5 Tips for Protecting Your Checking Account...
What is Identity Theft?
How does identity theft occur?
How does Identity theft affect me?
How can I protect myself from Identity theft?
What should I do if my identity has been stolen?
What are the common types of Fraud and Scams out there?
View recent alerts regarding consumer safety.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is the unlawful use of
another person's identification. Identity theft may take many forms. Common
- Credit Card
financial institution fraud
- Phone or
utility service theft
- The taking of
government documents or benefits
thieves are finding new ways of using the identity of their victims everyday.
The tragic events of September 11 have helped financial institutions and
federal regulators learn more about the ways in which terrorists and terrorist
organizations finance their activities. Some of their methods included opening
accounts and moving funds using false identities or stolen information about
real account holders. One way in which you may help stop these activities and
make our financial institutions safer is to protect your account information
from thieves and unauthorized users.
How does identity theft occur?
Surprising to most people is that identity theft is actually a very easy crime
to commit. In fact, over 1,400 people are victimized each day. That being the
case, it is important for you to know how these thieves operate so you can
protect your personal information.
At the heart of the crime is the thief obtaining information that most people
would assume only the true owner of the information would know. Common examples
institution account numbers
obtain this information in numerous ways. Some thieves will steal wallets,
purses, and even mail. Others will listen and/or watch a person conduct personal
business, such as talking on the phone or getting cash from an automated teller
machine. Thieves will also deceive or trick people into disclosing personal
information through phone scams, via the mail, or on the Internet.
Very aggressive thieves will even obtain personal information by using a
process referred to as "pretext calling." Pretext calling occurs when
an individual contacts an entity in possession of a customer's personal
information and cons the entity into releasing the information by acting as the
customer or someone authorized to have the customer's information.
Once a thief has possession of the information, the thief will apply for credit
cards, loans, phone services, or just about any other service where economic
gain can be realized without actual payment. When applying for credit cards,
loans, or other services, thieves will often intentionally use incorrect
addresses or complete change of address forms on existing accounts so that the
victim will not be immediately aware of the crime.
How does Identity theft affect me?
Identity theft can cause its victims numerous problems. Most significantly, it
can destroy the financial history you have worked so hard to obtain. Repairing
your credit history can require significant time and money. You may not be able
to stop a thief until thousands of dollars of debt have been attributed to you.
How can I protect myself
from Identity theft?
The following are just some of the ways you can reduce the risk of Identity
Never release any personal information to anyone
over the phone unless you have initiated the call.
Make sure you do business with reputable
companies, especially internet based.
Keep your credit cards, debit cards, personal
identification numbers (PINs) and other passwords, checks, social security
cards, other cards or documents which bare your social security number, health
insurance cards, driver's license number and other personal information where
it will be safe. When disposing of these items, do so by shredding.
Keep your deposit and withdrawal slips, credit
card purchase receipts, financial institution statements, credit card
statements, utility bills, medical bills, insurance information, investment
updates, and credit card solicitations where they will be safe. When disposing
of them, do so by shredding.
Don't put your trash out until shortly before
it will be picked up.
Mail bill payments and other items that
contain personal information at a U.S. Postal Service drop box rather than in
your curb side mailbox. Don't put any mail in your curb side mailbox until
shortly before it will be picked up.
Take your mail out of your curb side mailbox
as soon as possible after it has been delivered. If you are traveling, have the
U.S. Postal Service hold your mail or have someone you trust pick it up daily.
Do not open e-mails from unknown sources.
Use virus protection software.
Never respond to an e-mail requesting personal
information. Please note: It is not First
National Bank’s procedure to ask for your password or any other personal
information via e-mail.
Be cautious of hypertext links that bring you to
web sites that may appear to be legitimate.
What should I do if my
identity has been stolen?
In the event that you suspect your identity has been stolen or you are, in
fact, certain that it has been stolen, follow these simple steps:
contact the Federal Trade Commission:
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
the three major credit reporting agencies to put yourself on Fraud Alert:
P.O. Box 740250
P.O. Box 1017
P.O. Box 6790
your nearest branch to go over your current account history with an account
representative to see if there is any unusual activity. The account
representative will be able to place stop payments on any stolen checks, close
any active debit cards, and see if any other accounts were opened without your
with all online merchants you have accounts with to see if there is any
with the Department of Motor Vehicles if t here has been any authorized license
numbers issued in your name.
necessary, contact local authorities to file a police report.
Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline (800) 269-0271 to report the
unauthorized use of your Social Security Number.
mail was stolen, file an “Identity Theft via US Mail” complaint with the United
States Postal Service at your local office.
copies of everything you file and names and numbers of everyone you have spoken
to about your identity theft.
What are the common types of Fraud and Scams out there? There
are many types of Fraud and Scams out there. These are some of the more common.
Phishing: (pronounced Fishing) is a new type of Internet piracy that
allows thieves to “fish” for your financial information. This high-tech scam
uses websites, e-mail spam, and pop-up messages to attempt to deceive you into
providing your personal information such as credit card numbers, passwords and
A Phishing scam begins
when an Identity thief sends out fraudulent e-mail messages that appear to come
from popular web sites or from sites that you trust (like your bank or credit
card company). These e-mail messages and web sites look official and deceive
many people into believing that they are legitimate. Unsuspecting people often
open, read, and respond to the e-mail's requests for their credit card numbers,
passwords, account information, or other personal information. In turn, these
scam artists use your information to purchase goods, apply for new credit
cards, and ultimately steal your identity.
Spoofing: Is when
a fake website is made to look like an authentic bank or business website.
Criminals hope that an unsuspecting person may incorrectly type in the actual website
in their web browser and try to log in their account, thus giving the criminals
their personal ID and password. Links to these websites will also be found in
Advance Fee Scam: Commonly known s the
Nigerian Money Transfer Fraud or 419 Scam. This scam has been around since the
early 80’s but is variant of a scan that dates back to 1588. What used to be
done by mail or faxes is now done by e-mail.
How it works is
the criminals will send you an e-mail claiming to be Nigerian Officials or
business people offering to transfer millions of dollars into your account in
exchange for a small fee. If you respond they will send you official looking
documents asking for your bank account number and a small fee to cover the
Lottery Winner: Like the Advance Fee Scam, criminals
will state that you have won the Canadian Lottery, or various trips or pries
and all you have to do is send them a small handling fee to collect the prizes.
This scam maybe done via e-mail, fax, mail or phone. A good rule of thumb is if
it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
View recent alerts
regarding consumer safety: Below are a list of
past notifications that have been posted on our website.
Claiming to Be From FNB
e-mails are being sent posing as e-mails from First National Bank. The
fraudulent e-mails state, "Your
account has been used by unauthorized persons" asking you to
provide and authenticate your financial information within 48 hours.
Please do not respond to these e-mails. It is not First National Bank's procedure
to ask for your password or any other personal information via e-mail.
Claiming to Be From the FDIC
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has issued a special alert due to
fraudulent e-mails that appear to be sent from the FDIC or VeriSign, Inc., and
are asking recipients to run a "security guard script" to secure Web
fraudulent e-mails state phrases such as “Regular Security Maintenance” or
“Regular Hosting Security Maintenance” and were not sent by the FDIC or
VeriSign, Inc. These are malicious attempts to gather personal and confidential
information from financial institutions and consumers.
e-mails should be reported to the FDIC’s Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes
Section at email@example.com.
Fictitious FDIC E -mail Alert:
The FDIC has sent an alert regarding e -mails sent to individuals titled
"Important News About Your Bank." In this e-mail it reads similar to,
"As a result of Department of Homeland Security, Director Tom Ridge, (or
possibly another Federal, State or Local Government) has advised the FDIC to
suspend all deposits insurance on your account until such time as we can verify
your identity and your account information, due to suspected violations of the
PATRIOT Act by the bank. Please verify your information below..."
Consumers should not access the link contained in the e-mail and should not
provide any personal information to the e-mail's sender. This alert can be
found on the OCC website www.occ.treas.gov by clicking on Issuances and then on
Anti - Terrorist Mail Fraud Alert:
The Treasury Department has issued a warning that a copy of an Anti-terrorist
letter may be sent to customers stating that to wire money overseas from their
account, the customer has to pay a fee of $25,000 (or other amount) to be
issued an ANTI-TERRORIST CERTIFICATE. The funds being charged are said to be
used to fight terrorist money laundering all over the world. They may request
account numbers and other personal information which they will in turn use for
identity fraud situations.
Credit Card theft Alert:
Various e-mail schemes are circulating informing the individual that
"their credit card is being used by another person." It goes on to
say that in order to avoid and prevent further use and to receive refunds for
the fraudulent transactions, a "secure form" should be completed and
e-mailed to someone like "Visa services." Please beware, the websites
look very authentic with credit card logos, etc. Note: It is not the practice
of a legitimate Credit Card company to e-mail alerts or correspond in this way.