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PERSONAL INFORMATION IS LIKE MONEY. VALUE IT. PROTECT IT.
KNOW THE RED FLAGS

To begin with, if anyone contacts you and insists on payment by a wire transfer or gift card, it’s a scam. End the conversation immediately.

VERIFY TO CLARIFY

Be suspicious of emails, text messages, or phone calls that create a sense of urgency and require you to respond to a crisis or give sensitive information, such as your credit card number or bank account information. Don’t respond immediately. Hang up or walk away from the computer and contact a trusted source to verify the legitimacy of the request.

WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT

Links in email, tweets, texts, posts, social media messages and online advertising are the easiest way for cyber criminals to get your sensitive information. Be wary of clicking on links or downloading anything that comes from a stranger or that you were not expecting.

KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE

Keep all software on all internet-connected devices current. These updates not only improve the security of your device, but also improve its functionality. Stop clicking postpone on that update.

Pro Tip: Configure your devices to automatically update or to notify you when an update is available.

LOCK YOUR DEVICES

You lock the front door to your house, and you should do the same with your devices. Require a passcode to unlock your phone or tablet. Securing your devices keeps prying eyes out and can help protect your information in case your devices are lost or stolen.

MAKE A LONG, UNIQUE PASSPHRASE

Length trumps complexity. A strong passphrase is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember. (for example, “IL0veCountryMusic!.”). Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure

place away from your computer.

OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

Every time you sign up for a new account, download a new app, or get a new device, immediately configure the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Regularly check these settings (at least once a year) to make sure they are still configured to your comfort.

SHARE WITH CARE

Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data or commit other crimes such as stalking. Just because a website asks you for your address, photo, or mother’s maiden name, doesn’t mean you actually have to answer honestly.

PEOPLE AREN’T ALWAYS WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE ONLINE

Adults of all ages need to be wary of strangers and those appearing to be your friends or loved ones online. It is too easy for criminals to hide their true identity and appear trustworthy. If someone asks to be your friend on a social media platform, only accept their request if you know them. If someone online asks you for money or sensitive information, pick up the phone and call a trusted number. Dating online? Don’t send money or sensitive financial or personal information to anyone you have never met.

First Bank of Baldwin Lobbies are open regular business hours 7/20/2020

Customers Please Note:

  • Face Coverings Required
  • In the Baldwin Office enter and exit through the North Entrance only (South Entrance doors will remain locked)
  • Call ahead to schedule an appointment
    • Baldwin Office: 715-684-3366
    • Spring Valley Office: 715-778-5537
    • Balsam Lake Office: 715-405-3366
    • Plum City Office: 715-647-3791
    • Chippewa Falls Loan Production Office: 715-861-5567
  • Please stay within the barrier areas-the only exception is when customers are escorted to enter the Safe Deposit Box area
  • No Public Bathroom or Water-fountain Access

 

*Please Note:  To help keep exposure down remember we offer Mobile Deposits, Person-to-Person Payment, Transfers, Bill Pay and more through our FREE Mobile App.

 

Thank you for following these guidelines to help keep our community safe and healthy!

