Protect Your Identity
Skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your personal information, including:
- Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a "change of address" form.
- "Old-Fashioned" Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records from their employers, or bribe employees who have access.
Internet Pirates are trying to steal your personal information by a new type of Internet piracy called "phishing." It's pronounced "fishing," which is exactly what the con artists are doing: "fishing" for your personal financial information. The information that the thieves are looking for are account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information.
In the worst case, you could find yourself a victim of identity theft. With the confidential information obtained from a successful phishing scam, these con artists can take out loans or obtain credit cards and even use the information to loot your checking account or run up bills under your name.
How does phishing work?
In a typical case, you'll receive e-mail requesting personal or financial information; the e-mail appears to come from a financial institution, or other reputable entity that you recognize and do business with. The e-mail may even appear to come from a government agency, including one of the federal financial institution regulatory agencies.
The e-mail often indicates that the consumer should provide immediate attention to a serious problem. The e-mail will then encourage you to click on a link. The provided link appears to be the Web site of the financial institution, government agency or other entity.
However, in "phishing" scams, the link is not to an official Web site, but rather to a phony Web site. Once inside that Web site, the consumer may be asked to provide Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information used to identify the consumer, such as the maiden name of the consumer's mother or the consumer's place of birth. Sometimes, in fact, it may be the company's actual Web site. In those cases, a pop-up window will quickly appear for the purpose of harvesting your financial information. When the consumer provides the information, those perpetrating the fraud can begin to access consumer accounts or assume the person's identity.
Consumer tips to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam, the American Bankers Association tips:
- Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or email, no matter how official it may seem.
- Do not respond to email that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately. Contact the company to confirm the e-mail's validity using a telephone number or Web address you know to be genuine.
- Check your credit card and bank account statements regularly and look for unauthorized transactions, even small ones. Some thieves hope small transactions will go unnoticed. Report discrepancies immediately.
- When submitting financial information online, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your Internet browser. Also, many secure Internet addresses though not all, use "http" to signify that your information is secure during transmission.
- Report suspicious activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
- If you have responded to an email, contact your bank immediately so they can protect your account and your identity.
You Can Fight Identity Theft
- Never give your personal financial information, including your Social Security number, passwords or account numbers to anyone over the phone or Internet unless you initiated the call.
- Never click on the link provided in an e-mail you believe is fraudulent. It may contain a virus that can contaminate your computer.
- Don't be intimated by an e-mail or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not provide or verify financial information.
- If you believe the contact is legitimate, go to the company's Web site by typing in the site address directly or using a page you have previously book marked, instead of a link provided in the e-mail.
- Tear up or shred receipts, preferably with a cross shredder, old bank statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away. Crooks could steal information from your trash and use it to get credit in your name.
- Protect your PINs and computer passwords; use a combination of letters and numbers and change them often. Never carry this information with you!
- Review your bank and credit card statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized transactions and alert your financial institution.
- Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure accuracy. Call any of the three national credit-reporting agencies: Trans Union (800-888-4213), Equifax (800-685-1111) and Experian (888-397-3742).
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank and credit card issuers immediately so they can start work to close accounts and clear your name right away.
- Report suspicious e-mails or calls to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
A message from: The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Trade Commission
Remember that we at Lytle State Bank have your information so we would not initiate a request for your personal or confidential information to "Validate" your accounts. There are many scams circulating and if there is any question, call us before providing ANY information. Keeping your personal information safe is a priority at Lytle State Bank we use the latest technology to ensure the safety of that information.
If you are not sure your information has been compromised, you may want to:
Step 1.) Change your Access information.
You may want to change your Lytle State Bank Internet Banking username and password. (Do not use your Social Security Number as an ID or password at any time.)
Request a new ID, if you wish. You can always change your password through Internet banking.
Step 2.) Contact Lytle State Bank.
If you provided personal information via, Web site, pop-up window, or e-mail, call (830) 709-3601 during banking hours. At other times, leave a message when requested to do so and we will contact you.
If you did not provide any information, but just encountered e-mail, Web site, or pop-up window, notify Lytle State Bank through the "Contact Us" link on our website or call us (830) 709-3601. Remember to NEVER provide personal of financial information via e-mail.
When you call us, it may require us to place a hold on the account(s), which may slow normal processing of your transactions. Based on your situation we may take additional steps and may provide additional suggestions for you to protect yourself.
Step 3.) Review your account activity.
Regular review of your account activity is one of the best ways to notice and quickly stop fraudulent activity. Use Lytle State Bank's Internet Banking, 24 hours a day or via our 24 hour Voice Access by calling 830-709-3745. You can also check your balances at any ATM or simply by calling our customer service department. Please, remember to report any suspicious activity to the Bank immediately.