The potential for fraud exists with virtually every transaction. To aid in your financial safety, here are some tips on how to be alert and what you can do to minimize your risk.
- Notify Client Services before traveling outside of your normal purchasing area.
- If you encounter a blocked debit card transaction, try using your PIN. Blocks typically don’t affect PIN-based transactions.
- Don’t use public computers or public Wi-Fi connections for online banking unless absolutely necessary.
- Use strong passwords and change them frequently. Passwords should be at least 12 characters in length and include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
- Use different passwords for your financial online services from more casual online accounts such as social network sites – and never share them with anyone or write them down.
- Keep your Online Banking security preferences phone number and/or SMS text number current, and contact us if you suspect fraud.
- Be wary of suspicious e-mails, even if they appear to be from friends. Never open attachments or click on links, until you’ve confirmed their legitimacy. Downloads and links are the easiest methods for hackers to get malicious software loaded onto your computer.
- If you receive a suspicious e-mail that appears to be from American Bank, contact our Client Services team at (800) 257-8316.
- If you realize or suspect you have responded to a fraudulent e-mail with your American Bank logon credentials, account number(s) or personal identification information, contact us immediately.
- Use the lock feature on your phone and/or tablet. This feature not only password protects and locks your device, but also causes user data to be encrypted (on many models after 2010 – consult your manufacturer).
- Keep your mobile device’s operating system up-to-date.
- Do not “jailbreak” your smartphone or tablet. If you buy a used smartphone or tablet device, take precautions to ensure it has not been “jailbroken.”
- Install anti-virus software on your mobile device and be sure to keep it current.
- Avoid downloading software, games, music, books and other digital content from unknown sources.
- Only use ATMs that are well lit and have unobstructed views.
- Check your surroundings before using an ATM.
- Take someone with you, especially at night.
- Conduct your transaction quickly. Have your card out and ready to use. Never count your money while at the ATM. And never allow a stranger to help you with an ATM transaction.
- Protect your PIN, and when your transaction is complete, quickly take your card, money and receipt.
- If something or someone appears suspicious while you are at the ATM, cancel your transaction and leave right away. If anyone follows you, go to a well-lit, crowded location and call the police.
ATM Skimming Awareness
- Look for any suspicious materials or odd colors on the ATM.
- Look for areas where a scammer could place a camera, such as a brochure rack or a pinhole near the keypad.
- Look at the ATM keypad to see if there’s a fake on top of the legitimate one.
- Before inserting your card, give the card reader a small tug. If there is any movement or the device comes off, don't use that ATM and call Customer Service.
- Always cover your PIN as you enter it.
- Reconcile your bank and credit card statements monthly. Make sure there is nothing suspicious or out of the ordinary on your statements.
- Report immediately lost or stolen checks or credit, debit or ATM cards.
- Pay bills online or use a locked mailbox to avoid mailbox theft. You are less likely to have your personal information stolen online than from your mailbox.
- Have your new personal checks delivered to a bank branch for pickup.
- Check your credit report annually. You may obtain a free credit report each year.
- Do not give out information such as checking account, credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone unless you initiated the call.
- Shred all documents containing personal information.
- If you think you are a victim of identity theft, take action immediately. Contact the local police, your bank(s), the three major credit reporting agencies, and the Federal Trade Commission at (877) IDTHEFT or log on to its website.
What to Do If You Become an Identity Theft Victim
- Take action IMMEDIATELY. Delays can cost you years in dealing with the impact of identity theft.
- Contact us to secure your Online Banking and Bill Pay access, accounts and/or debit cards.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus. Visit the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft website.
- Purchase identity theft protection from a reputable vendor.
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