Protect Your Personal Information
Criminals are becoming more creative every day on ways to obtain your personal and financial information. At The Honesdale National Bank, the safety and security of our customers is a top priority. While we closely monitor the safety and security of your account and implement strong processes, procedures and resources to protect our customers, there are steps you may also take to proactively contribute to fraud and cybercrime prevention.
HNB has strict security measures in place to protect your account information, but they can’t be as effective without your help. Many account hijacking attempts begin by criminals hacking into individual user accounts, and from there electronically breaking into the Bank using your information and security codes.
To prevent account takeover:
- Don’t Share User Information: Do not share your account information, PINs, usernames or passwords with anyone – including friends and family. Banks allow for multiple users or points of access for accounts and systems to allow for each individual to have proper, documented access.
- Use Strong Passwords: Experts advise a combination of letters, numbers and special characters and advise against using easily guessed passwords such as birthdays or home addresses.
- Anti-Virus Protections: Make sure the anti-virus software on your computer is current and scans your email as it is received.
- Email Safety: Email is generally not encrypted so be wary of sending any sensitive information, such as account numbers or other personal information, in this way.
- Sign Off and Log Out: Always log off by following HNB’s secured exit procedures and take the same steps with other financial and purchasing sites.
- Don’t Get Phished: Never respond to any email requests for personal information as you already provided it when opening your accounts at HNB. When in doubt, call HNB at 570-253-3355 or 800-462-9515.
- Monitor Your Accounts: When you check your accounts regularly, you can let HNB know immediately if you encounter anything that does not seem right. Sign up for HNB Online Banking, Mobile Banking app, or email/text alerts. Studies show that those who monitor their accounts online often detect fraud earlier than those who rely solely on paper statements.
Internet phishing scams, like other forms of fraud, take advantage of the unaware.
Phishing con artists claim to be from a reputable company and send out thousands of fake emails and fake web page images in hopes that consumers will respond with account or other sensitive information. This information can then be used by the thieves to order goods and services or obtain credit.
A phishing email can look quite convincing, with company logos and banners copied from actual, legitimate websites. Often, they will tell recipients that their security procedure has changed or that they need to update (or validate) personal information and the recipients will be directed to a look-alike website. Phishing attempts may also try to impart a sense of urgency to get recipients to respond before thinking through the situation.
Tips to Prevent Phishing
- Never give out personal financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax, or email, no matter how official it may seem.
- Do not respond to emails that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately. Contact the company to confirm the email’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 “https” to signify that your information is secure during transmission.
- Report suspicious activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, http://www.ic3.gov/, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
Using precaution and knowing risks can help you stay ahead of criminals looking to take advantage of unsuspecting debit card users. Here are a few ways you and HNB can lower your risk of debit card fraud:
- Do not write your PIN on your card.
- Do not keep your PIN and your card together.
- Do not share your PIN with others, including family and friends.
- HNB will never ask for your PIN to be provided over the phone or in written form. Report any such requests to 1-800-462-9515 immediately.
- When using ATM machines, guard the entry of your PIN from onlookers or cameras.
- If the card reader on the ATM appears loose or tampered with, avoid use and report the issue to the manager of the location.
- Always know your PIN (Personal Identification Number). Due to the increase in debit card fraud, banks will block certain areas where fraud is prevalent. Only transactions with a PIN and card present will be processed when a block is placed. If you cannot remember your PIN, please call HNB at 800-462-9515, and ask for a PIN mailer to be mailed to you. If you are planning to travel, notify the Bank in advance of your departure so we may allow and monitor account activity accordingly.
- Use a credit card for internet and phone-based transactions. You have greater legal protection if goods are defective or don’t arrive.
- Use internet and/or mobile banking to monitor your account on a regular basis, instead of waiting for a monthly paper statement. If you see fraudulent transactions contact HNB immediately.
- If you cannot use a credit card in place of your debit card when shopping online, HNB offers prepaid reloadable cards which may be used online.
- Many businesses still print credit and debit card receipts with your entire account number on them. Check your receipts when you make purchases to ensure the full number is not included. If it is, use the pen you are signing with to black out all but the first or last four (4) numbers of your account number.
- Register for email and text alerts to be notified when transactions occur on your account so you can respond promptly in the case of concern.
With our increased reliance on the internet and online solutions, so increases the number of online scams that aim to trick you into providing personal identifiable information and financial information. Please keep the following in mind when using email or using the internet:
- Do not believe contest, lottery, sweepstakes and other promotional winning announcements. If you do not recall entering for a specific promotion or are prompted that you’ve won without taking other action, it is likely a scam. Do not provide any personal information and do not click on the ads or emails.
- Do not open email from senders you do not know and do not respond or provide personal information.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. From weight loss to work-at-home and miracle cures, your skepticism is likely accurate.
- Keep your Anti-Virus software on your computer up to date and ensure the installation you choose is from a reputable company.
- If using online dating sites, be careful of conversations or requests that get personal very quickly or the individual alludes to money troubles and is seeking your compassion and assistance.
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
There are an increasing number of cases of senior citizens being victimized by financial fraud and abuse. The types of scams continue to grow as criminals, family members and caregivers take advantage of the elderly’s failing memory, decreasing confidence/capability or naïve nature.
Here are a few recommendations on how to be proactive in protecting your loved ones:
- No matter how lonely or great the opportunity presented, encourage them not to accept calls or solicitations from individuals they do not know.
- Remind them not to give out their financial information over the phone or via email.
- Do not open email from individuals or sources they do not know.
- Establish checks and balances for account management before signs of a deteriorating memory start to take shape. Review accounts and transactions together regularly so the process is familiar and not combative if the time for greater oversight comes.
- Monitor and inquire frequently regarding aids and their activity to ensure your loved one is not being taken advantage of.
If you believe yourself to be a victim of fraud through your HNB account, please contact the Bank immediately at: 1-800-462-9515 for assistance.
There are a variety of resources available to assist victims of identity theft and help you on the road to recovery. IdentityTheft.gov offers step-by-step guidance through the recovery process to help you get back on track.