
- The FDIC would never contact you asking for personal details, such as bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, social security numbers, or passwords.
If in doubt, contact the FDIC's Call Center at 1-877-275-3342 Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CST.
For more information, visit the FDIC’s website at fdic.gov.
- Add your phone numbers to the national Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222. Since February 2008, these registered telephone numbers will no longer expire off the list.
- Examine your credit card and financial institution statements immediately upon receipt to determine whether there were any unauthorized transactions. Report any that you find immediately to the financial institution.
- Place a fraud alert every 90 days on your credit file at www.fraudalerts.equifax.com or by calling 1-800-525-6285. By placing a fraud alert with Equifax, you will automatically have alerts placed at Experian and TransUnion.
- Each year, you are entitled to one free credit report through www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
- Request a copy of your Social Security statements at www.ssa.gov/mystatement to be sure that no one else is using your social security number for employment.
Every 5 Years
- Opt out of pre-screened credit offers by calling 1-888-567-8688 or at www.optoutprescreen.com.
Please read the other sections to learn about the different types of fraud and how to prevent them, from spyware and other computer fraud to mail and phone fraud to email phishing and web spoofing. Our Fraud Summary page provides more tips on how to protect yourself.
Identity Theft is the most popular and profitable form of consumer fraud. It occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
Common ways identity theft can happen:
"Old Fashioned" Stealing
- Thieves typically steal wallets and purses. They also steal mail such as credit card and bank statements, pre-approved credit card offers, check orders and other financial mail.
- Thieves dig through trash looking for bills, financial or other personal information.
Change of Address
- Thieves modify or redirect your billing statements to another address by completing a "change of address" form.
- Thieves may send unsolicited Emails, pretending to be a financial institution or a company, asking you to click a link to update or confirm your personal or login information. The link is directed to a "spoof" website designed to look like a legitimate site.
- Thieves may use a card reader device to copy the card's magnetic strip to duplicate without the card owner's knowledge.
Monitor your accounts
Keep track of transactions on your accounts by logging in to First State Bank of Bloomington's Online Banking, where you can view your activity as it is posted.
Protect your personal information
- Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
- Do not have personal information such as your Social Security number and driver's license number printed on your checks.
- Keep your new and cancelled checks in a safe place.
- Do not leave your purse, wallet, checkbook, or any other forms of identification in your car
- Shred or tear up any documents containing banking or credit information, especially pre-approved credit offers, before you throw them away. To opt out of pre-approved credit card offers, call 1-888-567-8688.
- Keep your PINs and passwords a secret. Do not write them down or share them with anyone.
First State Bank of Bloomington continually makes investments in state-of-the-art online banking security to ensure we protect the confidentiality of every customer's online information and to provide the utmost security of every user.
Computer protection tips:
- Update your computer operating system on a regular basis.
- Keep your browser current with the latest security updates.
- Use updated anti-virus software.
- Use updated anti-spyware software and consider using more than one, to ensure the most thorough scan.
- Change your passwords on a regular basis, as a good practice to help prevent unauthorized access.
- Download free software only from websites you know and trust.
- Do not install software without knowing exactly what it is or what it will do (read the end-user license agreement).
- Close pop-up ads by clicking on the "X" instead of clicking within the advertisement itself.
- Review your browser security settings and set them to a high enough level to help detect unauthorized downloads. (Click your browser's "Help" menu for steps).
- Do not click links inside of spam email. Especially emails claiming to offer anti-spyware software.
- Install a personal firewall on your computer. A firewall works like a filter that prevents access to information on your computer.
- Don't give any of your personal information to any web sites that do not use encryption or other secure methods to protect it.
Mail & Phone
We recommend you learn ways to protect yourself from common fraud schemes.
Vishing scams target consumers by “spoofing” text or voicemail messages that ask you to call a phone number and give your personal information. Here’s how it works:
- You receive a "spoof" email or text message about suspicious account activity.
- The text or voicemail message will ask you to call a “customer service” number.
- When you call the customer service number, a recording will ask you to provide personal information such as account numbers, passwords, a social security number, or other critical information.
- The recording may not mention the company’s name and could potentially be an indication the call is being used for fraud.
- You can also receive a phone call.
- The call could be a “live” person or a recorded message.
- The caller may already have your personal information, which may seem as if the call is legitimate.
Smishing is when consumers' cell phones and other mobile devices are targeted with mobile spam. The spam, or text messages, attempt to trick consumers into providing personal information. Here's how it works:
- You receive a fake text message, which may include a fraudulent link, asking you to register for an online service.
- The scammer attempts to load a virus onto your cell phone or mobile device.
