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Best Practices for Protecting your Identity and Assets

Fraud is prevalent in today's world and there are many types. Did you know, the number one source of identity theft is still related to stolen purses and wallets? Always protect your personal property and if your wallet or purse comes up missing please contact your financial institution immediately!

Check Fraud

Checks are still one of the easiest ways to commit fraud. Be on the lookout for potential fraudulent checks made payable to you. The letters that accompany the checks may state that you have won the lottery and all you have to do is cash the check at your financial institution and then go to another location to wire back some processing fees for the transaction. In the end, the check is no good and you are responsible for that check. You could potentially be out thousands of dollars.

Another variation of this scam has also been done by people abroad that state they sell goods in the US and aren't able to receive payment because they don't have a bank account in the US and they will allow you to keep a percentage of the sale if you're willing to be the recipient of these payments in forms of checks and or traveler's/gift checks. They then give you wiring instructions for sending the payment to them. Again, these checks are fraudulent.

These are just a couple of examples of check fraud. Please be leery of any types of transactions that sound too good to be true.

Debit Card Fraud

Your Debit Card comes to you with some built in fraud prevention. Any transaction made on your card that would be considered abnormal for your normal card usage trends would generate a phone call to you for transaction verification. This feature is automatically added to your card. There are a couple of other things you can do to help prevent your Debit Card from being used fraudulently.

Re-pin your card. Upon receiving your debit card, you are given a computer generated pin number. We ask that you call 1-800-448-8268 or stop by any of our ATMs and have it repinned to something that you will easily remember and therefore won't have the need to write it down where it might be found. Never write your PIN number on the back of your card.

Enroll your card in M/C Secure Code. It is also a good idea to enroll your card in the M/C Secure Code program. At time of enrollment on the M/C Secure Code website, you will create a PIN number (different from your PIN number used for ATM access). At time of purchase using your Debit Card from a participating online merchant, you will be asked to enter this PIN number to ensure you are the cardholder conducting the transaction. Even if you do not nor intend to use your Debit Card for online purchases, it is still best practice to enroll your card. This will help deter fraudulent online transactions in the event your card or card number were stolen. Please note that not all online merchants participate in this program but the number is increasing. For the complete listing of online merchants who do participate please visit the M/C Secure Code website.

Internet Fraud

Fraud that usually happens over the internet is mostly due to people giving out personal information through what is known as a "phishing" email. The emails state that you need to update personal account information or payment information and instructs you to simply click on the link which is provided in the email. It is always good practice that you never click on a link in an email to access any type of account. The best practice is to type in the known Company's web address manually so that way you know you are going to the Company's legitimate site.

At First Federal Savings Bank, we have taken every precaution necessary to ensure that your account information is held safely and securely and we also encourage you to be diligent in protecting your identity and account information.

Be Aware of Vishing

Scammers will make random phone calls and state there is a potential problem with a debit/credit card and their main goal is to get your debit/credit card number and pin number.  While First Federal does have fraud protection on their cards, they will not ask you for your full card number and they will NEVER ask for a pin number.  If you feel you have given this sensitive information out please call us immediately!

If you feel you have become a victim of identity theft:

  • Contact the institution holding the account you accidentally compromised.
  • Change all your online passwords, starting with the password related to the information you divulged.
  • Monitor your credit report for fraudulent inquiries and activity.
  • Report to the FTC toll-free at 1-877-FTC-HELP or via the web at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
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