What does skimming mean?
A skimmer is a card reader that can be disguised to look like part of an ATM or gas pump card reader. The skimmer attachment collects card numbers and PIN codes, which are then replicated into counterfeit cards. Skimming is the type of fraud that occurs when an ATM/card reader is compromised by a skimmer.
When you slide your card into an ATM/card reader that has a skimmer attached, you’re unwittingly sliding it through the counterfeit reader, which scans and stores all your information from the magnetic strip as well as capturing your PIN from the keypad. This makes skimmers particularly dangerous compared to other forms of card compromise because the collected card data can be used to make ATM cash withdrawals.
How to check for skimmers
The most frequently used methods of skimming are used on the card reader insert area. Before using an ATM, be observant of the following parts of the ATM:
  • PIN keypad
  • Card insert slot
When visiting an ATM, check these parts for:
  • Tape and/or sticky glue residue on any part of the ATM
  • Bulkiness on the card insert area or the PIN keypad
  • Anything hanging from the ATM
  • Wiggle the card slot or keypad for loose-fitting attachments
So how can you spot a skimmer and reduce your risk of card fraud during your travels?
1. Use your eyes: Look before you insert your card.
Before you slide your card in a fuel pump or ATM, take a good look at the keyboard and card reader.
Does anything look different if this is an ATM you’ve used before?
Bad guys can use a 3-D printer to create a new keyboard to put on top of the real one. The keyboard might look different from the rest of the ATM, or the keys could look bigger.
With fuel pumps, is the seal broken? To place a skimmer inside a fuel pump, fraudsters must open the fuel dispenser door to insert the skimmer.
Station employees may place serial-numbered security tape across the dispenser door, so check to see if the tape has been broken, according to NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. If there’s no tape, check to see if the dispenser door looks as though it has been forced open.
Also, look inside the throat of the card reader to see if you can spot anything hidden there. A skimmer inside a gas pump or ATM can steal the information off the magnetic stripe of your credit card or debit card.
2. Use your fingers: If something doesn’t feel right, move on.
Wiggle the ATM card reader to see if it’s loose. The crooks might place a card reader on top of the existing one.
You should also be wary if it’s hard to insert your credit card or debit card.
Some gas station credit card skimming victims have, in hindsight, remembered that the card reader had a weird feeling, like the slot had been tampered with.
3. Use your phone: Apps now can alert you to possible skimmers.
A free Skimmer Scanner Android app scans for available Bluetooth connections looking for a device with title HC-05. How does it work? If found, the app will attempt to connect using the default password of 1234. Once connected, the letter ‘P’ will be sent. If a response of ‘M’ then there is a very high likelihood there is a skimmer in the Bluetooth range of your phone (5 to 15 feet).
If your smartphone detects a skimmer, use a different pump or go to a different gas station.
How does Bluetooth relate to skimmers?
In the past, bad guys had to return to the the fuel pump or ATM to retrieve skimmers. That’s not always the case now. Thieves have begun to use Bluetooth technology to glean your credit card or debit card information. The crime is called bluesnarfing or blue skimming, and the crooks can sit 100 yards away in their vehicle while credit and debit card information is transmitted to their laptop.
4. Use your common sense: Use fuel pumps and ATMs in safe places.
Avoid gas pumps that are out of sight of the clerk and ATMs in areas with little traffic.
It’s particularly important to be cautious at nonbank ATMs, such as those located at convenience stores or nightclubs.
At banks, on the other hand, security is tighter, with cameras recording transactions and more people coming and going.
At ATMs, always cover the keyboard when you type your PIN. There might be a new brochure box containing literature next to the ATM, which crooks set up to conceal a pinhole camera. They use the camera to record you as you key in your PIN.

Coronavirus checks: flattening the scam curve

There’s a lot to worry about when it comes to the Coronavirus crisis, including the new ways scammers are using the economic impact payments (so-called “stimulus checks”) to trick people. To keep ahead of scammers who are trying to cash in on those payments, read on.

Scammers have no shame, and nothing – not even a global health crisis – is off limits. They’re pitching fake Coronavirus vaccines, unproven cures, and bogus at-home testing kits. So, it’s not surprising that scammers are exploiting confusion about economic impact payments too. But it’s still shameful.

Most people who qualify for a check will automatically get it direct deposited by the IRS within weeks. But as details emerge about how and when payments will arrive, some scammers may start using official-looking fake checks to steal money and confuse people into turning over personal information. Here’s some information to help avoid fake check scams that might be arriving soon.

  • The check’s not in the mail – yet. Reports say that paper checks – for people without direct deposit – will start arriving in May at the earliest. So, if you get an economic impact payment, stimulus, or relief check before then, or you get a check when you’re expecting a direct deposit, it’s a scam.
  • The IRS will not send you an overpayment and make you send the money back in cash, gift cards, or through a money transfer. If you get an official-looking check for more than what you were expecting – say, for $3,000 – the next call you’re likely to get is from a scammer. They’ll tell you to keep your $1,200 payment, and return the rest by sending cash, gift cards, or money transfers. It’s a scam that will leave you owing money to your bank.
  • That’s not the IRS calling, texting, or emailing. Scammers are sending official-looking messages – including postcards with a password to be used online to “access” or “verify” your payment or direct deposit information. The IRS will not contact you to collect your personal information or bank account. It’s a scam.

For trusted information and updates about IRS payments – including eligibility, how to sign up for direct deposit, or where to file a short tax form – always start with irs.gov/coronavirus. Learn how to avoid scams by subscribing to the FTC’s consumer alerts, and report scams to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Common Scams

  • Phishing and supply scams. Scammers impersonate health organizations and businesses to gather personal and financial information or sell fake test kits, supplies, vaccines or cures for COVID-19.
  • Stimulus check or economic relief scams. There are reports that the government will help to ease the economic impact of the virus by sending money by check or direct deposit. However, the government will NOT ask for a fee to receive the funds, nor will they ask for your personal or account information.
  • Charity scams. Fraudsters seek donations for illegitimate or non-existent organizations.
  • Delivery of malware through “virus-tracking apps” or sensationalized news reports.
  • Provider scams. Scammers impersonate doctors and hospital staff and contact victim claiming to have treated a relative or friend for COVID-19 and demand payment for treatment.
  • Bank/FDIC scams: Scammers impersonate FDIC or bank employees and falsely claim that banks are limiting access to deposits or that there are security issues with bank deposits.
  • Investment scams often styled as “research reports,” claiming that products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19.

10 Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim

  1. Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails, texts, phone calls and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from s