Equifax, one of the major credit reporting agencies, recently reported a cybersecurity incident that potentially impacted approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Based onEquifax’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May 2017, through July 2017.
The compromised information primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Equifax has setup a website for consumers to learn more about the cybersecurity incident, including a means for you to find out if your personal information was potentially compromised.
The website is: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
The FTC has published an article regarding this incident which contains information for steps you can take to protect your information from being misused. Click here to read their recommendations.
In addition to the FTC’s recommendations, to help protect your existing accounts, call your bank(s) and creditors to see if they can put a PIN, or secret passphrase on the account for phone call authentication. Since credit card numbers were stolen, you might want to ask your bank to reissue your credit card(s) with a new number. Review your current information (address, phone numbers, email addresses, etc) with them and ask for the last time a change was made.
Consider signing up for the free credit monitoring offer from Equifax. If you feel uneasy doing business with Equifax, there are other credit monitoring services available (most likely for a monthly cost). To name a few: Lifelock.com, CreditKarma.com, IdentityGuard.com
Here are a few additional tips to protect your information and accounts:
- Use complex/strong passwords for your online accounts
- Change your passwords and/or security codes
- Regularly review your bank accounts, email accounts, cloud storage accounts, etc
For any other questions, contact us at 877-255-2265.
What you need to know about counterfeit money:
- Look for watermarks that can be seen when the bill is held up to light. That indicates that the currency is real and the currency will be spelled out in the watermark.
- Look for red and blue fibers embedded throughout the bill.
- The feel of counterfeit money is different.
- Counterfeit detection pens are not always accurate and may give you false results.
- Counterfeit money cannot be exchanged, and it is illegal to knowingly pass counterfeit money.
- Location or store from which you received the money
- Physical characteristics of any person(s) involved
- Vehicle description(s) and most importantly, the license plate(s).
For more information please visit: https://www.uscurrency.gov/
Financial Crime Safety Tips:
- If a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Trust your instincts.
- Insist on meeting at a public place and never go alone. Do not meet in a secluded area. Do not invite strangers into your home, and do not go inside other people’s homes.
- Generally, the higher the price of the item that is being purchased, the greater risk involving the transaction.
- Be cautious when buying or selling valuable items. As a general rule, do not accept cash for items priced over $100.
- For higher priced items, conduct the transfer in person and at a financial institution. A banking professional can verify, if and when, funds have been successfully transferred to one’s account.
- Perform the transaction during daylight hours.
- Tell a friend or family member about your intentions and take your cellular phone with you.
- Selling or buying through an online website is a business transaction. Therefore, stick to the facts of the business transaction and leave out any personal information.
- Avoid sharing any personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank routing numbers, credit card numbers, and computer username or passwords.
- Avoid transactions involving wiring of funds, especially out of the country, via phone or online.
There have been some recent reports in the news about major security breaches involving personal email accounts. Breached data may include names, phone numbers, date of births, passwords, and security questions. Here are a few tips to protect yourself:
- Change your password right away.
- Change your security questions.
- Change passwords on your other accounts: banks, email, other. This is especially important if you use the same password across multiple accounts.
- Start using different passwords, if you don’t already, for all of your accounts.
- Monitor your bank accounts and email accounts for unusual activity. Especially if you start receiving unusual emails about password changes, or funds transfers.
- Beware of phishing attempts. Be cautious if you have emails asking for personal information.
- There are some sources recommending putting a freeze on your credit, or subscribing to a credit monitoring service
This list is not all encompassing, but can be a start in protecting yourself.
