Merchants National Bank is committed to making your online transactions as safe and secure as possible. However below we offer some tips to help you maintain your security while on our website and throughout the internet.
Helpful Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft:
- Shred and destroy unwanted documents that contain personal information.
- Immediately report lost or stolen credit cards.
- Review and monitor your consumer credit reports regularly.
- Do not carry your social security card or your birth certificate. Keep these tucked away in a safe place.
- Be aware and note when your monthly financial statements arrive in the mail. Notify your financial institutions if they don’t arrive when expected.
- Watch your financial statements and ensure all charges made are yours.
- Keep your ATM and Debit Card receipts, do not leave these behind.
- Never reveal your bank account, credit card, mother’s maiden name or social insurance number over the phone (unless dealing with a trusted business or organization). Ask the caller to send information by mail.
- Keep a list of all your financial accounts such as account numbers, expiration dates, and customer help telephone numbers. Ensure this list is kept in a safe place & use to contact in case of lost or stolen cards.
- When creating passwords or PINs, do not use digits of your social insurance number, mother’s maiden name, your birth date, any part of your name (first, middle, last).
- Watch your credit card expiration dates, if you don’t receive a replacement card prior to the date - contact the issuer.
- Sign all new credit cards immediately to prevent someone else from doing so.
- Beware of mail or telephone contacts informing you of prizes and awards - especially if they ask for personal or financial account information.
Phishing is an e-mail fraud method in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking email in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients.
Here are some tips to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:
- Don't reply to email or pop-up messages that ask for personal or financial information, and don't click on links in the message. Don't cut and paste a link from the message into your Web browser — phishers can make links look like they go one place, but that actually send you to a different site.
- Some scammers send an email that appears to be from a legitimate business and ask you to call a phone number to update your account or access a "refund." If you need to reach an organization you do business with, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card.
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them all regularly.
- Don't email personal or financial information.
- Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer's security.
- Forward phishing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email. Most organizations have information on their websites about where to report problems. You also may report phishing email to email@example.com. The Anti-Phishing Working Group, a consortium of ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, uses these reports to fight phishing.
- If you believe you've been scammed, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint, and then visit the FTC's identity theft website at ftc.gov/idtheft. Victims of phishing can become victims of identity theft. While you can't entirely control whether you will become a victim of identity theft, you can take some steps to minimize your risk. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these new accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You may catch an incident early if you order a free copy of your credit report periodically from any of the three major credit reporting companies. See http://www.annualcreditreport.com for details on ordering a free annual credit report.