Your identity and confidential information are very important for a variety of reasons. If these are compromised by criminals, you may only discover financial crime when you receive letters seeking repayment of debts you haven’t incurred, or you find an unexplained transaction in your bank account.
It can take a lot of time and patience to resolve such issues – and your credit rating may be affected as a result. So what can you do to protect yourself?
Protect Your Information Offline
- Keep valuable documents secure: It’s vital you look after any identity document such as your driver’s license and social security card. Always make sure they are in your possession or safely secured, whether at home, in the office or on vacation.
- Destroy all unwanted paperwork: Always shred all important personal and financial paperwork when you don’t need it any longer.
- Keep your bank updated: It’s crucial that if you change your name, address or contact telephone numbers (including your mobile number), you let us know immediately.
Check Your Account Often
- Use Online Banking to check your account frequently – Regularly check your account online to see if there are any suspicious transactions that have occurred, but especially If you are unsure about a call or text message you’ve received. If anything looks amiss, call us directly for assistance.
- Check your statements: Much financial crime can go undetected for long periods, simply because victims are not aware it has happened. It may be weeks or months before fraud is spotted.
Watch out For Fraudulent Emails, Text Messages, and Phone Calls
- Don’t fall for email scams: Never respond to any unexpected or suspicious email – and don’t click on any links or attachments within them.
- Avoid clicking on links in text messages – A text alert from us warning of suspicious activity on your card will NEVER include a link to be clicked. Never click on a link in a text message that is supposedly from us. A valid notification will provide information about the suspect transaction and ask the cardholder to reply to the text message with answers such as ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘help’, or ‘stop’. It will never include a link.
- Fidelity Bank has a 5 digit text number – A text alert from us will always be from a 5-digit number and NOT a 10-digit number resembling a phone number. Our 5-digit text code number is 37268.
- Avoid giving important information – A phone call from our institution’s automated call center will only include a request for your zip code and no other personal information. You may also be prompted to verify transactions by dialing 1 for ‘yes’ or 2 for ‘no. If you confirm that a transaction is fraudulent, only then will you be transferred to an agent who will ask questions to confirm that you are the actual cardholder before going through your transactions. If at any point you are uncertain about the questions being asked or the call itself, hang up and call us directly. If a voicemail is left, a case number will be provided in the message. You will need the case number when you return the phone call to confirm your transactions.
- Do not give out your debit cards pin number – We will NEVER ask you for your PIN or the 3-digit security code on the back of your card. Don’t give them out to anyone, no matter what they say. Hang up and call us directly.
Fraudsters will often ask cardholders to verify fake transactions. When the cardholder says no, they did not perform those transactions, the fraudster then says that their card will be blocked, a new card will be issued, and that they need the card’s PIN to put it on the new card. Many people believe this and provide their PIN. The 3-digit CV2 code on the back of the card will allow a fraudster to conduct card-not-present transactions.
- Be aware of spoof phone calls – Fraudsters will often “spoof” a phone call so that the caller ID may show a financial institution name, IRS, Social Security or local law enforcement office in an effort to gain trust or confidence of their victims. If you do not know the caller personally, you should always disconnect the call and reach out to your local branch or the agency you believe to be calling you, with a trusted phone number that you have to determine the validity of the call.
Remember, a financial institution will never ask you for information they already have.
Know Your Credit Score
- Confirm your credit rating: It is a good idea to obtain a copy of your personal credit report on a regular basis to see which financial organizations, if any, have accessed your information.
You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the 3 primary credit reporting bureaus. Go to annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
Contact Fidelity Bank
- Not sure about a message? Call us – If you have received a voice- or a text-message from us and are unsure about responding to it, call us directly for assistance.