Tips to Prevent Fraud
What to do if your wallet is lost or stolen
If your wallet is lost or stolen, you must act quickly to protect your identity.
Make a list of everything in your wallet – before you lose it.
- Credit or debit card numbers
- Insurance cards (medical, car, etc.)
- Membership cards (gym, library, etc.)
- ID cards (driver’s license, school ID)
Include contact numbers in your wallet list so you have the information you need to cancel or reissue your cards. Store this information in a secure location that you can access if you lose your wallet. Note: Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
Watch Your U.S. Postal Mail
Missing bills or statements may indicate someone is tampering with your mail or your identity. To cut down on mail fraud:
- Sign up for “Hold Mail Service” with the U.S. Postal Service if you plan to be away from home for 3 to 30 consecutive days. Call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 or submit a “Mail Hold” request online.
- Switch from Paper to e-statements
- Getting Goppert Financial Bank e-statements eliminates your risk of identity theft or fraud as a result of stolen mail.
- E-statements provide all the same information as paper statements.
- You can view and print statements, and manage your account online via the Goppert Financial Bank Online Banking system.
- And as a bonus, you’re helping Goppert Financial Bank protect and conserve natural resources while improving your security at the same time. To sign up for e-statements or to find out more information, please visit any of our local branches.
Protect your computer
- Use strong passwords and change them frequently
- A strong password should combine no fewer than 8 letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Never share your password with anyone.
- Create a unique user ID and password for online banking that you never use anywhere else (for example, webmail, social networking or any other online accounts).
- Don’t carry passwords around in your wallet—especially if they are listed along with usernames and websites.
- Never use a password you’ve seen used as an example or in a list of good or bad passwords – the bad guys like to start with these!
- Make your password easy to remember and hard to guess. For example, you can turn your dogs’ names – Spot and Rover — into the password “Sp0t&R0v3r.” Or you may want to convert the sentence “I love my dogs, Spot and Rover” to a password of “I<3mdS&R.” It’s still meaningful and memorable but harder for someone else to guess. (And remember, don’t use either of these examples!)
- Erase (or physically destroy) your hard drive before discarding your old computer
Private information stored on your computer’s hard drive should be erased or destroyed before you get rid of your computer. First, make a backup copy of any important data you want to save. Then, to erase information permanently, you must either wipe (or “scrub”) your hard drive with special software or physically destroy it (for example, by drilling holes in it). These steps are necessary because your files may be easily recoverable even after you have deleted them or put them in the “recycle bin” on your computer and emptied the bin. Learn more about how to safely dispose of old computers and hard drives.
- Keep your system current
- Keep your computer operating system, Internet browser, and other software up-to-date for additional protection against fraud and theft.
- Install anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spam software
- Most current operating systems have the ability to automatically update critical system files. Take advantage of this to better protect your computer.
- Regularly update Adobe Flash and Acrobat Reader for Windows or Macintosh
- Change default passwords and network names
- When you buy a wireless router or cable modem, it comes with a default password set up by the manufacturer. Be sure to change the default password to your own unique password.
- Routers also come from the manufacturer with a default name (or “SSID”). This is the name that shows up when you search for a wireless network to get on the Internet. Don’t keep the default SSID. Instead, rename the network. (Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions)
- Following the manufacturer’s instructions, make sure the encryption (for example, WPA2 or WEP) on your wireless router is turned on.
Report Suspicious Activity
Criminals have many clever ways to steal from unsuspecting consumers.
For example, fraudsters may send you emails or direct you to websites that appear to be legitimate bank sites, then ask you to enter your account number. If this happens to you, you are being targeted for fraud and should report it to us immediately.
Goppert Financial Bank will never ask you to provide your account numbers, passwords or other personal identification information via email or during an unsolicited phone call. If you did not initiate communication with Goppert Financial Bank regarding account questions or problems, or if you receive a communication that appears to be from Goppert Financial Bank asking for this kind of information, do not respond. If you receive such a call or are unsure about a call from us, please call us using the number on your statement or in the telephone book.
From time to time you may receive emails from us promoting Goppert Financial Bank products or services, bank announcements, notice of e-statement delivery or changes to your accounts. If you are ever unsure of the validity of an email message, please contact your local Goppert Financial Bank branch for assistance.
- Report Lost or Stolen Cards
- Contact your local branch to report Debit or ATM Card Fraud, after hours call 800-500-1044.
