Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft
Identity Theft is a serious threat against consumers. At Bank of Pontiac, we continuously monitor our security procedures to protect you and your accounts. Total security is only possible with your help. Here are steps you can take now to prevent identity theft and protect your finances.
- Do not give out personal information such as account numbers, your social security number(s), passwords, or pin #’s on the phone or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact.
- Monitor all of your bank statements. Check to see if there are any errors or unauthorized transactions. Call to report the transactions that are suspect. Important: If you suspect a transaction is fraudulent, you must contact the bank within 60 days after we sent the first statement on which the problem appeared.
- Report lost or stolen checks, ATM card or debit cards immediately. Properly store cancelled checks. Examine new checks and debit cards to make sure the mailing carrier has not been tampered with. Store them in a secure location.
- Make sure you give Bank of Pontiac a current phone number to reach you. We will attempt to reach you at that phone number if there are suspected fraudulent transactions.
- Destroy unused financial solicitations before discarding them and tear up other financial documents such as statements or receipts before putting them in the trash.
Be Aware of "Phishing"
There is a new scam occurring on the internet involving fraudulent web pages and email messages. Phishing is a term coined by Internet hackers who use email lures to 'fish' passwords and financial data from the sea of Internet users. Email messages designed to look like they came from a merchant or financial institution are mailed to Internet users. The emails direct the recipient to update or provide information back to the company's web site by instructing the user to click on a URL embedded within the email. The embedded URL links the user to a counterfeit web site designed to look like the company's legitimate web site. Passwords and other personal information are then solicited and collected by the web site and used by the scammer to defraud the user.
Please be advised that Bank of Pontiac will not send email communications to you soliciting sensitive information (passwords, user id's, and account numbers, etc.). If you should ever receive an email message requesting personal information and indicating the message originated from Bank of Pontiac, please do not respond to the email. Instead, please contact the bank immediately and alert us of the suspicious email communication.
Text Messaging Scams
Text Messaging scams consist of fraudulent text messages sent to a block of cellular phone customers requesting account information. The text often consists of a message informing the customer that their Debit card account has been disabled and provides a phone number for the person to call, or text personal account information to. DO NOT provide any information to these numbers as they are fraudulent. If you should receive any communications of this sort contact the bank immediately at (815) 844-6155 so that we may report the scammer's information to the appropriate authorities.
Malware creators are now crafting emails claiming to be from banks that ask you to open attachments to perform some sort of service for you. These attachments are viruses or trojans designed to infect your computer and steal your passwords. Never open unsolicited emails claiming to be from financial organizations that ask you to open an attachment or click on a link. On rare occasions we may send you an email letting you know you have locked yourself out of online banking but we will never send you email with attachments to open. The only link you may have have to click on is to reset yourself after you have already initiated it from within online banking.