Protecting Your Identity

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

Learn how personal information is stolen and what you can do to protect yours, monitor your personal information to uncover any problems quickly, and know what to do when you suspect your identity has been stolen. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website, www.ftc.gov/idtheft for helpful information.

Monitor your accounts and bank statements each month, and check your credit report on a regular basis. If you check your credit report regularly, you may be able to limit the damage caused by identity theft. The three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies are: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Check your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. To order, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.

Don’t give out personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, or account numbers on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact and are sure you know who you’re dealing with. Identity thieves sometimes pretend to be financial institutions or companies to try to get you to reveal your personal information.

Be skeptical of e-mail messages or pop-up messages requesting personally identifying information.

Protect your purse or wallet at all times, and store personal information in secure locations.

Shred bank account, credit card, physician, etc., statements before throwing away to prevent personal information from being accessed.

Deposit envelopes in U.S. Postal boxes rather than placing in your personal mail box for pick-up when the contents include checks or personal information.

Don’t share account and password information with others and keep it in a safe place.

Social Engineering

In a social engineering attack, an attacker uses human interaction to manipulate a person into providing them information. People have a natural tendency to trust. Social engineering attacks attempt to exploit this tendency in order to steal your information. Once the information has been stolen it can be used to commit fraud or identity theft.

Criminals use a variety of social engineering attacks to attempt to steal information, including:

The following sections explain the meaning of these common attacks and provide tips you can use to avoid being a victim.

 

Website Spoofing

Website spoofing is the act of creating a fake website to mislead individuals into sharing sensitive information. Spoof websites are typically made to look exactly like a legitimate website published by a trusted organization.

Prevention Tips:

  • Pay attention to the web address (URL) of websites. A website may look legitimate, but the URL may have a variation in spelling or use a different domain.
  • If you are suspicious of a website, close it and contact the company directly.
  • Do not click links on social networking sites, pop-up windows, or non-trusted websites. Links can take you to a different website than their labels indicate. Typing an address in your browser is a safer alternative.
  • Only give sensitive information to websites using a secure connection. Verify the web address begins with "https://" (the "s" is for secure) rather than just "http://".
  • Avoid using websites when your browser displays certificate errors or warnings.

 

Phishing

Phishing is when an attacker attempts to acquire information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing messages often direct the recipient to a spoof website. Phishing attacks are typically carried out through email, instant messaging, telephone calls, and text messages (SMS).

Prevention Tips:

  • Delete email and text messages that ask you to confirm or provide sensitive information. Legitimate companies don’t ask for sensitive information through email or text messages.
  • Beware of visiting website addresses sent to you in an unsolicited message.
  • Even if you feel the message is legitimate, type web addresses into your browser or use bookmarks instead of clicking links contained in messages.
  • Try to independently verify any details given in the message directly with the company.
  • Utilize anti-phishing features available in your email client and/or web browser.
  • Utilize an email SPAM filtering solution to help prevent phishing emails from being delivered.

 

Report Fraudulent or Suspicious Activity

Contact us immediately if you suspect you have fallen victim to a social engineering attack and have disclosed information concerning your Bank of the Prairie accounts.

Call us at 913-254-0505 or visit your local Bank of the Prairie branch location.

Regularly monitoring your account activity is a good way to detect fraudulent activity. If you notice unauthorized transactions under your account, notify Bank of the Prairie immediately.

 

Additional Resources

To learn more about information security visit any of the following websites:

 

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