- Report Missing Replacement Cards
- When your card expires, we will send you a new one. If your mail is stolen, your new card may fall into the wrong hands. Call us if you don’t receive a replacement card before the expiration date listed on your current card.
- Keep an Eye Out for Suspicious Activity on Your Goppert Financial Bank Accounts
- Monitor your statements closely, and immediately report any transactions you don’t recognize to Goppert Financial Bank.
- How to Report Suspicious Activity Online
- Log in to internet banking, then select “Customer Service Center” on the top menu
- Select “Requests and Messages” under Communications Center
- Select “Ask A Question/Send a Message?”
- In the drop down menu, select, “Report suspicious activity”
- Include as many details as you can in your secure message to Goppert Financial Bank about your concerns. Please allow 1-2 business days when sending a message via secure message through the online banking communications center.
- Beware of Suspicious Emails
- Criminals may send you “phishing” emails designed to trick you into downloading malware or revealing confidential banking information. Recently, scammers have become very sophisticated in their attempts to obtain your personal and account information. One such scam known as “phishing” sends the victim an email claiming to be from a reputable financial institution or the FDIC. The message in the email directs the victim to click on a link that redirects them to a false web page that looks like a legitimate bank or regulatory agency web page. Once the scammer has lured the victim to the fraudulent site they are able to capture account numbers, social security numbers, and other personal identification information that will help them to commit fraud.
- Another phishing scheme attempts to convince the customer they need special security software to provide encryption, SSL Certificates or some other software protection against unauthorized access to your online banking account. Actually, the criminals are trying to download malicious software to your computer to capture keystrokes, IDs, passwords and other confidential information. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK OR APPROVE THE DOWNLOAD. DELETE THE EMAIL.
- Goppert Financial Bank will never attempt to download any type of Business or Consumer online banking system updates or other software/certificates to your computer through an email link.
Tips to avoid phishing
- If you receive an unexpected e-mail saying your account will be shut down unless you provide financial or personal information, do not reply or click on any of the links in the e-mail.
- Before submitting financial information through a web site, look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar. It means that the information is a secure server transmission. Only submit information to a web site if you have personally typed in what you know to be a valid web site address – if you got to the web site through a link from any source, do not submit any personal information.
- If you are uncertain about the information, contact the company through an address or telephone number you know to be genuine.
- If you unknowingly supplied personal or financial information, contact your credit card company or bank immediately.
- Suspicious e-mail can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org and complaints should be filed with the state attorney general’s office or through the FTC at www.ftc.gov.
- Smishers are fraudsters who send text messages to your phone, instructing you to call a certain number or go to a specified website immediately. Generally, the smishers warn that something bad will happen to your account (such as it will be frozen or terminated) if you don’t follow their instructions.
- Never respond to these texts. Do not call the numbers they provide or click on the links they send to you via text message or email. Goppert Financial Bank does not currently send out text message alerts to customers.
- Vishers are fraudsters who reach out to you by phone instead of email. They’re after the same thing as phishers – your confidential banking information. Fraudsters can spoof caller ID to make it look like a call is actually originating from Goppert Financial Bank. So how can you tell whether a caller is the real deal?
- It’s simple. Goppert Financial Bank will never call you and ask you for your account numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PINS), or any confidential information. Do not provide any confidential information over the phone unless you initiated the phone call. Hang up and call Goppert Financial Bank at 816-782-7400 if you suspect fraud. Call 816-782-7400 for all other customer service concerns.
- Be Wary of Suspicious Text Messages
- Scam artists may send a text message to your mobile phone that tries to trick you into revealing confidential banking information. This practice is called “smishing”.
- Recognize Suspicious Phone Calls or Voice Messages
- People who call and ask for confidential banking information are most likely criminals. These people may sound legitimate, but don’t believe them. Goppert Financial Bank will never ask you to provide your account numbers, passwords or other personal identification information via during an unsolicited phone call. If you did not initiate communication with Goppert Financial Bank regarding account questions or problems, or if you receive a communication that appears to be from Goppert Financial Bank asking for this kind of information, do not respond. If you receive such a call or are unsure about a call from us, please call us using the number on your statement or in the telephone book.
- How to Report Suspicious Phone Calls or Voice Messages
- If you receive a suspicious phone call or voice message, please call your local branch using the number on your statement or in the telephone book.
Warning Signs of Identity Theft
Most victims won’t know their identity has been stolen until well after it happens because they don’t know the warning signs. The sooner you become aware of the theft, the less damage a thief can do.
