Account Security Knowledge Center:
Protecting Your Financial Well-Being
At First Resource Bank, your financial security and well-being is one of our top priorities. We have implemented rigorous measures and state-of-the-art technology to ensure that your financial transactions and personal information are safeguarded against potential threats. We regularly update our security systems, conduct comprehensive risk assessments, and adhere to industry best practices to maintain a secure banking environment; however, we are just one piece of the puzzle in keeping your information safe and secure. You are always the first line of defense in protecting your information and accounts from potential threats.
With advancements in technology, criminals are using sophisticated tools to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals and carry out complex scams. By staying informed about the latest scams and security threats you will be better equipped to recognize potential threats and protect yourself from becoming a victim.
If you think you may be the victim of identity theft or any other financial scam, please call us immediately at 610-363-9400.
Online Dating Scams
Text Message Scams
Fake Check Scams
Phone Call Scams
Common Scams: Identity Theft
Identity Theft occurs when someone gains access to your personal information such as name, date of birth and Social Security number (SSN) and uses that information to commit fraudulent acts like obtaining credit, making purchases, withdrawing funds, or opening accounts in your name. These actions can damage your credit, your reputation and can take a lot of time and effort to unravel.
Common Scams: Online Dating/Romance Scams
Has an online love interest asked you for money? That's a scam. Online dating/romance scams have become an unfortunate reality in the digital age, preying on the hopes and emotions of individuals seeking love and companionship. Scammers know millions of people use online dating sites. They are there, too, hiding behind fake profiles. These scammers pay close attention to the information you share and don’t miss a beat becoming your perfect match. You may have heard about romance scammers who tell you they’re sick, hurt, or in jail, or give you another fake reason to send them money. But did you know that many romance scammers operate by offering to do you a favor? They may claim to be a successful cryptocurrency investor who’ll teach you how it’s done. But any money you “invest” goes straight into their wallet. The scammers often pretend that they are overseas for business or military service. They may begin asking you for help to get home so they can come meet you. Often, they’ll ask for money and claim it is an emergency and they will pay you back. There are often obstacles preventing them from meeting you in person. The number one rule to always follow is to never send money to someone you have not met in person. Once the money is gone, we can’t get it back. If you’re engaging in an online relationship, be mindful of these tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Slow Down. It is best to slow down and talk to someone you trust. Often the scammer will try to rush you. Do not let them. Ask your potential partner a lot of questions and watch for inconsistencies that might reveal an impostor. Reach out to someone you trust for their advice.
Protect Your Personal Information. Don’t reveal too much personal information in a dating profile or to someone you’ve chatted with only online. Scammers can exploit details like your last name or where you work to manipulate you or commit Identity Theft. Do not disclose your current financial status to unknown and untrusted individuals.
Do Not Send Money. The scammer will ask for money once they gain your trust. Typically, they explain they have an owed debt, need financial assistance, or ask for travel funds. Never wire money from your bank account, purchase cryptocurrency, buy gift cards, or wire money to an online love interest. You won't get it back.
Mail Theft-Related Check Fraud Scams
Mail theft-related check fraud scams pose a significant threat to individuals and businesses. In these scams, criminals target mailboxes, intercepting envelopes containing checks or financial documents. Once in possession of these items, they alter or forge the checks, attempting to cash them or deposit them into their accounts. Criminals have even been known to sell copies of washed checks online. Here are some tips on how you can prevent being a victim of a check fraud scam.
Monitor Accounts. Don’t wait for your monthly statement. Review account activity daily on our digital banking platform to verify account balances and look at checks drawn against them. If you suspect fraudulent activity, report it to First Resource Bank immediately. Time is of the essence when combating check fraud.
Pay Your Bills Online. Enroll in First Resource Bank's online banking and bill pay to pay your bills online. This is easy to do. Just click on the enroll button at the top of the page.
Deliver Your Mail To A Post Office. Don’t leave envelopes containing checks in your mailbox or outdoor USPS collection boxes after the last pickup time. The safest way to mail a check is to take your letter to your nearest post office during business hours and either hand it to a clerk or slide it through an outgoing mail slot inside the building.
