Help Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft
Bank of Rio Vista is concerned with protecting your identity. Identity theft resulting from the number and sophistication of phishing and spoofing scams sent out to consumers is continuing to increase dramatically. While online banking is widely considered to be as safe as or safer than in-branch or ATM banking, as a general rule you should be careful about giving out your personal financial information over the Internet.
Remember, Bank of Rio Vista will never contact you asking for YOUR personal information via e-mail.
Below are some tips to help you limit the possibilities of identity theft. Should you have any questions about any of these suggestions, give us a call! We’ll be happy to explain how following these tips can help you avoid the hassle of having your identity or personal information compromised.
- While shopping online know who you are buying from. If you haven't shopped at the retailer before, research it online to see what other customers are saying. Or call the customer service number to ask about their policies and guarantees. If the website doesn't include a phone number, email the company and start a dialogue with them before buying anything.
- Be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent request for personal financial information. Phishers have been known to include upsetting or enticing (but false) statements in their e-mails to get people to react immediately. More recently, some phishers have toned down their language, as e-mail recipients have become more aware of the use of this tactic. Either way, the e-mail typically asks for information such as user names, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.
- Watch out for emails from companies you don't know offering to sell products at steep discounts. It's probably spam - an email sent indiscriminately to thousands of people. If you do buy from a spammer, chances are your purchase will be of poor quality - if you even get it. Or worse, the spammer could steal your credit or debit card number.
- Be careful of e-mails that are not personalized and/or may contain spelling errors and/or awkward syntax and phrasing. Many phishing e-mails are sent in great bulk and, therefore, are not personalized. If you are suspicious of an e-mail claiming to be from your institution that is not personalized, call your institution before responding. Many also are being sent from other countries from individuals for whom English is a foreign language, thus resulting in misspelled words and awkward syntax and phrasing.Regularly log on to your online accounts and check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate. One of the real advantages of banking online is being able to regularly review your account for unauthorized or unusual activity.
- When making a payment online make sure the website is encrypted. Once you get to the purchase page, check that the address begins "https" rather than just "http" before hitting "send". The "s" means the site is secure, and your financial and personal information is encrypted before being sent over the Internet.
- Keep your computer security current. Use a comprehensive security software tool to help prevent viruses, identity theft and fraud, and check for updates regularly to protect yourself from the latest threats.
- Trust your instincts. If you have any doubts about the site, listen to your gut instincts and don't buy from them. Warning signs that the site may be illegitimate are lack of contact information and deals that are too good to be true - which means they probably are.
- Use online statements when available to reduce the volume of paper mailed and lock up or shred any paper statements. Paper today is the cause of more actual instances of identity fraud than are electronic thefts.