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Information regarding Fake Check Scams
Infographic on Fake Check Scams
 
FDIC Consumer News-August 2018, Finance 101 

Fall is an exciting time for many college students. Making new friends and settling into a new environment can be fun, but it also comes with new responsibilities. Whether it’s your first year in college or you are a returning student, adjusting to new classes, studying, trying to fit in social activities, and figuring out your finances can be overwhelming.

So while you are off stretching your wings, the newsletter contains some tips for stretching your wallet:  Click here to view this Newsletter.


Online Banking Safety and Mobile Banking Fraud
Be cautious of “Fake” online scams such as, “The Sweetheart Scam” or the “Fake Online Payday Lenders”.  Contact our Customer Service at (337) 893-7733, should you have questions, or if you have been contacted in any way for some type of online deal.  Do not fall prey to these fraudsters. 

Create “strong” passwords that are hard to guess, change them regularly, and try not to use the same passwords or PINs (personal identification numbers) for several accounts.  Never share your ID and Password information with anyone.

Mobile Device Security Information
 
Be careful when using smartphones and tablets.   Don’t leave your mobile device unattended and use a device password or other method to control access if it’s stolen or lost.  It is highly recommended that you do not store/save Bank account as well as other sensitive information, e.g. (statements, transaction images, SS#, etc.) on your mobile device by performing screenshots, etc.  
Keeping Your Mobile Device Safe and Secure
  • Use of mobile anti-malware applications and PIN protection is vitally important in keeping your device safe and secure.
  • Mobile device users should regularly install operating system and firmware updates.
  • Using unsecured "public" wireless networks, e.g. (coffee shops, airports, etc.) is highly risky and can put your login credentials at risk.  You should never log in to any secured site in an unsecured public wireless network.
  • Avoid phishing messages in the form of email as well as SMS text messaging.  Text message Phishing is becoming more common.  Users should practice caution when receiving these messages and acting on them.
  • You may see a warning that says "Warning:  Visiting this site may harm your compute when you try to enter a site".  This warning is a very strong indicator that there is something wrong with the site you are about to visit.
  • If a download has begun as soon as you enter a site, this may be a sign that there is something fishy going on.  "If you don't go looking for it, don't install it".
  • If a site redirects to a strange web site it may be compromised.
  • A rooted or jailbroken device is more susceptible to malware infection and it's easier for a jailbroken device's operating system to be compromised.
  • Mitigating risk factors for jailbroken devices:  Keep mobile devies and apps up to date by enableling auto-update on the device to ensure timely updates are happening; Where practical, configure Android devices to disallow sideloading; install apps from trusted sources such as Apple's App Store, Google Play and Amazon's App store.
  • The use of complex passwords to secure the device is highly recommended.  Using alphanumeric, special characters, as well as incorporating upper and lower case letters.  Mixing the use of characters and not using names or readily available words and number sets.  Never share your login credentials with anyone.
  • Secure apps with passwords if possible.
  • Utilizing the autowipe technology should the device be lost or stolen to remove any sensitive and confidential information.
 
The following tips are taken from the FDIC's Web Site:  

  • Be smart about where and how you connect to the Internet for banking or other communications involving sensitive personal information.  Public Wi-Fi networks and computers at places such as libraries or hotel business centers can be risky if they don’t have up-to-date security software.
  • Use the most secure process you can when logging into financial accounts.  Create “strong” passwords that are hard to guess, change them regularly, and try not to use the same passwords or PINs (personal identification numbers) for several accounts.
  • Consider using mobile security software and apps to protect your device. For example, anti-malware software for smartphones and tablets can be purchased from a reputable vendor. 
  • Use a password or other security feature to restrict access in case your device is lost or stolen. Activate the "time out" or "auto lock" feature that secures your mobile device when it is left unused for a certain number of minutes. Set that security feature to start after a relatively brief period of inactivity. Doing so reduces the likelihood that a thief will be able to use your phone or tablet.

 Mobile Security Threats
 Threats  Dangers
Device Loss or Theft
  • Loss of sensitive personal and employer information such as contacts,  calendars and photos
  • Breach of your privacy, and in a worst-case scenario, you could become a victim of identity theft
  • Compromised online accounts
  • Payment to replace the device, and/or possible calls or texts charged to your account
Phishing Scams 
(often delivered via emails, texts and social networking sites)
  • Sensitive information revealed such as account numbers and login Credentials
  • Unauthorized withdrawals made from your bank account
Malware and Spyware
  • Compromised personal information—you could even become a victim of identity theft
  • Unauthorized charges could appear on your mobile bill
  • Others may listen in on your phone calls and retrieve your voicemails
Quick Response (QR) Codes
  • You could accidentally download a malicious application
  • Your personal information could be compromised, or your device could cease to function properly
 Wi-Fi Networks
  •  You could connect to an unsecured network, and the data you send, including sensitive information such as passwords and account numbers, could potentially be intercepted
CyberSecurity News
Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network (GIN). For more information, visit this link.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an alert on scams that cite the recent flood disaster in Louisiana. These charity scams take many forms, including emails containing links or attachments that direct users to phishing or malware-infected websites. Donation requests from fraudulent charitable organizations commonly appear after major natural disasters.

US-CERT encourages users to take the following measures to protect themselves:
  • Do not follow unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages.
  • Keep antivirus and other computer software up-to-date.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before making any donations to a cause.
  • Verify the legitimacy of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. You can find trusted contact information for many charities on the BBB National Charity Report Index.
Cybersecurity Awareness

As hacks, data breaches, and other cyber-enabled crime become increasingly commonplace, the National Cyber Security Awareness Month was an important reminder of the need to take steps to protect yourself and your family when using the Internet.