- Unfamiliar purchases or missing money
- Always check billing statements for purchases or transactions you didn’t make. Unexpected purchases or transactions indicate that someone has stolen your account number.
- Surprises on your credit report
- There are three major credit reporting companies, each of which is required to provide you with one free copy of your credit report every year upon request. Contact them directly to order your reports:
- Equifax: 800-525-6285 or equifax.com
- Experian: 888-397-3742 or experian.com
- TransUnion: 800-680-7289 or transunion.com
- Read your credit reports carefully for signs of identity theft;
- Unfamiliar active or cancelled loans or accounts are signs your identity has been stolen.
- “Credit inquiries” from unfamiliar companies could mean someone has tried to open an account with your identity.
- If you receive bills from doctors or medical facilities for services you never used, someone is using your identity to get medical treatment or insurance.
- Unexpected or missing bills
- If a monthly bill stops showing up in the mail, it may have been stolen or redirected to a different address by an identity thief.
- Be suspicious of a notification of mail redirection from the post office that you never requested.
- Denied employment or credit
- A thief who isn’t paying the bills on an account opened with your information could drastically affect your credit rating.
- An unusually high interest rate on a new account could signal a bad credit rating due to identity theft.
- If you’re turned down for a job after a background check, you could be an identity theft victim.
- Collections agencies contact you
If debt collectors contact you about debt you know nothing about, your identity may have been stolen.
- You receive (or are denied) credit cards or charge cards you never requested
- Call the card issuer about a credit or retail charge card you receive but didn’t request.
- Contact the card issuer if you receive a notice denying an application for credit for which you never applied.
If you notice even one of the warning signs above, you need to take immediate steps to protect your assets.
Signs of a fraudulent email
- Beware of links in email.
- Clicking on a link in a phishing email or pasting it into your browser may take you to a fraudulent website.
- Look for clues in the link like a misspelled company name
- Don’t fall for scare tactics.
- Fraudulent emails try to make you believe something bad will happen (for example, your account will be suspended) if you don’t respond to the email and provide your account number or other confidential information.
- Protect your confidential information.
- As a rule of thumb, never include any information in an email that you wouldn’t write on a postcard.
- It’s critical to know that Goppert Financial Bank will never ask you to provide confidential information (your account number, Social Security number, name, address, password, etc.) in emails or text messages.
- We will only ask for confidential information to verify your identity when you initiate communication with Goppert Financial Bank regarding account questions or problems.
- If you get a phishing email that claims to be from Goppert Financial Bank, please call 816-782-7400 to report it to Goppert Financial Bank.
- Watch for misspelled words. Fraudulent emails often contain bad grammar and misspelled words.
How to tell if a website is real.
Fraudulent websites look like the real thing and can fool you if you don’t know what to look for. To check whether a website is real:
- Look for the “S”.
- Every Goppert Financial Bank web page that reveals personal information will have https: in the address.
- The “s” after http indicates the connection between your computer and the website is “secure.”
- Informational pages that do not reveal personal information (like our home page) will not always have the “s.”
- Look for security indicators
- In addition to the “s,” certain browsers will display a small lock icon in the browser address bar to indicate a secure site. If you use Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, look for this icon.
- When you click on the lock, a certificate window should appear.
- If no window appears, you may be on a fraudulent website.
- Different browsers, such as Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox, indicate a secure site in different ways. For details, refer to the help pages for your browser.
- Click on the lock icon to see the digital certificate.
- Telephone spoofing – Public telephone networks often provide Caller ID information, which includes the caller’s name and number, with each call. However, some technologies (especially in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks) allow callers to forge Caller ID information and present false names and numbers. Gateways between networks that allow such spoofing and other public networks then forward that false information. Since spoofed calls can originate from other countries, the laws in the receiver’s country may not apply to the caller. This limits laws’ effectiveness against the use of spoofed Caller ID information to further a scam.
- E-mail address spoofing – The sender information shown in e-mails (the “From” field) can be spoofed easily. This technique is commonly used by spammers to hide the origin of their e-mails and leads to problems such as misdirected bounces (i.e. e-mail spam backscatter). E-mail address spoofing is done in quite the same way as writing a forged return address using snail mail. As long as the letter fits the protocol, (i.e. stamp, postal code) the SMTP protocol will send the message. It can be done using a mail server with telnet.