Looking for information about how to protect yourself from scams and fraud? Below are some articles from our own SmartBanking Talk Blog!
- News To Use: Mobile Device Security
- How to Identify and Avoid Sweetheart Scams
- News To Use: Beware of 1099 Scams
- How to Spot IRS Impersonators
- How to Avoid 'Ghost' Tax Preparers
- Avoid Online Quiz and Survey Scams
- Protect Yourself and Family from Grandparent Scams
- Don't Be Fooled by Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams
- How to Avoid Tech Support Scams
- Know the Most Common Medicare Scams
- Be Aware of Text Scams
- Don't Be Fooled by Phony Prizes and Sales
- Look Out for Bank Communications Spoofing
- Avoid Smart TV Scams
Click the topics below to learn more about online security and scam prevention!
Video Information for Our Business Customers
GeekSquad/Computer Maintenance Scam
We've seen some reports of people receiving emails claiming to be from GeekSquad or other computer maintenance companies. These emails claim to be in reference to service plans, stating that the customer's card has been charged for renewal. When the customer calls the false company for cancellation, the scammers will pretend to over-refund, ask the customer to send part of the money back, and take the funds. Those affected have lost thousands of dollars. If you receive such an email, please do not interact. Feel free to bring it to The Savings Bank, and we would be happy to analyze it or help you.
If someone takes sudden romantic interest online and then asks for money, that's a scam. Learn more by reviewing these images from the Fair Trade Commission website, and click here to learn more about this scam.
Scam Alert (July 2020) -- Amazon Support Scam
We've received word that customers are receiving phone calls from people claiming to be with Amazon. These scammers claim that in order for an item to be shipped, you must give them account information over the phone or go to a website and enter your account information. These calls are fraudulent. If you receive one of these calls, we encourage you to terminate the call immediately.
Protecting Your Personal / Financial Information
Thieves are constantly looking for ways to obtain personal and financial information to use in identity theft / fraud for their financial gain, and unfortunately, your financial loss. Protecting your personal and financial information is a top priority of The Savings Bank. We are constantly implementing and updating programs, policies and procedures to keep your personal and financial information safe. Below we have listed some tips to help you understand how Identity Theft can happen and some ways you can protect your personal and financial information.
Internet / Online Security
- When using online banking or viewing other personal or financial information over the Internet, be sure to always log off that site as soon as you have completed your transactions.
- Make sure you have an updated anti -virus and / or firewall protection on your computer.
- Update your Microsoft® patches regularly.
- Change your passwords often. Make sure they are not something that can be associated with you such as your phone number, house number, birth date, pet name, etc.
- Memorize your passwords. Never share them with anyone, and if you must write them down, keep them in a secure location at all times. Do not carry them in your purse or wallet or store them in your cell phone or electronic organizer.
Protecting Your Social Security Number
- Don’t carry your Social Security card with you.
- Only give out your number when absolutely necessary. (You will be required to give your number to your bank when opening accounts, or if you are already a customer you may need to verify the last four digits when requesting information. You also may be required to give your Social Security number on tax reporting forms, to your employer, and for stock or property transactions).
- Do not have your Social Security number printed on your checks or allow a merchant to write it on your check as a form of identification.
- Opt not to have your Social Security number printed on your driver’s license.
Limiting Access to Your Personal Information
- Never give your credit card number or bank account numbers over the phone or Internet in response to a solicitation. You should know and trust the source or site requesting your number and any personal or financial information.
- Never give out personal information to solicitations that state you have just won a sweepstakes or lottery requesting your personal information before you can receive the prize. Request they mail the information to you. If they don’t already have your address, question where you signed up for the drawing, as this is always a requirement when entering.
- Keep your personal and financial documents / statements in a secure location at all times, especially if you have any outside workers in your home for home repairs, cleaning, health care, etc.
- Safely shred and destroy your personal and financial documents. Thieves can obtain a lot of valuable information by going through someone’s trash.
- Set up Direct Deposit, so you do not have checks coming in the mail.
- Watch for your mail. If you have not received your bank or credit card statements on time, you may want to call to verify they have been sent. Thieves can obtain your numbers from stolen mail and even change your address on record, so their crime is not detected in a timely manner.
- Review your bank and credit card statements at least monthly for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. Report any suspicious activity immediately.
Common Scams to Avoid
- Lottery Scam: A telephone call, mail or email stating you are the winner of a lottery. The person is later notified congratulating them on winning a large sum of money. To receive the winnings, they are asked to “send” money to pay for certain fees or taxes. Never send money to receive money. No genuine lottery will ask for money to pay for fees.
- Nigerian Scam: A person receives a letter, email or fax with a request to send a large sum of money in return for using the recipient’s bank account to transfer the money into the country. A sad story is usually detailed as to why they need to transfer the money. After they are given the bank account number they often draw all the money from the victim's account. Sometimes they request the victim send them money up front to pay fees.
- Phishing or Pharming: The victim receives an email from a supposedly credible bank or credit card company requesting an update of their account information. The victim is then directed to a website to enter the information. These are fake websites made to steal the updated information. NO bank or credit card company will make this type of request. If you have a question, you need to get the phone number from your statements or phone book and call your bank or credit card company to ensure there are no problems.
- 900 Phone Number Scams: Victim receives a notification via mail that they are a sweepstakes winner of a large sum of money or the winner of a free holiday vacation. In order to receive the money or vacation they are given a 900-toll number to call. This is not a toll-free number, and the message on the call is lengthy. There is no prize, just a large phone bill for the victim.
Protect Your Card from Skimmers
Skimmers are devices placed by criminals in ATMs and pay terminals (such as gas station pumps and parking garage kiosks) that steal your card information, allowing thieves access to your account. They are becoming more common and more sophisticated. Some new skimmers are as thin as a credit card and fit inside the machine where you enter your card rather than mounting on the outside.
Skimmers can be very difficult to detect, but here are some tips for protecting your card:
- Keep an eye on your accounts and review your statements very carefully. Check for any charges you don’t recognize — no matter how small. Online and mobile banking allow you to keep an eye on your account every single day, and CardValet (available through The Savings Bank) even notifies you when your card has been used.
- If you don’t recognize a charge, contact the Bank immediately.
- If possible, go inside to pay at gas stations.
- Check for signs that the ATM, gas pump or pay terminal you are using has been tampered with. If something seems out of place, be sure to report it to the business owner.
If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at 1-800-582-2265.
Microsoft Tech Support Scam
We have been made aware that several people in our community have received telephone calls from individuals claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support. Please be aware that this is a scam. Microsoft Tech Support does not make outbound calls to consumers — they will not call your home. If you receive one of these calls, we encourage you to terminate the call immediately.
Listed below are special links and resources for additional and more detailed information, and these are to be used for educational and demonstration purposes only. The Savings Bank is not responsible for third party websites* and does not accept responsibility for the installation and maintenance of your personal computer’s hardware and software.
*The Savings Bank takes your security very seriously and all of our systems have many layers of security in place to protect customer personal and financial information. We encourage customers to exercise best practices when using online banking products and services.
- Credit Bureau Reports:
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- Equifax: 1-800-685-1111
- Trans Union: 1-800-916-8800
- Report Fraud:
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
- More Information:
- Consumer Rights Summary