WTSB Fraud Statement
Walcott Trust and Savings Bank will never, under any circumstances, ask you to verify any personal or account information over the internet, via email, or by automated recordings claiming to be Walcott Trust and Savings Bank.
There are several email scams and phone scams, particularly in the financial services industry. Fraudsters will create fake websites which appear to be legitimate bank websites that may expose you to malicious software including viruses and spyware which may lead to a compromise of your personal information. Fraudsters also use a technique using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) called Vishing to call you with an automated recording alerting you of “unusual” account activity and instructing you to call a number. If called, another recording requests personal or financial information be entered using the telephone key pad which may lead to a compromise of your personal information.
A good reminder is to always error on the side of caution when opening an unsolicited email or receiving an automated recording requesting a return call in which another automated attendant answers claiming to be from Walcott Trust and Savings Bank. Please be cautious if ever asked to reveal or confirm personal information via online or by phone.
If you have any questions regarding an email or automated recording that you receive, please contact us at (563)284-6202. We will assist in verifying if it is a valid email request or voice message from Walcott Trust and Savings Bank.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. Thieves steal personal information such as your name, credit card number, driver’s license number, or other personal identifying information to commit fraud. The most common identity theft occurs when thieves use your name to:
- Apply for telephone service
- Apply for credit cards or loans
- Buy merchandise
- Lease cars or apartments
- Obtain medical care
- Assume your complete identity and live and work under your name, or
- Commit crimes
Simple Ways to Protect Yourself:
- Never share personal information. Do not give out your social security number or account numbers unless you initiate the call.
- Know the person or organization with whom you are communicating.
- Use a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software.
- Update your web browser and its security settings regularly.
- Review all your monthly financial statements (banks, credit cards, and loans).
- Keep passwords in a secure place and change them periodically.
- Do not conduct financial business or transactions over unsecured or public WiFi access points.
- Shred trash with sensitive information including convenience checks and credit card offers you get in the mail.
- Never mail outgoing mail from home. Drop them at the post office or in a U.S. Postal Service box.
- Carry only the documents and credit cards you need. Wallet and purse theft is also a rich source of information for identity thieves.
- Use direct deposit to have recurring checks you receive deposited directly to your bank account.
- Do not leave printed receipts behind at ATMs or gas pumps.
- Do not put credit card or other personal information on a website that is not secure.
Monitor your credit report thoroughly at least once a year. Obtain a free report at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228. If you spot something suspicious, alert your card company or the creditor immediately. Three credit bureaus participate: Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. The law allows you one free report per year from each company at the above website.
Common Internet Identity Theft Scams
Phishing is an email scam that attempts to trick consumers into revealing personal information through fake web sites or in a reply email. Typically the emails and websites use familiar logos and graphics to deceive consumers into thinking the sender or website owner is a company they know. The FBI calls phishing the hottest and most troubling scam on the Internet.
How does it work?
In a typical phishing scam, you receive an email supposedly from a company or financial institution. The email describes a reason you must “verify” or “resubmit”confidential information – such as bank account, credit card numbers, social security numbers, passwords, and personal identification numbers – using a return email form on a linked web site or pop-up message with the name and the logo of the company. Perhaps you are told that your bank account information has then been lost or stolen or that limits may be imposed on your account unless you provide additional details. If you comply, the thieves hiding behind the seemingly legitimate web site or email can use the information to make unauthorized withdrawals from your bank account, pay for online purchases using your credit card, or even sell your personal information to other thieves.
Spyware is a computer software program that gathers information about a computer user, and in most cases, without the user’s knowledge or informed consent. Spyware applications are inadvertently installed when visiting a Web site or clicking a hyperlink. The software can gather and transmit personal information (email addresses,passwords, credit card numbers, PINs) to another organization or person and use it illegally. It can also cause problems with computer resources causing PCs to run slowly or erratically.
How do I protect my personal computer (PC) from Spyware?
- To prevent the spyware installation without your consent, remember not to download any freeware onto your PC.
- You may already be using anti-virus software, but to be effective, the software should be updated.
- Change your online banking passwords regularly to protect your personal data.
- Always run anti-virus and anti-spyware software before you download other programs or open emails.
- If you think that you have installed harmful software on your PC, you may wish to seek professional IT advice to have the software uninstalled.
Malware, short for “malicious software,” includes viruses and spyware designed to infect or damage a computer system. Malware can steal personal information to commit fraud.
How can I minimize the threat of malware?
- Downloads from file sharing and social networking sites can be distribution points for malware.
- Attachments and free software from unknown sources should not be opened or installed.
- Pop-up advertisements asking for personal or financial information are likely fraudulent.
- Updated security and system software can protect your computer from malware threats.
If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft
If you do become a victim of identity theft, contact Walcott Trust and Savings Bank immediately at (563)284-6202.
In addition, complete the following four steps suggested by the Federal Trade Commission as soon as possible. Keep a record with the details of your conversations and copies of all correspondence.
For more detailed information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website at https://www.ftc.gov.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports.
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com ; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com ; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
- Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com ; P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013