|Coming Tuesday, April 3rd:
A New Online Banking Experience!
|A modernized Online Banking experience will soon be available. This upgraded look provides consistent navigation from any device used to access your accounts.
Please Note: Starting April 3rd, 2018 Business customers that use our “Cash Management” products will have a separate login on the homepage of the First Bank of Baldwin website. This login will take you to the same online banking you use today.
First Bank of Baldwin Offers Tips for Avoiding Online Dating Scams
Social media networks and dating websites have become increasingly popular tools for meeting and communicating. Unfortunately, fraudsters have capitalized on this trend and often create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.
According to the FBI, over $220 million was lost in 2016 to online romance scam artists. Older Americans in particular have been targeted by this type of scam.
“While online dating can open doors to loving, happy relationships, we are receiving more and more reports of criminals using these platforms to take advantage of unsuspecting users,” said Hilari Henke, First Bank of Baldwin Universal Banker. “Approach these relationships with caution so you don’t end up with a broken heart and an empty wallet.”
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one are being scammed, First Bank of Baldwin recommends taking the following precautions:
- Slow down – and talk to someone you trust. Don’t let a scammer rush you.
- Never wire money, put money on a gift or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.
- Contact your bank right away if you think you’ve sent money to a scammer.
- Report your experience to:
- The online dating site
To learn more about online dating scams, view the ABA Foundation and FTC’s infographic.
First Bank of Baldwin is committed to educating our customers about the various types of fraud that exist, and ways to avoid being a victim. Never send money or give your account information to a person that you met online. Contact your bank and be open and honest about what the online person is requesting. First Bank of Baldwin, First for your Family, Farm or Business. Member FDIC
12 Tips for Protecting Your Mobile Devices
March 4-10 is National Consumer Protection Week
As consumer use of mobile devices continues to climb, cyber criminals are targeting those gadgets more frequently. According to a report by the Federal Reserve, 532 percent of smartphone users say they have used mobile banking in the past 12 months. In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week March 4-10, First Bank of Baldwin is highlighting 12 ways consumers can take extra precaution to protect the data on their mobile device.
“We use gold-standard safeguards to protect customer information, but it’s also important for users to keep safety measures in place to prevent sensitive data from being compromised,” said Mark Hojem, First Bank of Baldwin IT System Analyst. “It’s easy to forget that your mobile device can be vulnerable, but any device used to connect to the internet is at risk.”
First Bank of Baldwin suggests following these 12 steps to protect your mobile device:
- Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
- Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
- Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
- Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
- Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
- Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
- Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
- Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
- Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren’t very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app to secure and encrypt your communications when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. (See the Federal Trade Commission’s tips for selecting a VPN app.)
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
First Bank of Baldwin is dedicated to helping protect our customers from fraud by sharing best practices that can assist in preventing financial hardships due to scams.
First Bank of Baldwin, First for your Family, Farm or Business.
8 Tips to Help Prevent Crime at ATMs
First Bank of Baldwin Raises Awareness for National Consumer Protection Week
There are more than 400,000 ATMs in the United States and that number is growing. First Bank of Baldwin has 3 ATM’s and is part of the MoneyPass network that has over 25,000 ATM’s nationwide. ATM use is at an all-time high which is why First Bank of Baldwin is dedicated to keeping its customers safe at those locations with the following helpful tips.
“We believe that even one incident of ATM crime is too many,” said Deann LaValley, First Bank of Baldwin Director of Compliance. “Customer safety is our top priority when it comes to ATM use.”
The bank works closely with the local police departments to prevent criminal activity around local ATMs. The bank has taken preventative measures to enhance consumer safety including installation of surveillance cameras, increased lighting and withdrawal limits.
First Bank of Baldwin takes a number of precautions to ensure that its customers have a safe environment, but there is no substitute for good, cautious behavior on the part of the customer.
In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week March 4-10, First Bank of Baldwin recommends that customers follow these eight safety tips when using any ATM:
- Keep your PIN number a secret. Never write it down or share it with anyone – not even family members.
- Be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. Make sure the ATM is free of sight obstructions. If you observe suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the machine.
- Bring someone with you when using an ATM at night. If you can’t, use an ATM that is located in a public area like a convenience or grocery store.
- Have your ATM card ready and in your hand as you approach the ATM.
- Use your body to “shield” the ATM keyboard as you enter your PIN.
