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  Consumer Fraud Protection

LATEST TRENDS

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning small businesses not to open emails with the subject line “Pending Consumer Complaint” claiming to be from the government agency. The email falsely states that a complaint has been filed with the FTC.

Additionally, the FTC advises business owners who receive the email not to open any attachments or click on any links. By doing so, small businesses may be at risk for installing a virus or spyware on the computer

CALLS OR TEXT MESSAGES TARGETING YOUR ACCOUNTS

It is the policy of Providence Bank not to place any automated calls or text messages regarding your Providence Bank ATM/Debit Card or Checking, Savings or CD accounts. Please do not respond or provide any personal information to these types of calls

TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST FRAUD

Providence Bank uses a variety of safeguards to protect your information and prevent fraud, such as special fraud detection software, sophisticated computer security systems, employee training and strict privacy policies. As an account holder, you play a role in protecting your money and information, too. Here are some important tips:

  • Watch your account like a hawk. Monitor your online transactions frequently. Check your statement every month
  • Notify us immediately if you notice a fraudulent transaction. You will be reimbursed for verified fraud if you report it to us promptly
  • Be alert for phishing scams trying to trick you out of giving up account numbers and other information. They often arrive as email, phone or text messages asking for your account number or other details. Banks and credit card companies already have that information and won’t ask you for it in unsolicited requests. Call us directly or navigate to their website from a separate browser page if you’re suspicious.
  • Change your password regularly and avoid using a similar password for your bank accounts as you do for other websites or app. Do not keep a list of passwords, PINS, or usernames in your wallet or in an unsecure computer file.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and equipment being used at ATM’s and merchant swipe terminals to avoid skimming devices or other methods crooks use to steal information
  • Don’t give your social security number or other personal credit information about yourself to anyone who contacts you.
  • Order copies of your credit report annually to ensure accuracy.
  • When using social networking sites, never include personal contact information including telephone numbers, social security number, date of birth, email addresses, physical addresses, mother’s maiden name or other information that could provide sensitive information to fraudsters or hints to passwords.
  • Do not open emails from unknown sources, and use anti-virus software

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE A VICTIM OF FRAUD

  • Contact your bank immediately if you know or suspect your account has been compromised or your identity has been stolen. Use the tools they have to help you
  • File a police report, and contact the three major credit reporting agencies. The fraud numbers are:
    • TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
    • Experian 1-800-397-3742
    • Equifax 1-800 525-6285
  • Keep records of communication with authorities, including names and contact numbers
  • For more advice, contact the FTC’s ID theft Consumer Response Center at 1-877-ID-THEFT or www.ftc. gov./idtheft.

BACKGROUND: BANKS ACT SWIFTLY TO PROTECT CUSTOMERS WHEN FRAUD IS SUSPECTED OR DETECTED.

  • Many banks have special fraud detection software that constantly monitors accounts to help flag ID theft
  • If a bank detects possible fraud or if it is contacted about potential fraud, it immediately takes action by closing accounts when appropriate and beginning an investigation. Depending on the data this is compromised, the bank may take a variety of steps such as:
    • Enhanced account monitoring and customer notification
    • Blocking account access and re-issuing cards
    • Reimburse customers for confirmed fraudulent transactions.
  • Due to the zero liability fraud protection offered by most banks and credit card companies, most victims do not experience any out of pocket costs from fraudulent transactions
  • Banks bear the cost of account fraud, not consumers or merchants. Reimbursing customers and re issuing cards can cost millions of dollars. The Target data breach in late 2013 cost banks and credit unions in excess of 200 million, just to re issue cards. This amount does not include reimbursement for actual fraudulent charges as a result of the breach.

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