Fraud Protection Graphic
As your Bank, we are here to help guide and support you in understanding what hackers are doing to obtain and misuse your confidential data, and what you can do about it. We have taken steps to empower you with tips, tools, examples and knowledge that we will share on an ongoing basis via email, social media and this page. These steps are intended to help you in responsibly safeguarding your accounts and data, as well as be aware of the most current scams.
Why is it so important to be aware of and vigilant in protecting yourself from fraud?
Your security has been and always will be a top priority. By being aware of and informed on these topics, together we can effectively fight fraud.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) can block 99.9% of attacks on your accounts, according to Microsoft. With MFA enabled, you need to provide additional verification in order to access accounts online, providing more layers of security and making it more difficult for a hacker to access your account. Basically, after you log in with your username/email and password, you will be asked to provide further authentication to verify it is you. Typically, it is a one-time passcode sent to your email or phone, or a notification sent to an authenticator app on your phone, or a request for a biometric like your fingerprint. MFA means a bad actor/hacker may get a hold of your username/email and password, but they won’t have your additional layers of authentication so their efforts to access your accounts will be thwarted.
Learn more about multi-factor authentication for the safety of your digital banking.
90% of passwords are vulnerable to attack (source: Avast). Here are steps you can take to keep your passwords and PINs safe –
Making sure software and apps you are using are the most current is easy to do and plays an important role in keeping your information safe. Software and app companies are constantly monitoring and advancing their products to stay well ahead of hackers. In doing so they push updates to you that fix general software problems and provide new security patches and tools, protecting your data from being exposed to criminals. The next time you receive a notification for an update, think smart, be safe and perform the update as soon as possible.
The most common forms of fraudulent communications you may receive are phishing (email), vishing (phone call) and smishing (text message). These give the appearance of coming from a reputable source and try to trick you to take action in order to obtain your confidential information.
Tips to Avoid phishing, vishing and smishing –
Imposters to watch for who are targeting you and your money –
With the convenience it offers to make payments digitally (transferring money from one bank account to another), many of us use p2p on a regular basis. While p2p is secure, it’s important to be aware that this is an area scammers are targeting to have you send them money. Know how to identify that it is happening, how to protect against it and what to do if you are victim to a p2p scam.
Identifying p2p scams –
How to protect against p2p scams –
If a p2p scam happens to you –
Scammers target wire transfers because they are hard to trace, access to the money is almost instant and it can be challenging and time consuming for you to reverse it. Whether it be consumer or business, the scam usually starts with an imposter contacting you, typically via email, with information for a transfer. For example, someone poses as your title company for your home purchase or as a vendor for a business payment. Everything appears legitimate but they give fake information for processing the transfer. Always speak directly to the person to which you are sending the transfer to confirm its validity before sending. Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website to learn more about wire transfer scams.
Unless you receive a check from a source you recognize and trust, do not try to access or use the money received until it has cleared. With fake checks, fraudsters try to trick you into giving them money before you are able to confirm if the check is legitimate. Typically, they write a check over the amount needed, then ask you to send/transfer them the additional money right away. Visit the FTC website to learn how to spot, avoid and report fake check scams.
Social media has become a mainstay in staying connected with our friends, neighbors and communities. According to Oberlo, the average amount of time spent on social media worldwide is set to hit 147 minutes, or two hours and 27 minutes, a day in 2022.
Here are steps you can take to keep yourself safe as you spend time on social media –
From shopping to research and so much more we heavily rely on the internet. And, we surf online from everywhere – when we are at home, on vacation, at a restaurant/coffee shop, in our cars, etc. Increase your protection as you spend time on the web by doing the following –
With Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, they can result in extremely large sums of company dollars being unknowingly sent to cyber criminals. Make sure your organization has protocols in place to be aware of BEC scams and how to protect against them.
How BEC scams work –
To protect your organization, verify any financial transaction, especially ones that include edits to the processing of the transaction, in person or by calling the person involved in the transaction to make sure it is legitimate.
Everyone is at risk for fraud. Scammers are savvy in understanding the profile of people at different stages in their life and targeting their scams to a particular age’s situation.
For example, they prey on debt (student loan and and job-related scams) and deals (online shopping scams) for the younger audience.
For the more sophisticated audience, they prey on loneliness (romance scam), naivety (tech, imposter and sweepstakes/prize scams) and wealth (investments scams).
For businesses they prey on lack of fraud prevention procedures and awareness (imposter and wire fraud scams).
By being familiar with the many faces of fraud and taking steps, on a regular basis, to protect yourself and your business, you can gain peace of mind and minimize the potential of being a victim of scams.
Know Your Company Fraud Policy
Your business should have procedures to assist in identifying fraud and how to handle a potential fraud situation. All employees should be aware of the organizations’ policy, perform training and be confident in how to address a fraudulent situation if encountered.
Be Consistent, Cautious and Current
Regularly review financial records for irregularities. Limit access to financial data to trusted employees who need it to perform their jobs. Updating technology and software is also essential.
Below are links to true stories of real people targeted by scammers using various methods to steal their confidential information. We will continue to share stories to keep you aware of the most current issues other customers have faced to help us all relate and learn valuable lessons to fight fraud.
Case Study #4 – Debit Card Fraud
Case Study #9 – p2p Fraud
Case Study #12 – Business Imposter Fraud
A Providence Bank & Trust representative will contact you if we detect unusual activity on your account(s).
When we contact you –
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