- Always take your receipts or transaction records with you.
- Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM. Immediately put your money into your pocket or purse and count it later.
- If you are using a drive-up ATM, be sure passenger windows are rolled up and all doors are locked. If you leave your car and walk to the ATM, lock your car.If you ever witness suspected ATM criminal behavior don’t hesitate to call 911. First Bank of Baldwin has been locally owned since 1883 and continues to prioritize our customer’s safety in the communities we serve. First Bank of Baldwin; First for your Family, Farm or Business. Member FDIC
8 Ways to Fight ID Fraud Online
First Bank of Baldwin Raises Awareness for National Consumer Protection Week
Nearly three decades after the internet was introduced, the web continues to transform the lives of many users, revolutionizing the way consumers shop, pay bills, and transfer money online. As these advancements make common tasks hassle-free, consumers are urged to take extra precautions, allowing them to navigate the web safely and avoid online crime.
“Banks are constantly innovating to make it easier for customers to manage their money online,” said Ryma Lindquist, First Bank of Baldwin Marketing Director. “At the same time, we’re always looking for ways to help customers combat cyber threats.”
In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week March 4-10, First Bank of Baldwin is offering these tips to help users safeguard their personal information and navigate the web safely:
- Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
- Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails 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 unfamiliar sources.
- Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at email@example.com – and to the company, bank or organization impersonated in the email.
- Keep personal information personal. Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.
- Secure your internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app to secure and encrypt your communications when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. (See the Federal Trade Commission’s tips for selecting a VPN app.)
- Be careful in the cloud. While using the cloud makes it easier to store and share large amounts of files, understand that it also opens other avenues for attack.
- Shop safely. Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
- Read the site’s privacy policies. Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
First Bank of Baldwin locally owned and operated since 1883 is dedicated to serving our community by helping consumers be aware and prevent fraud. If you suspect that an email or phone call is a scam please call us immediately at 715-684-3366. First Bank of Baldwin; First for your Family, Farm or Business. Member FDIC
With the 2018 tax season underway, all customers should take extra precaution when filing their return to prevent their exposure to tax fraud.
“Fraudsters are using very clever tactics to get a hold of your personal information and submit false tax claims,” said Lisa Lyon, Retail Banking Director. “Consumers must be suspicious of any communication from the IRS – through email, text or social media – that requests personal information, and should keep a watchful eye out for missing W-2s and mail containing sensitive financial information.”
Tax identity fraud takes place when a criminal files a false tax return using a stolen Social Security number in order to fraudulently claim the refund. Identity thieves generally file false claims early in the year and victims are unaware until they file a return and learn one has already been filed in their name.
First Bank of Baldwin is offering the following tips to help prevent tax identity fraud:
- File early. File your tax return as soon as you’re able giving criminals less time to use your information to file a false return.
- File on a protected Wi-Fi network. If you’re using an online service to file your return, be sure you’re connected to a password-protected personal network. Avoid using public networks like a Wi-Fi hotspot at a coffee shop.
- Use a secure mailbox. If you’re filing by mail, drop your tax return at the post office or an official postal box instead of your mailbox at home. Some criminals look for completed tax return forms in home mailboxes during tax season.
- Find a tax preparer you trust. If you’re planning to hire someone to do your taxes, get recommendations and research a tax preparer thoroughly before handing over all of your financial information.
- Shred what you don’t need. Once you’ve completed your tax return, shred the sensitive documents that you no longer need and safely file away the ones you do.
- Beware of phishing scams by email, text or phone. Scammers may try to solicit sensitive information by impersonating the IRS. Know that the IRS will not contact you by email, text or social media. If the IRS needs information, they will contact you by mail first.
- Keep an eye out for missing mail. Fraudsters look for W-2s, tax refunds or other mail containing your financial information. If you don’t receive your W-2s, and your employer indicates they’ve been mailed, or it looks like it has been previously opened upon delivery, contact the IRS immediately.
If you believe you’re a victim of tax identity theft or if the IRS denies your tax return because one has previously been filed under your name, alert the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. In addition, you should:
- Respond immediately to any IRS notice and complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Contact your bank immediately, and close any accounts opened without your permission or tampered with.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records:
- Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.
Important Equifax breach information along with Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information.
We strongly advise customers to enroll in the complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services you will find at: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/
What to do if you were hit by the Equifax breach 9/8/17