Tax season is a great opportunity for fraudsters to come after you and your money. In fact, tax-related identity theft is becoming one of the most common types of identity theft. Here is some information on a scam that happens every day:
- You receive a call, or email from someone claiming to be from the IRS
- Your caller ID might show "IRS", or the email might look official
- The impostor might give you a badge, or employee number
- The impostor might have some information about you, such as the last 4 digits of your social security number
- The impostor will ask for money
- The impostor will threaten you with jail time, lawsuits, deportation or other potentially scary scenarios
- The impostor will give you a payment option, such as debit card, prepaid card or wire
Here are some important tips to remember:
- The IRS will never make first contact through the phone or email
- The IRS will not require a specific type of payment
- The IRS will not make scary threats to pressure you into making a quick decision
If you feel that you have received a fraudulent call or email here are some recommended steps:
- Don't give the impostor any personal information
- Take notes on any details, such as name and number of the caller
- Hang up
- If you thought the call could have been legit, call the IRS at 800-829-1040, or go to their website www.irs.gov
- The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at www.tigta.gov or 800- 366-4484, and
- The FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint or 877-FTC-HELP
When you access your accounts and perform transactions on Modern Woodmen Bank’s Website, we use 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption – one of the most powerful and widely used methods of securing Internet transactions today.
In addition to SSL encryption, Modern Woodmen Bank uses several other technologies to protect your information on-line, including:
- Unique User ID and Password. Your sign-on credentials are used exclusively for accessing your Modern Woodmen Bank accounts. Don’t share your information with anyone, and remember, no one from Modern Woodmen Bank will ask you for your User ID and Password when servicing your account.
- Advanced Login Authentication. The solution collects data about a device and processes that data in real time with a rules engine to return a risk score. A wide range of data points about the device and path into Online Banking provide a profile of consistent behavior of the end customer.
If the solution determines the device behavior is consistent with your device history you may continue the login process.
The above mentioned process occurs behind the scenes, therefore, your experience is not impacted.
If the device is not recognized, additional “step‐up” authentication is required to continue to login.
The Advanced Login Authentication process uses Out‐of‐Band Authentication using automated voice or SMS messages. Out‐of‐Band Authentication goes around the potential dangers in the PC or Network to verify your identity.
- Firewalls. The computers that run Modern Woodmen Bank’s Internet Banking service are protected by firewalls – systems that prevent access to our networks and which are constantly monitored to prevent security breaches.
- Timeouts. Your Modern Woodmen Bank on-line session will automatically end if you do not perform any transactions for five minutes. To resume your session, you must re-enter your sign-on credentials.
Your security on-line is of great concern at Modern Woodmen Bank. If you feel your account security has been compromised, please contact us immediately at 877-255-2265.
Smart phones and mobile devices have become a part of our every-day-lives. With increased popularity comes reason for fraudsters to target those devices.
Below are some tips to keep you and your device safe:
Device Protection: Your mobile devices contain a lot of personal information on them. An easy step to protect that information is to password protect your devices. You can set your device to automatically lock after a time period of inactivity. You can control the inactivity time and set up you own password. Your service provider can assist you with this process if you should need assistance. In the event of a lost or stolen mobile device, you increase your chances of keeping your data safe with a locked device.
Social Engineering: Mobile devices are an easy target for social engineering with their ability to receive phone calls, texts and emails. Your mobile device gives multiple avenues to try and obtain information from you. Here are some examples of social engineering scams:
- Phone calls pretending to be an employee from your financial institution, or some other trusted institution/entity, trying to extract any personal information from you (phishing). TIP: If you are unsure of who they are tell them you will call them back, but be sure it is a number you know, or is a listed number you can look up. Also, try not to give any personal information over the phone if you receive the call. Know who you are talking to.
- Fake texts and emails that contain malicious links. Sometimes one click can install malware and any data on your phone is compromised. Other times you will be taken to a site that looks familiar that asks for a user ID and password. Once you enter your credentials they are sent to the fraudsters and they will then be able to access your account. TIP: If the link is not familiar, don’t click on it.
- Public Wi-Fi: Try to avoid unsecured, public Wi-Fi’s (wireless networks typically used to access the internet). Hackers can capture your information on traffic from your device that goes over an unsecured hotspot. If you must use one, do not enter any account information, or passwords.
Protect yourself from suspicious e-mail asking you to verify personal information.
Modern Woodmen Bank values your business and takes the security of your personal information very seriously. In order to better protect yourself, we are informing you about two types of e-mail scams commonly known as “Phishing” and “Pharming”.
“Phishing” refers to a scheme created by a cyber-criminal, or a group of cyber-criminals, who create an imitation of an existing legitimate web page to trick users into providing sensitive personal information. In a typical case, you’ll receive an e-mail that appears to come from a reputable company that you recognize and do business with such as your financial institution. The e-mail will encourage you to click a link in the e-mail which will direct you to the imitation web site where they will request and capture your personal information.
“Pharming” scams are very similar to “Phishing” scams, only instead of directing a user to a fraudulent Website, the e-mail will often contain a malicious software attachment that attempts to install itself on your PC and collect personal information for transmission back to cyber-criminal.
Clicking on links or attachments in these “phishing” and “pharming” emails places your accounts at risk. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission has warned consumers about fraudulent emails, pop-up advertisements, and phony web sites that attempt to trick people into providing confidential personal information.
Please remember, no one from Modern Woodmen Bank will ask for your Internet Banking sign-on ID and password while servicing your accounts.
You can find more information about Phishing and Pharming on the following Website.
The Federal Trade Commission’s original announcement can be found here.
While some consumers find unsolicited commercial email — also known as “spam” — informative, others find it annoying and time consuming. Still others find it expensive: They're among the people who have lost money to spam that contained bogus offers and fraudulent promotions.
Many Internet Service Providers and manufacturers offer filtering software to limit the spam in their users' email inboxes. In addition, some old-fashioned ‘filter tips' can help you save time and money by avoiding frauds pitched in email.
Click on the following link to learn more about common E-Mail SPAM Scams.
Spyware is software designed to track or control your behavior on-line and hijack personal information. Without your consent, spyware will typically install in the background and give no indication that it is present on the system. Although spyware can come from visiting malicious Websites or clicking pop-up ads, it is often found in conjunction with SPAM e-mail messages. Clues that spyware is on your computer include a flood of pop-up ads, a browser that repeatedly takes you to sites you don't want, unexpected toolbars or icons on your computer screen, random error messages, and poor overall computer performance.
Even the most experienced Internet users are at risk of being victimized by spyware. The Federal Government has issued numerous warnings to consumers regarding the severity of this growing problem.
You can find more about ways to protect yourself from spyware on the following Website.
Protecting your personal information is one of the most important responsibilities we have at Modern Woodmen Bank. Regardless of how you conduct your business with us or with others, your identity is at some level of risk. That is why we would like to provide you with some background information on identity theft. Knowing how criminals might try to steal your identity is an important tool in preventing it.
Despite your best efforts to manage the flow of your personal information or to keep it to yourself, skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to gain access to your data.
They get information from businesses or other institutions by:
- Stealing records or information while they're on the job
- Bribing an employee who has access to these records
- Hacking these records
- Conning information out of employees
- They may steal your information on-line using tactics like phishing, pharming, or DNS poisoning
- They may steal your mail, including bank and credit card statements, credit card offers, new checks, and tax information
- They may rummage through your trash, the trash of businesses, or public trash dumps in a practice known as "dumpster diving"
- They may get your credit reports by abusing their employer's authorized access to them, or by posing as a landlord, employer, or someone else who may have a legal right to access your report
- They may steal your credit or debit card numbers by capturing the information in a data storage device in a practice known as "skimming"
- They may complete a "change of address form" to divert your mail to another location
This list is far from conclusive; criminals come up with new ways every day to try and hijack your personal information. If you feel that your personal information with Modern Woodmen Bank has been compromised, please contact us immediately at 877.255.2265. For more information on protecting yourself against identity theft, visit any of the following Websites: