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Fraud & Security Alerts

Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft is Important

Your identity is one of the most valuable things you own. It’s important to keep your identity from being stolen by someone who can potentially harm your good name and financial well-being. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, address, Social Security Number, credit card or financial account numbers, passwords, and other personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. While the words may sound like a foreign language -- Phishing, Pharming, Vishing, Spyware, Dumpster Diving — they are actually techniques used by thieves to put your identity and finances at risk. And their attacks grow more frequent and sophisticated every year. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. According to US Department of Justice statistics, it’s now passing drug trafficking as the number one crime in America.

How to protect your identity

The simple fact is you can protect yourself against most forms of identity theft. The first step is education. To make it easier to understand, we’ve divided identity theft into the five “Danger Zones.” Take a few moments to learn about each of the Danger Zones and the steps you can take to avoid being a victim. Watch the Video

8/16/2019 - Fraud Alert: Port-Out Scam

What Is a Port-Out Scam? 

If you want to switch cellphone carriers, you can typically bring your existing phone number with you—because who wants to get a new phone number if they don’t have to? No one, that’s who.

Now, imagine someone walking into a carrier store (or calling them) and pretending to be you. Without the proper security measures in place, this person could pretty easily steal your phone number and take it to a new carrier, effectively shutting off your phone service and taking control of your number. That’s pretty scary.

And that’s not the only type of porting scam in the wild today—there’s also something called a SIM swap scam (also called “SIM hijacking”) that works similarly, but instead of porting your number to a new carrier, the attacker simply pretends to be you and requests a new SIM card for your account. They get the SIM, they get access to your number.

And since only one SIM card can be attached to a number at any given point, it effectively disables your current SIM card. So while the tactic is slightly different, the end result is the same: your phone is disabled and someone else has your number as their own.

Why Is this a Big Deal?

While having your number hijacked and cell service terminated sounds like a headache, the implications are much deeper. Think about it: the hijacker just took control of your phone number, so they’re going to get access to all your calls and texts. Everything meant for your eyes or ears is now in the hands of a complete stranger. It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

And your private messages are the least of your worries. What if you use your phone number to receive text messages with security codes when you log into your bank account? That person now has access to any code sent to your phone, and can access your email, bank account, credit cards, and other super sensitive info.

That’s exactly why T-Mobile has recently starting warning its customers about this issue. While it’s possible this could happen with any carrier, a flaw in T-Mobile’s system made it easier for attackers to port any number from a post-paid account to a new carrier, and some users have had their numbers compromised and their bank accounts cleaned out.

The company is doing things to correct the issue now, but it can still be a problem if you don’t know how to deal with it in the first place.

So How Do I Protect Myself?

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to protect yourself from this scam—you just need to make a quick phone call to customer service today, or make a tweak to your account online.

Basically, you need to add a security PIN to your account. The process is going to be different for every carrier (so we can’t outline them all here), but this PIN will be required to make changes to your account, which includes porting your number to a new carrier or requesting a new SIM card. Thus, it secures your account against both port-out and SIM swap scams. Good stuff.

Most carriers should let you do this online under some sort of account security setting, but if you can’t find this info online, just give them a quick call and let them know you want to add PIN security to your account. Remember, this PIN is different from the password you use when you log into your account: it’s specifically used when you walk into a store or call customer service to make changes.

Like with passwords and whatnot, choose something that isn’t easy to guess—don’t use your birthday, for example. That info isn’t hard to figure out, so it kind of defeats the purpose of setting the PIN in the first place. Once it’s in place, though, you should be better secured against this type of scam happening to you.

10/19/2018 - Fraud Alert: Computer Phishing Scams

We have recently become aware of a Computer Phishing scheme where fraudulent ads are presented as pop-ups on personal computers inviting the recipient to receive a free credit report by entering their credit card information. Please note, that you should always be suspicious of any advertisements in a pop-up, and First National Bank and Trust (FNBT) will never sell a service, or ask for personal information in this manner.

To protect yourself from this type of scam:   
  • Make sure you have anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed on your computer, keep them updated, and run a full system scan at least weekly.
  • Keep your computer operating system up to date, and your firewall turned on. 
  • Use strong passwords for secure sites. These should include eight or more characters with random numbers, and change your passwords at least every six months.
  • If you download anything from the Internet such as music, movies, or pictures, make sure you do so only from trusted websites. Downloads can be infected with spyware attached to the file. 
  • Watch for signs of spyware - frequent pop-up ads, unexpected icons on your desktop, random error messages or sluggish computer performance are all signs of infection. Run a full system anti-virus and anti-spyware scan to safely remove. 
  • Be careful when using public computers to perform any type of personal transactions. Just logging into a website may give away passwords and other private information if spyware has been installed on the computer. 
If you receive this type of pop-up, please verify first that no personal information was given. If any information was compromised, immediately contact us so we can take steps to help protect your accounts. 

Keep in mind, our one and Privilege Plus checking accounts include the following benefits as added protection:
  • ID Theft Aid - including payment card fraud resolution and $2,500 in personal identity theft benefit
  • ID Monitoring - designed to secure your personal and financial information
Visit our online resource center for additional information and education regarding Phishing and Identity Theft Prevention.