- The scammer may also send a message 'warning' you that your account will be charged unless you cancel your supposed online order.
- When you attempt to log on to the website, the scammer extracts your credit card number and other personal information.
- In turn, your information is used to duplicate credit, debit and ATM cards.
- Scammers may also send you a text message again 'warning' you that your bank account has been closed due to suspicious activity.
- The text message will ask you to call a 'customer service' number to reactivate your account.
- When you call the number, you are taken to an automated voice mail box that prompts you to key in your credit card, debit card or ATM card number, expiration date and PIN to verify your information.
- Again, your information is used to duplicate credit, debit and ATM cards.
Lottery/Sweepstakes scams target consumers by a notification, which arrives through the mail, by email, or by an unsolicited telephone call. Here's how it works:
- The notification advises you have won a prize, but you did not enter in any type of lottery or sweepstake by the promoter contacting you.
- The promoter will ask you to send payment to cover the cost of redeeming the prize when the prize does not exist.
- In this type of scam, you may rarely if ever receive any winnings in return.
Check Overpayment Scams
Check Overpayment scams target consumers who sell items through an online auction site or a classified ad. Here's how it works:
- The seller takes a big loss when the 'buyer' passes a counterfeit cashier's check, money order, corporate or personal check as payment.
- The counterfeit check is written for more than the agreed price.
- The 'buyer' will ask the consumer to wire back the difference after the check has been deposited.
- The check will more than likely bounce and the consumer becomes liable for the entire amount.
Tips for the mailbox
Check Overpayment scams target consumers who sell items through an online auction site or a classified ad. Here's how it works:
- Deposit outgoing mail at the Post Office.
- Remove incoming mail from your personal mailbox as soon as possible, or use a P.O. Box or locked, secure mailbox.
- Request a mail hold from the United States Postal Service or call them at 1-800-275-8777 if you plan to be away from home for an extended period.
- Know your billing cycles. If bills are late or missing, contact your creditors.
- Watch for your new or replacement Checkcard from us. You should receive it within five business days.
- Switch to a more secure way of receiving your account statement. When you sign up for First State Bank of Bloomington Online E-Statements, your statement will no longer sit in your mailbox. Instead, we will send you an email when your statement is available through your secure Online Banking account.
Tips for the phone
- Do not give out personal information, such as your account numbers, card numbers, Social Security, tax identification numbers, passwords, or PINs, unless you have initiated the call.
- We will not make an unsolicited call requesting your personal information.
- If you ever believe you are not talking to a representative of a legitimate company, hang up and call the phone number listed in the telephone book.
Phishing & Spoofing
Phishing scams target consumers by “spoofing” text or voicemail messages that ask you to call a phone number and give your personal information. Here’s how it works:
- You receive an email message , asking you to click on a link in order to update some sensitive personal information.
- The link will redirect you to a "spoofed" website, which is designed to look like a legitimate website.
- The website will ask you to input personal information such as your account numbers, PINs , or a social security number.
Avoid spoofed websites
To protect yourself from going to a spoofed website, always type: "www.fsbblm.com" into your browser when you login to your First State Bank of Bloomington Online Banking Account, instead of clicking a link in an email.
email protection tips
- Do not click links in Emails to log in, or to update or confirm your sensitive information
- Do not fill out forms in Emails
- Be cautious about opening attachments or downloading files, regardless of who sent them
- 'Spam', or mass email messages, often contain links to phishing websites and other unsavory websites.
- Many phishing scams originate outside of the United states. Be wary of emails from people or sources you don't know or trust.
- Poor grammar and misspelled words from unknown sources asking you for personal information are clear warning signs of a phishing scam being operated outside of the United States.
- Legitimate companies or organizations will never ask you to divulge any personal information over email.
- Phishing emails may also be fake contests or offerings, asking you to input personal information.
- If an offer or email you receive is too good to be true, it most likely is.
Bank Error Messages
One of the newest schemes by fraudsters involves spoofing bank error messages. Here's how it works:
- Fraudsters will send you an email message about a data or site maintenance error at First State Bank of Bloomington or any of your banks.
- The email will ask you to click on a link, which will redirect you to a site and will install malware on your computer.
- This malware allows scammers to intercept your password and bypass the dual authentication system many financial institutions use.
- The next time you attempt to log in to your online banking service, scammers attempt to steal your password and may quickly drain your account.
Emails from First State Bank of Bloomington
For your protection, we will not send you an email to update or confirm your sensitive information such as account numbers, social security number or birthday by clicking a link or replying.
Emails to First State Bank of Bloomington
Please do not send personal information in this un-secure email. Secure email may be sent from the Secure Feedback form from within our Online Banking’s Support Tab.