HOW TO SECURE YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS, DEBIT CARDS AND CREDIT CARDS

Tips to protect you and your money

Scammers show up wearing many different hats – from that of a government official, a known business, “Tech” support, or a dear family member or friend.

Unemployment Claims under your SSN

Because of the pandemic, millions of Americans lost jobs permanently or temporarily in 2020 and received unemployment benefits. However, in some cases, criminals sought to exploit the situation, filing for fraudulent unemployment benefits using stolen identities. Here are resources to help if you were a victim.

FTC- Unemployment benefits claims

IRS: Identity Theft From Unemployment Benefits

Social engineers are essentially con artists; they manipulate situations and take advantage of human nature. Social engineering attacks have a common motive: to trick people into taking an action or revealing sensitive information.

  • Set up Account Alerts in Online Banking and get alerts via email or SMS text messaging. When you sign up for alerts via SMS, you'll also get SMS fraud alerts for your debit card. Simply log in to Online Banking, go to the Account Alerts page to set up your preferences
  • Sign up for online statements and stop paper statements
  • Log in to your account weekly, if not daily, to review it for suspicious activity and report any unusual or unauthorized charges immediately
  • Memorize your passwords and PINs and change them regularly
  • Don't use obvious or well-known information for your passwords (such as birthdates, anniversaries, etc.)
  • Don't write your password down or tell it to anyone
  • Never give anyone your ATM, debit or credit card(s)
  • Always be aware of people and your surroundings. If you see anyone or anything suspicious, don’t use the ATM. Come back at a later time or find an ATM in a more secure location
  • Look at the ATM, if it looks like it has been tampered with, your card does not enter smoothly or there is extra equipment that does not look right, do not use it. These could be indicators that a skimming device has been attached to the ATM in an attempt to steal your card information
  • When entering your PIN, shield the ATM keypad with your other hand or your body
  • After withdrawing money, put away your card and cash before leaving the ATM area. Count your cash later in your locked car or at home
  • Report all crimes immediately to the ATM operator or law enforcement
  • Don't trust a website without checking on the security/encryption software it uses
  • Get a street address (not a post office box) and telephone number, then call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working
  • Check out the Better Business Bureau from the seller's area on the website
  • Be cautious when buying from individuals/companies located far away or outside the U.S.
  • Don't send your debit or credit card number by email or text as this is not secure
  • Don't give anyone your debit or credit card number by phone unless you initiated the call
  • Keep a list of your debit and credit card numbers and customer service phone numbers in case your cards are lost or stolen. Keep this information in a safe place
  • Never write your PIN on your card
  • When you receive a replacement debit or credit card, activate it right away and destroy your old card
  • Securely store or dispose of your debit and credit card receipts
  • Keep your contact information up to date in the event the Bank needs to verify transactions or sign up for SMS via mobile app
  • Don't write your Social Security Number or Driver's License number on your checks
  • Store new and canceled checks in a secure place
  • Shred old checks, receipts, account statements and documents that contain personal information
  • Don't carry your checkbook with you unless it's necessary

Contact us to report

Fraud or suspicious activity
1-800-488-2265
TTY 1-800-659-5495

Lost or stolen credit cards
1-800-996-2638

Suspicious Bank of the West emails
abuse@bankofthewest.com