Avoid Identity Theft and Online Fraud
Scams such as Spoofing and Phishing to commit identity theft are becoming more prevalent. Protecting your personal information from identity theft is a serious matter and there are many ways the criminals can gain access to such information. Identity theft involves the use of your personal information – such as your name, Social Security number, credit card or bank account numbers, or other identifying information – by someone else, to commit fraud or other crimes.
For more information on protecting yourself from identity theft and what to do if you are a victim, see our Identity Theft Assistance Kit.
- E-mail Phishing — Involves you receiving an e-mail that appears to be from a legitimate company, such as Stillman Bank, eBay or Amazon.com. It may even include the company’s logo and a link to an Internet address that looks appropriate. This e-mail directs you to link to a website where you are to supply account or personal information. However, simply clicking the link could secretly install software on your computer. The software may infect your computer with a virus or record and transmit everything you type, including passwords. Additionally, the website you link to may be spoofing the correct Internet site.
- Website Spoofing — Involves you trying to visit a website but accidentally keying-in or linking-to a different address. This may lead you to a website that mimics the legitimate site that you were trying to visit. The spoof Internet site may route whatever information you provide to criminals. This can include your account numbers, Social Security Numbers, credit card information, passwords and personal identification numbers. To make spoof sites seem legitimate, criminals may use the logos, graphics, names and code of the real company’s site. They also may attempt to fake the URL that appears in the address field at the top of your browser window and the padlock that appears in the lower right corner.
- Social Networking — Sites such as Facebook and MySpace often ask for additional identifying information when setting up an account. The answers provided to these challenge questions are often the same as what is used on your Stillman Online and other private financial sites. Please be cautious when providing this information; it should be treated the same as your PIN and not shared with anyone.
If you receive what may be a phishing e-mail or visit what might be a spoof website referring to Stillman Bank, and if by chance you have provided any personal information, please contact us immediately at 815-645-2266 or send us a Secure Email. If the e-mail or website had references to another company, you should contact that company directly.
A recent scam has been reported by many financial-related websites. The scam claims that your privacy has been breached at Epsilon Corporation. When logging into Stillman Online (or other financial institutions) a pop-up window, designed to look as though it is from the bank, directs recipients to a non-Stillman Bank website. It asks them to click through to a site purporting to offer a “free” credit report.
If you encounter this pop-up, do not click on any link that may be contained or enter any personal information.
Credit reports may be obtained annually from one or all of the national credit reporting agencies listed below. If you ever suspect any issues regarding Stillman Online, Stillman Web Pay or receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Stillman Bank, take their name and then call us 815-645-2266, our published number.
See the tips below to protect yourself online.
Although we provide certain protections under Regulation E and zero liability policies, the best advice is to be cautious and take control of your personal information. Review the security controls you are utilizing from virus protection, personal firewalls and how you maintain passwords. A review of your risk should be done annually. Keep informed on current threats and trends through available security websites. You may also contact us for this information.
Protect Yourself Online
- Do not reply to an e-mail or pop-up message asking for personal or financial information. Legitimate companies like Stillman Bank will never ask for personal or financial information via an e-mail or pop-up message.
- Don’t e-mail personal or financial information. If you initiate a transaction, look for indicators that the message is secured, which can be validated by a lock icon. Most e-mail programs do not provide confidentiality via encryption.
- Use bookmarks to access known sites to avoid being lured to imposter sites.
- Update anti-virus software regularly, use a personal firewall, and make sure all patches have been applied to your computers and web-enabled devices.
Other Ways To Protect Yourself
- Shred unwanted documents that contain personal information.
- Review credit card and bank statements immediately for unauthorized charges and contact the company if statements are more than a few days late.
- Don’t leave mail in your mailbox.
- Memorize your Social Security number instead of carrying it with you.
- Don’t write down your passwords, and don’t use birth dates or names of family members as passwords.
- Take your receipts from ATMs, gas pumps, etc.
- Report lost or stolen credit and debit cards immediately!
Review Your Credit Report
Consumers should obtain a copy of their credit report for review at least once a year:
- Equifax — www.equifax.com; 1-800-685-1111
- Experian — www.experian.com; 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion — www.transunion.com; 1-800-916-8800
Opt-out of Prescreened Offers
You may have just applied for a credit card, mortgage or consumer loan and it seems like you get inundated with more offers from other card companies or mortgage bankers. The reason is prescreened offers. Consumer Credit Reporting Companies, Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion, sell your credit information to be used for firm (preapproved/prescreened) offers of credit or insurance. You do have rights as a consumer under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to “Opt-Out” for 5 years or permanently from these offers.
Stillman Bank has no control over the use of this information, but we can help you “opt-out”. By visiting OptOutPrescreen.com, you can provide all the necessary information to prevent these offers. There is also a Q&A available to answer any questions you may have.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns on the privacy of your information or this issue please contact a Retail Banker at your local Stillman Bank location.
Get More Information
Important Contact Information if You’ve Been a Victim of Identity Theft
U.S. Government Agencies:
- Federal Trade Commission
Identity Theft Clearing House
Visit Web Site
- Social Security Administration
Fraud Hotline: 800-269-0271