Protect yourself while banking or shopping online

Banking security tips

A best practice is to NEVER click or enter information into an email or text that you are not expecting. If you are unsure about an e-mail or hyperlink, type the companies' URL address into your web browser instead of clicking on the link. If you receive a suspicious call, email or text message from BOW, or provided your banking information in response to a fraudulent inquiry, contact us to report it at 1-800-488-2265 TTY 1-800-659-5495.

Additional Resources

Protect your devices from mobile fraud

FCC - Protect your Smart Device

Protect Your Devices From Mobile Fraud

  • Rogue mobile banking apps

    Criminals may repackage and publish malicious apps that look like Bank of the West's mobile apps. Once downloaded, the fake app may infect your phone with a Trojan virus in order to steal your Online Banking username and password.

    Only download the Bank of the West mobile app from trusted sources such as the Apple App Store or Google Play. Don't download or install mobile banking apps if you see any of the following warning signs:

    • Developer or author of the app is not Bank of the West
    • App is being promoted on a third party site, outside of the official app store associated with your mobile device
    • There’s a charge for downloading the app
  • Mobile Malware

    Just like computer malware, mobile malware is designed to steal sensitive information and data. Malware can infect your phone through Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth. Because smartphones can easily connect to wireless networks, it’s easier to download malware. For your protection, only use secure and trusted Wi-Fi networks and only accept Bluetooth connections from people you know. Also, keep Bluetooth switched off when not in use.

  • SMiSHing

    SMiShing (short for “SMS phishing”) uses cell phone messages to deliver the "bait.” A fraudster may pose as your financial institution and use an SMS (text message) to try to get your account information.

    How it works
    A typical scam informs the victim, via SMS, that their account was compromised or that their ATM card was deactivated. The victim is directed to call a phone a number or visit a spoofed website to reactivate their card. On the website or in the automated phone system, the victim is asked to provide their card number, PIN and /or account numbers.

    • For your protection, don't respond to texts that request personal or financial information. Bank of the West will never ask you for such information in this way. Add Bank of the West's short code BKWST (25978) to your device's contacts with a distinctive name, so that you will recognize messages are from us
  • Lost or Stolen Device Tips

    Mobile phones and tablets offer convenience, but they're also easy to lose or steal.

    • If you lose your device or change your mobile phone number, delete the old number from your “Preference Center “ or call Bank of the West at 1-800-488-2265, select option 3. TTY 1-800-659-5495.
    • Immediately contact your wireless carrier to report the loss and suspend your mobile service
    • If stolen, report the theft to the police. Include the make and model, serial and IMEI or MEID number of your device. Some carriers require proof that the device was stolen, and a police report will do
    • As soon as possible, change any passwords for online accounts you access through your mobile device (for example, your Online Banking password)

    Best Practices:

    • Password, fingerprint, or Face ID-protect your device so it can't be accessed unless the password, registered fingerprint, or Face ID is entered
    • Turn on automatic screen-locking to secure your device when it’s not in use
    • Consider a remote wipe program, which will send a command to your device to delete any data if your device is lost or stolen
    • Keep a record of the device's make, model and serial number in case it's stolen
  • Mobile Security Tips
    • When in doubt, don't respond. Fraudulent texts, calls and voicemails are on the rise. Just like with email, requests for personal information or a call for immediate action are almost always a scam
    • Use your device's power-on password feature and keep the device locked when not in use
    • Never store personal information like passwords or PINs in texts, notes or emails that can be accessed on your device
    • Install anti-malware protection for your smartphone, tablet, e-reader or any other device that has mobile internet access. This software can scan the device, identify and remove malware, plus check applications for malware before downloading them
    • Don’t root or jailbreak your device to bypass limitations set by your carrier or the device’s manufacturer. Doing so could remove any built-in protections against mobile threats
    • Beware of downloads to your device, especially apps. Only use reputable app markets. Look at the developer's name, and check out reviews and star ratings. Always check the permissions an app requests and ensure that the permissions match the features it provides
    • If you visit a website through your device and the URL (web address) looks suspicious, close it down right away
    • Use account nicknames instead of account numbers. Do not include any digits from your account numbers in nicknames
    • Consider using a remote wipe program; this will give you the ability to send a command to your device that will delete any data if the device is lost or stolen
    • Be aware of your surroundings and use your device discreetly at places where you feel unsafe
    • Never leave your device unattended in public and don’t leave it visible in an unattended car; lock it in the glove compartment or trunk

Tips to Secure Your Technology

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Fraud or suspicious activity

  • Fraud or suspicious activity
    TTY 1-800-659-5495
  • Lost or stolen credit cards
  • Suspicious Bank of the West emails

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