Don’t Let Delivered Mail Sit In Your Mailbox. Grab your mail every day, as close to the delivery time as possible. If you’ll be away, ask a trusted friend to collect it or have the post office hold it until you’re back home.
Sign Up For Informed Delivery. With this free service, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will email you images of everything that will be delivered to your home that day so you'll know what to expect (and what's missing when the carrier drops off your mail). You can sign up at: https://www.usps.com/manage/informed-delivery.htm
Common Scams: Phishing
Phishing involves unsolicited emails, or “spam,” that appear to come from legitimate sources (reputable companies you do business with, or government agencies), in which the perpetrators “phish” for personal information. In these emails, some pretext is used to bait you into providing personal information for verification purposes: your account number, social security number, password, or other private information used by a financial institution to identify you. This information is then captured by the fraudster to commit identity fraud. With email scams accounting for 96 percent of all phishing attacks, it’s the most popular tool for the bad guys but one you can usually recognize by following these tips.
Pay Attention to the Email Address of the Sender. Reputable companies will typically have an email address that matches their company. For example, [email protected]. If the sender’s email address appears to be random and has no affiliation with the actual sender, it’s usually a scam. By contacting the company or sender directly, using a trusted phone number, you can verify if an email is legitimate.
Avoid Clicking Suspicious Links. If an email pressures you to click a link, whether it’s to verify your login credentials or make a payment, you can be sure it’s a scam. Banks never ask you to do that. It’s best to avoid clicking links in an email. Should you decide to click a link be sure to hover over the link to reveal where it actually leads. When in doubt, call the company directly, or visit their website by typing the URL directly into your browser.
Raise the Red Flag on Scare Tactics. First Resource Bank will never use scare tactics, threats, or high-pressure language to get you to act quickly, but scammers will. Demands for urgent action should put you on high alert. No matter how authentic an email may appear, never reply with personal information like your password, PIN, or social security number.
Be Skeptical of Every Email. In the same way defensive driving prevents car accidents, always treating incoming emails as potential risks will protect you from scams. Fraudulent emails can appear very convincing, using official language and logos, and even similar URLs. Always be alert.
Watch for Attachments and Typos. First Resource Bank will never send attachments like a PDF in an unexpected email. Misspellings and poor grammar are also warning signs of a phishing scam.
Common Scams: Text Message Scams-Smishing
Smishing, a combination of the words "SMS" and "phishing," is a deceptive technique used by scammers to trick individuals via text messages and obtain their personal and financial information. These malicious attackers send text messages that appear to be from legitimate sources, such as banks, service providers, or government agencies, often containing urgent requests or enticing offers. The goal is to convince you to click on malicious links or disclose sensitive information. To protect yourself from smishing attacks, it is essential to be cautious and skeptical of unsolicited text messages. Check out these best practices for text message safety.
Never Click On Links Or Provide Personal Information In Response To Text Messages. Reputable companies will not ask you to do this. Instead, independently verify the legitimacy of the message by contacting the supposed sender directly through official channels.
Don’t Open Text Messages From Unknown Numbers/Contacts. Chances are if you know the person or company, their number will be saved in your contacts. It’s always best to avoid opening messages from someone you don’t know. By opening such messages, you may inadvertently confirm to the sender that your number is active, leading to an influx of spam or targeted scam attempts.
