The best defense against fraud is you. Learn more about fraud and arm yourself with the knowledge to stay safe online.

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Protect Your Bank Account

  • Monitor your account online at least once a week or more frequently and review your account details and transaction history for suspicious activity.
  • Sign up for online statements and shut off paper statements.
  • Set up Account Alerts - Sign up to receive alert messages via Online Banking, on your email account or via SMS text. When you sign up for Account Alerts via SMS, you will also receive SMS text Fraud Alerts for your Debit Card on your mobile phone. Simply log in to your Online Banking account and go to your Account Alerts page to set up your alert preferences for your mobile phone.
  • Review your account statements carefully and report any unauthorized charges immediately.
  • Do not write or print your Social Security number or your driver's license number on checks.
  • Store new and cancelled checks in a secure location accessible only to trusted persons.
  • Shred old checks, receipts, account statements, and documents that contain sensitive information.
  • Do not carry your checkbook with you unless it's necessary.

Use ATMs Safely

  • Be aware of people and your surroundings. If you observe suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the ATM at that time, come back later or use an ATM elsewhere.
  • After completing a withdrawal, secure your card and cash immediately before exiting the ATM area. Count your cash later in the safety of your locked car or at home.
  • Shield the ATM keypad with your hand or body while entering your PIN.
  • Report all crimes immediately to the ATM operator or local law enforcement.

Credit Card and Debit Card Security Tips

  • Never lend your ATM/Debit/Credit Card to anyone.
  • Never let anyone watch you enter your PIN at an ATM or Point of Sale terminal.
  • Memorize your passwords and PIN numbers and change them regularly.
  • Avoid using obvious or easily obtainable information as your passwords or PIN numbers, and never write them down anywhere or reveal them to anyone.
  • Don't trust a site just because it claims to be secure. Before using the site, check out the security/encryption software it uses. Obtain a physical address rather than a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
  • Check out the Better Business Bureau from the seller's area.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your immediate area or locale.
  • Do not send your card number through email or SMS text as it is typically not secure.
  • Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • Review your statements to verify that they properly reflect the amounts you have authorized. Also watch for multiple charges.
  • Keep a list of your card account numbers and telephone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen. Make sure the information is stored in a secure place.
  • If you receive a replacement card, activate it properly and destroy your old card.
  • Safe-keep or securely dispose of your transaction receipts.


Report Fraud, Identity Theft or Suspicious Activity

If you believe you are the victim of fraud or identity theft, call Bank of the West immediately at 1-800-488-2265.
TTY 800-659-5495

To report a lost or stolen credit card, call us at 1-800-996-2638.

If you've received a suspicious email, let us know by emailing us at:

Need more information on what to do in case of fraud?

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