March – 2020 – Chances are you or someone you know has been subject to some sort of financial or identity fraud in the past 10 years. In a world increasingly reliant on technology and the internet, fraudsters are finding new ways to access information, trick unsuspecting individuals, and rob people of financial and emotional security.
According to Sentinel, a secure database that organizes and categorizes complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there were 3.2 million consumer reports on a “full range of fraud, identity theft and other consumer protection topics.” Most commonly consumers experienced Identity Theft, Imposter Scams, Telephone and Mobile Services Scams, respectively. And, 23 percent of those reports resulted in a loss for the reporting consumer.
Scary? We think so, too. As your financial partner, Summit Bank is here to protect the livelihoods of each of our clients. As such, we’re ramping up our authorization and security measure standards.
How you can prepare:
- Have your account information handy when you call our offices. While we take pride in personally knowing our clients, security is our first priority and you will always be asked for specific information.
- Be proactive. If you experience fraud or suspicious activity on accounts with other institutions, let us know so our team can be extra vigilant for you.
- Regularly change passwords to email accounts, billing services, Business Online Banking, and other sites that use and store your personal information.
- If you are ever suspicious about phone or email conversations with a company representative, do not give them personal information. Instead, call phone numbers retrieved from an official website, or do business in person when possible.
- If one account is compromised, change your passwords on all accounts.
- Check your credit card and bank statements monthly. Follow up on any unfamiliar charges.
- Voice your concerns. You are our team’s number one priority, if you have questions or concerns about your information, please let us know and we can come up with solutions together.
- Notify all of your financial institutions about travel ahead of time. Utilize services like CardValet to maintain control of which countries your card is authorized for use in.
Always remember that it’s better to be safe than to take a risk and become subject to fraud. It can take months, or even years to dispute charges and rebuild credit when fraudsters get ahold of and use your personal information. While it may seem inconvenient to answer more security questions and have more information ready for the companies you deal with regularly, it’s nothing compared to the financial and emotional turmoil that can result when a company fails to take proper precautions to protect their biggest assets: You.
For more information about fraud trends in the US and internationally, visit: