Prevent Fraud & Identity Theft with Trusted Cyber Security in Banking
In 2022, consumers in the United States lost close to $8.8 billion due to online scams and fraud schemes—a startling 30 percent increase since 2021, according to the Federal Trade Commission. As technology gets smarter, hackers and fraudsters unfortunately follow suit. They’ll tug on your heartstrings, pose as your friend, impersonate your local bank, offer you an opportunity seemingly pulled from your dreams. Anything to get your attention—and access to your bank account.
At Rivers Edge Bank, your finances are in good hands. We put our hearts into our rural communities as your friends and neighbors ready to help your dreams come true. As your local bank invested in your success, we leave nothing to chance, providing resources to prevent fraud and educating on identity theft protection to back you up. Anyone can fall victim to fraud, but it takes a special team to navigate you through the aftermath with grace. Rivers Edge Bank enforces a strict cyber security banking policy, ensuring a strong financial foundation while helping you to protect your future through informed engagement online.
Understanding How Online Scams Happen Helps to Prevent Fraud
If you’re frequently on your desktop or mobile device, online scams can seemingly come at you from every angle. Thousands of people each day fall prey to fraudulent phishing emails, texts and calls they believe to be from their bank. When you initiate contact with us by dialing one of our local banks, we may ask for personal information over the phone to confirm your identity. However, we can assure you we will never reach out to you to solicit personal information via phone or email. Maintaining our customers’ trust is something we hold sacred, and we wouldn’t jeopardize it by putting your information at risk. Scammers trying to impersonate a bank may ask for:
- Your Social Security number
- Your card’s PIN number
- Your bank account login credentials
Although scammers may replicate a phone number you recognize or send an email from a familiar address to trick you, there are other giveaways to keep your eyes open for to prevent fraud.
How to Prevent Fraud
The best way to prevent fraud is to be cautious with what websites and users you interact with online. At the end of the day, any message that feels too good to be true or relies on clickbait language to get your attention probably is intended as just that: bait reeling you in. Here’s how to keep your head above water and prevent fraud in a sea of phishing messages.
1. Don’t click suspicious links or shop on unverified sites
Requests from reputable businesses online won’t ask you to click on a suspicious link, especially if that link is supposedly to login to your bank account or share payment information. Instead of clicking on a link straightaway, hover your mouse over the link to see where it leads. If it’s a website you don’t recognize, don’t click it—instead, visit Rivers Edge Bank directly to login to your account from a safe URL. If making a purchase from a site you came across online, be sure it is a properly accredited business and read business reviews to ensure their services are legitimate.
2. Look out for misused grammar and typos
No institution is perfect, but if numerous grammatical errors or typos appear in one message, you’re right to assume it’s a red flag. Rivers Edge Bank checks all correspondence carefully before communicating with our customers so you can easily understand our content.
3. Avoid clicking on or responding to “urgent” emails you’ve received out of the blue
If, as far as you know, everything is well with your bank accounts, be wary of any messengers claiming to be Rivers Edge Bank reporting an issue with your account or balance. We pride ourselves on forming relationships with our community members as your local bank and will never contact you about sensitive matters via an email or text message. Any message indicating you need to take immediate action to resolve a payment issue or login to your account is likely from a scammer trying to get you to act fast before you have time to think about the accuracy of the message. Our team encourages you to call your local Rivers Edge Bank directly to confirm legitimacy of messages or calls you receive.
4. Don’t send personal information via text, phone or email
Rivers Edge Bank complies with strict security policies to keep our customers’ data safe. We would never put your information at risk by requesting you to send protected information like your Social Security number, login information or PIN through phone or email without first establishing a secure channel. If the need arises for you to communicate sensitive information with the bank over email, reach out to your local bank staff. We’ll ensure your data is encrypted for our eyes only. Bring all concerns or updates regarding your bank account to your local Rivers Edge location or contact Rivers Edge directly to set up secure communication via phone or email.
5. Don’t send payments to strangers on a mobile app
Any request directing you to a mobile app to pay off an existing balance or credit from your bank should be handled with caution. We will never request you send money through an app. Don’t trust these messages from anyone whose identity you can’t confirm and only send or receive funds with people you trust.
6. Protect your devices with cyber security tools
Even with your eyes peeled for suspicious behavior, scammers can still find a way in when you least expect it. Cyber security tools and antivirus softwares help prevent fraud by detecting online scams, filtering out harmful attachments and fending off unwanted users. Be sure to update your devices regularly to the latest software upgrade, as outdated versions are more susceptible to cyber attacks. Also avoid using public Wi-Fi for important financial transactions, as sneaky scammers can find a way in through an unsecured network.
How to Prevent Identity Theft: Protection Tips to Keep You Safe
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 23.9 million U.S. residents aged 16 and older fell victim to identity theft in 2021—that’s 45 people every minute! Having your identity stolen can have drastic impacts on your credit score, savings and tax return, depending on how the fraudster uses your information to their advantage. Whether draining your funds into their own accounts or racking up an insurmountable credit card bill, identity thieves can’t compromise your identity if they don’t have the information to do it. Rivers Edge Bank will alert you if fraudulent activity is suspected on your account as detected by the identity theft protection systems we have in place, but you can take additional steps to ensure there’s nothing to steal in the first place. Identity theft protection measures we recommend for all of our customers include:
1. Freeze credit activity
If you suspect someone has stolen your identity or has access to your Social Security number or credit card, immediately get in touch with your credit card company to freeze all credit activity. This ensures no one can open a new line of credit or abuse your account until you’ve resolved the situation and restricted access to fraudsters. You can also opt out of receiving pre-screened credit card offers in the mail if you’re worried about lenders calling you for unsolicited credit checks.
2. Protect your Social Security number
Like your unique fingerprints, your Social Security number follows you as an identifier throughout your life. If someone gets a hold of your number by a successful phishing attempt or accessing unsecured data, they can assume your identity and do any number of things in your name, including draining your assets. Don’t give away your Social Security number unless doing so through a secure, verified channel to a trusted source online, and avoid carrying paper copies of your number with you.
3. Watch out for online scams
Be cautious when reading and/or responding to email or text messages from senders you don’t recognize. Don’t give out personal information if prompted by these messages. Be wary of scammers impersonating government entities or official businesses with a spoofed phone number or similar email address and get in touch with these organizations directly if concerned about the validity of their communication.
4. Lock your phone
If your phone doesn’t already have a password, it’s a good idea to set one up to prevent unwanted users from collecting sensitive data. Go an extra step by setting up face ID or fingerprint ID to tie your unique features to your phone so strangers can’t scroll through your apps and data.
5. Track activity through a mobile banking app
Use the Rivers Edge Bank mobile app to keep track of recent activity on your account. Sign up for alerts to be notified when a transaction is made so any unrecognized purchases or activity can be quickly cut off. For assistance getting the most out of your mobile app features, view our video tutorials for guidance.
6. Carefully dispose of hard copies containing sensitive information
Even with so much information available at our fingertips, some fraudsters prefer their old-fashioned ways of physically fishing through your trash to find paper copies containing personal information. Use a shredder to make these documents illegible before discarding.
7. Secure your mail
Similarly to trash, mail boxes are a common hunting ground for people seeking sensitive data. Don’t allow mail to pile up in your box or on your stoop. If away from home, have someone else collect your mail or call the Post Office to hold your mail while you’re out of town. Sign up for updates from the USPS to get a preview of incoming mail so you know when to raise the alarm should anything not turn up.
8. Set your accounts up for success with a strong password and authentication abilities
Create unique passwords for each account you access digitally and ensure the password isn’t related to any personal information a scammer could find about you online. Choose security questions with answers you haven’t shared online and add multi-factor authentication (MFA) to your account to confirm your identity. If you receive an authentication code but did not attempt to login to your bank account, don’t share the code with anyone as they may be attempting to login to your account. Rivers Edge Bank will never call you to ask for the multi-factor authentication code you received. If someone reaches out to you to request this information via phone, don’t give it to them. Consider updating your account password through our secure website or mobile app, or call Rivers Edge directly with any questions or concerns.
What is multi-factor authentication?
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an electronic authentication method that requires a user to successfully provide two or more pieces of evidence or verification factors to gain access to the desired website or application. Some examples of MFA include:
- Something You Know: passwords, passphrases, personal identification numbers (PIN)
- Something You Have: phone, token, smartcard
- Something You Are: biometric factors like fingerprints, retina scans, facial recognition
According to Microsoft, effectively implementing MFA makes you 99% less likely to get hacked or compromised.
Rivers Edge Follows Best Practices for Cyber Security in Banking
Our cyber security efforts in banking are second to none, staying true to our small-town bank atmosphere with big-time bank resources. We protect customer data with software proven to prevent fraud and breaches for financial institutions storing sensitive data. Our servers have an advanced firewall in place to prevent unwanted access. Bank employees can only login to access bank information through our secure servers on site, otherwise they must establish a secure connection using multiple levels of security and multi-factor authentication. Through website encryption, any data or sensitive information we share with fellow employees or with our customers is secured with a password so the intended recipient receives it in a protected manner.
Cyber security in banking is a top priority of Rivers Edge Bank, so you’ve come to the right place for a trustworthy institution able to provide personalized insights and assistance to prevent fraud and online scams. We’ll be here by your side offering support and unwavering protection for your account. When one of our customers takes a hit, we all take a hit, so we are your dedicated partner for identity theft protection and fraud detection. If for any reason you suspect fraud on your account, follow these steps right away:
- Contact your local Rivers Edge Bank immediately so we can help prevent any further compromise to your financial information.
- Go through your account history to determine which transactions are legitimate and let us know if there are any purchases you don’t recognize.
- Change your password right away to secure your account. Check with us to see if an additional layer of verification can be added to your account to prevent persistent scammers.
- If the fraud impacts your debit card, work with Rivers Edge Bank to have your account frozen or card marked as stolen so future transactions are flagged.
- Stolen information should also be reported to law enforcement so they can provide additional guidance and assistance.
Stay Protected Online and Ask Rivers Edge Bank About Preventing Fraud & Online Scams
We do everything in our power to earn your trust, but we also encourage you to trust your gut. The good thing about working with your local Rivers Edge Bank is developing a personal relationship with our team. If communication from a messenger reporting to be affiliated with Rivers Edge Bank seems different than what you’ve experienced working directly with our staff, ignore the message. Get in touch with a Rivers Edge representative using your local bank’s number to check on the legitimacy of communication you’ve received. Contact Rivers Edge Bank to learn more about common online scams, tips to prevent fraud and our cyber security efforts for banking you can rely on.