“Cyber risks can seem overwhelming in today’s hyper-connected world, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and reduce your risk,” said Assistant Director Scott Smith of the FBI’s Cyber Division. “The FBI and our partners are working hard to stop these threats at the source, but everyone has to play a role. Use common sense; for example, don't click on a link from an unsolicited e-mail, and remember that if an online deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. And overall, remain vigilant to keep yourself and your family safe in the online world, just as you do in the physical world.”
-       Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center if you’re ever a victim.
-       Understand the importance of cyber-security skills at your workplace.
-       Know the risks of the Internet of Things (IOT)
How can you protect yourself? Click here to learn more

Basic online security practices for corporate online banking customers:
Provide continuous communication and education to employees using online banking systems.  Providing enhanced security awareness training will help endure employees understand the security risks related to their duties;

Update anti-virus and anti-malware programs frequently;

Update, on a regular basis, all computer software to protect against new security vulnerabilities (patch management practices);

Communicate to employees that passwords should be strong and should not be stroed on the device used to access online baniing;

Adhere to dual control procedures if feasible;

Use separate devices to originate and transmit wire/ACH instructions;

Transmit wire transfer and ACH instructions via a dedicated and isolated device;

Warning Signs of Potentially Compromised Computer Systems
Warning signs visible to a business or consumer customer that their system/network may have been compromised include:

  1. Inability to log into online banking (thieves could be blocking customer access to the customer won’t see the theft until the criminals have control of the money);
  2. Dramatic loss of computer speed;
  3. Changes in the way things appear on the screen;
  4. Computer locks up so the user is unable to perform any functions;
  5. Unexpected rebooting or restarting of the computer ;
  6. Unexpected request for a one time password (or token) in the middle of an online session;
  7. Unusual pop-up messages, especially a message in the middle of a session that says the connection to the banking system is not working (system unavailable, down for maintenance, etc.);
  8. New or unexpected toolbars and/or icons; and
  9. Inability to shut down or restart the computer.
 
Examples of Deceptive Ways Criminals Contact Account Holders
The FDIC does not directly contact bank customer (especially related to ACH and Wire transactions, account suspension, or security alerts), nor does the FDIC request bank customer to install software upgrades.  Such messages should be treated as fraudulent and the account holder should permanently delete them and not click on any links.

Messages or inquiries from the Internal Revenue Service, Better Business Bureau, NACHA, and almost any other organization asking the customer to install software, provide account information or access credentials  is probably fraudulent and should be verified before any files are opened, software is installed, or information is provided.

Phone calls and text messages requesting sensitive information are likely fraudulent.  If in doubt, account holders should contact the organization at the phone number the customer obtained from a different source (such as the number they have on file, that is on their most recent statement, or that is from the organization’s website).  Account holders should not call phone numbers (even with local prefixes) that are listed in the suspicious email or text message.

Cybersecurity Checklist

Reminders about 10 simple things bank customers can do to help protect their computers and their money from online criminals

  1. Have computer security programs running and regularly updated to look for the latest threats.  Install anti-virus/anti-malware software to protect against malware (malicious software) that can steal information such as account numbers and passwords, and use a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your computer. 
  2. Be smart about where and how you connect to the Internet for banking or other communications involving sensitive personal information.  Public Wi-Fi networks and computers at places such as libraries or hotel business centers can be risky if they don’t have up-to-date security software.
  3. Get to know standard Internet safety features.  For example, when banking or shopping online, look for a padlock symbol on a page (that means it is secure) and “https://” at the beginning of the Web address (signifying that the website is authentic and encrypts data during transmission). 
  4. Ignore unsolicited emails asking you to open an attachment or click on a link if you’re not sure it’s who truly sent it and why.  Cybercriminals are good at creating fake emails that look legitimate, but can install malware.  Your best bet is to either ignore unsolicited requests to open attachments or files or to independently verify that the supposed source actually sent the email to you by making contact using a published email address or telephone number.
  5. Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly online and asks for your personal information.  A safe strategy is to ignore unsolicited requests for information, no matter how legitimate they appear, especially if they ask for information such as a Social Security number, bank account numbers and passwords.
  6. Use the most secure process you can when logging into financial accounts.  Create “strong” passwords that are hard to guess, change them regularly, and try not to use the same passwords or PINs (personal identification numbers) for several accounts.  Never share your ID and Password information with anyone.
  7. Be discreet when using social networking sites.  Criminals comb those sites looking for information such as someone’s place of birth, mother’s maiden name or a pet’s name, in case those details can help them guess or reset passwords for online accounts. 
  8. Be careful when using smartphones and tablets.  Don’t leave your mobile device unattended and use a device password or other method to control access if it’s stolen or lost.  Do not store/save Bank account information, e.g. (statements, transaction images, etc.) on your mobile device by performing screenshots, etc.
  9. Parents and caregivers should include children in their cybersecurity planning.  Talk with your child about being safe online, including the risks of sharing personal information with people they don’t know, and make sure the devices they use to connect to the Internet have up-to-date security.
  10. Small business owners should have policies and training for their employees on topics similar to those provided in this checklist for customers, plus other issues that are specific to the business.  For example, consider requiring more information beyond a password to gain access to your business’s network, and additional safety measures, such as requiring confirmation calls with your financial institution before certain electronic transfers are authorized. 

Additional Resources:


 
 
 
 
Latest Internet Crime Report  Click here to view the report
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