These days, there are multiple ways identity thieves can gain access to your personal identification information and use it against you. Western Bank wants to help you stay smart about identity theft, so we’ve put together some helpful information to help you stay informed and prepared.
For more information about identity theft and other tips on how to protect yourself and your information please visit the following websites.
Remember, Western Bank will never solicit for personal identification information via the internet or telephone.
If you feel that your account or personal Information has been compromised, please contact customer service at (877) 301-2262 immediately for assistance.
Top 12 Cyber Security Tips
Build upon your security by following these top 12 self-protection strategies:
- We will NEVER call, email, or text you to ask for personal information or account details. If someone does, it is a scam.
- Avoid free, web-based email accounts, which are more susceptible to cyber attacks.
- Always opt-in to two-step account verification when possible.
- Strengthen all of your passwords, including your WB password. If your password is “password” or “123456,” then cyber-thieves will crack it. Be careful what you post publicly on social media, especially if it involves personal or work details.
- Be suspicious of any requests to act immediately or to keep something secret. Pay attention to digital signatures to verify authenticity of emails or documents.
- Do not open unsolicited or spam email from unknown parties.
- Never click links in these emails. Watch out for sudden changes in normal behavior, like a business contact using a personal email address rather than a work address. Pay attention to domains and email addresses.
- A slight difference (.co instead of .com) can take you to a fraudulent site.
- Update operating system software and apps when new versions are released.
- Check your bank account frequently. If your account balance or transactions seem suspicious, contact us immediately.
Basic Identity Protection
- Carry only necessities on a daily basis. Items like a Social Security card should be stored safely at home. Make photocopies of the vital contents of your wallet. Copy both sides of your driver’s license, credit cards, etc. If your wallet is stolen, these copies will let you know what’s missing — plus you’ll have all of the account numbers and key phone numbers necessary to report the theft.
- Carefully protect your credit card.
- Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. Most fraud and identity-theft incidents happen as a result of mail and garbage theft.
- Go paperless! By signing up for WB Online Banking, you can receive Online Statements or downloadable E- statements free of charge. How does this help? The fewer personal documents you have sent through the mail, the less chance there is for possible fraud.
- Do not provide your Social Security number online or by phone unless absolutely necessary. If your Social Security number is requested (to sign up for a service, for example), ask if you can provide some other identifier instead.
Business Email Compromise (BEC)
What is BEC?
It is a phishing scheme in which an attacker impersonates a high-level executive (or employee) and attempts to trick an employee or customer into transferring money or sensitive data. Since 2013, there has been over $12 Billion in lost dollars due to BEC.
How is BEC initiated?
Typically an email arrives that appears to be from a high-level executive within the company—or even a business partner or company attorney. Since the email address has been spoofed, it appears to be legitimate. A request for a wire or ACH transfer is included in the email, which urges the recipient to take immediate action. The fraudulent email might claim that a supplier requires prompt payment for a service rendered OR the fraudsters are impersonating lawyers and reaching out to potential victims to handle supposedly confidential or time-sensitive matters. Please note this same thing can happen over the phone instead of just email.
How to prevent BEC?
- Carefully scrutinize all email requests for transfer of funds and develop a policy that money cannot leave your organization based off of emails alone.
- Use two factor authentication with your vendors or banks before large transfers take place.
- Do not use free email services for business purposes (examples: Yahoo, Gmail, etc…) instead establish a company domain name and use it to create an official company email account.
- Update your email gateway to flag keywords that contain: Payment, Urgent, Sensitive, Secret. All of these words are common in BEC emails.
- Flag other emails where the “reply” email address doesn’t match the “from” address.
- Be mindful of what is posted to social media such as places of residence, birthdates, favorite foods, travel plans. Cybercriminals can use this information to personalize their fraudulent emails and to social engineer something from you.
- Run updated antivirus and malware software.
- Typically BEC attacks are very targeted and the fraudsters know a lot about you. If the fraudsters gained access to your PCs via a phishing attack or malware, they can spend weeks or months studying your organizations vendors, billing systems and the CEO style of communication. What if you’re a victim of BEC?Time is off the essence. Contact your financial institution immediately and request a recall of the funds. Also contact your local FBI or law enforcement. Finally, regardless of dollar loss, if you are an BEC victim file a complaint referral form with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Online Banking Safety & Security
Western Bank is committed to protecting your personal information.
Our Online Banking uses several different methods to protect your information. All information within our Online Banking is protected using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol for transferring data. SSL is a cryptosystem that creates a secure environment for the information being transferred between your browser and Western Bank. All information transferred through Online Banking has a 128-bit encryption. Here are some tips on keeping your information secure.
Tips on keeping your information secure
- Never give out any personal information including User Names, Passwords, SSN, Date of Birth
- Create difficult passwords which include letters, numbers, & symbols when possible
- Don’t use personal information for your user names or passwords like Birth Dates & SSN
- Avoid using public computers to access your Online Banking
Online Banking Safety Guide
Email and Online Security
Thanks to the Internet, access to information, entertainment, products and services is greater than earlier generations could have imagined. The flip side, however, is that the Internet—and the anonymity it affords—also can give online scammers, hackers and identity thieves access to your computer, personal information, finances and more. With awareness as your safety net, you can minimize the chance of an Internet mishap. Being on guard online helps you protect your information, your computer, even yourself.
- Protect before you connect
- Protect after you connect
- Protect yourself if something goes wrong online
Learn more about Online Security and Identity Theft
- The U.S. government and the technology industry provide some practical tips and information at OnGuardOnline.gov.
- The nonprofit National Cyber Security Alliance has some great resources at Stay Safe Online.
- The CERT® Program—part of the federally funded Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University—has a detailed step-by-step approach to home computer security.
- Microsoft® has some great information on protecting yourself, your computer and your family.
- The Federal Trade Commission’s “Fighting Back Against Identity Theft” is a one-stop national resource on identity theft.
Fraudulent Emails and Phone Scams
We have been notified of some fraudulent activity occurring in our markets.
A nationwide scam impacting local banks. This is a 2 part scam, the first part of the scam involves a person who claims to be a part of the banks fraud department and is investigating a case of fraud on the customers debit card. The customer is asked for the full card number and PIN to block fraudulent transactions. The second part of the scam, is the fraudster calls the customer and ask about a fake suspicious transaction. The customer is also asked for their banking password, username, and secure access code. The fraudster will then send a one-time verification code via text to the customer and ask for the PIN to be read back to validate their identity, while in actuality, this information is being used to log into the customers online banking and access accounts. The fraudster will then list a few actual bank transactions to make the call seem legitimate. In most cases, the call appears to be coming from the local bank.