Common Scams: Fake Check Scams
In each of these scams, the target or victim is given a check to deposit, but then urged to quickly wire back the amount overpaid, or the funds cleared in a work-at-home scheme, or an amount needed to release the remaining “winnings” in a foreign lottery or sweepstakes. The victim wires out the money as instructed, only to learn later that the check he or she received is fake. It may take weeks, even months, for a counterfeit to be identified; but by then the wire is gone and the victim loses as much as thousands of dollars. These checks look real, even to bank tellers. Many of them appear to be cashier’s checks drawn on real banks, or U.S. Postal money orders. Fraudsters know that, by law, banks must make funds available long before the checks deposited are identified as fake. A consumer may deposit these checks, but just because he or she then can withdraw the funds, it doesn’t mean the check is good. The depositor is ultimately responsible for all checks deposited, and in these schemes, the depositor bears the loss. If someone sends you a check to deposit in exchange for a return of funds via wire, you may be targeted in a fake check scam. If so, or if you’ve been a victim of a fake check, report it to one of our Bank representatives immediately, and your local law enforcement agency. If someone you don’t know wants to send you a check, but expects you to wire some of the money back, you likely have been targeted in a fake check scam. The scam may take one of many different forms, but all operate the same way:
Common Scams: Phone Call Scams
Phone scams have become a common method used by scammers to deceive and defraud unsuspecting individuals. These fraudsters impersonate reputable organizations such as banks, government agencies, or even tech support services. Many use spoofing techniques to manipulate caller ID information, making it appear as if the call is legitimate. They often employ persuasive tactics, such as urgency, fear, or promises of financial gain, to pressure victims into divulging sensitive information like bank account details, social security numbers, or credit card information. Some scammers may also demand immediate payments or threaten dire consequences, such as legal action or loss of services. By preying on individuals' trust and exploiting their vulnerabilities, phone scammers manipulate innocent people into handing over their money. You must remain cautious, verify the legitimacy of incoming calls, and never share personal or financial information over the phone unless you are certain of the caller's identity. Here are some best practices when it comes to identifying and protecting yourself from phone scams:
Watch Out For A False Sense Of Urgency. Scammers count on getting you to act before you think, usually by including a threat. Banks never will. A scammer might say “Act now or your account will be closed,” or even “We’ve detected suspicious activity on your account” — don’t give into the pressure.
Never Give Sensitive Information. Never share sensitive information like your bank password, PIN, or a one-time login code with someone who calls you unexpectedly — even if they say they’re from your bank. Banks may need to verify personal information if you call them, but never the other way around.
Don't Rely On Caller ID. Scammers can make any number or name appear on your caller ID. Even if your phone shows it’s your bank calling, it could be anyone. Always be wary of incoming calls.
Hang Up - Even If It Sounds Legitimate. Whether it’s a scammer impersonating your bank or a real call, stay safe by ending unexpected calls and dialing the number on the back of your bank card instead.
Common Scams: Spyware/Malware
This scam involves the use of spying software, or malicious software, which captures any information you type into your computer (including user IDs, passwords, credit card numbers used in online purchases, etc.) and forwards that information to a fraudster. These programs attack your computer through email attachments and downloads, some piggybacking along downloads from legitimate sources.
Never Click On Links Within Pop-Up Windows. Pop-up windows are often a spyware product. Clicking on them may install spyware on your device.
Choose No When Asked Unexpected Questions. If you’re being asked to run a particular program or perform another type of task, it’s best to either select no, cancel, or just x out of it.
Be Cautious Of Free Downloadable Software. When you download free software you may be exposing your computer to spyware.
Never Follow Email Links Leading You To Anti-Spyware Software. Often these links are a scam and you actually end up installing spyware into your computer vs protecting it.
General Tips to Keep Your Information Safe:
- Maintain a healthy skepticism and be wary of unsolicited calls, emails, or messages requesting personal or financial information. Legitimate banks will never ask for sensitive details through these channels.
- Regularly monitor your bank statements and transactions, promptly reporting any suspicious activity to your bank. We recommend checking your account daily. This is easy to do with our suite of digital tools.
- Never reply to requests for personal information via email. Any email or unsolicited phone call requesting personal information from a legitimate company should be considered suspect; rather, initiate contact with the company directly using a phone number or web address you know to be genuine. Remember that confidential, identifying information should never be sent in email, even to a genuine address, as email is not a secure communication.
- Install and regularly update anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware software, such as McAfee VirusScan and Spybot Search and Destroy on your devices. Select security settings, including the disabling of pop-ups, as appropriate.
- Create unique and strong passwords for each of your online accounts. Strong passwords contain at least 12 characters and use a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and even some special characters (!, @, $, %, ^, &, *, +, #). Also, never choose the option to have passwords “remembered” by your browser; spyware can find and send this data to fraudsters.
- Do not keep written copies of PINs for cards or online banking in your wallet, and safeguard ATM receipts.
- Shred any financial solicitations (e.g. direct mail credit card applications) and bank, investment, and credit card statements before disposing of them.
- Obtain your free annual credit report from the major credit reporting agencies, and periodically review your file to ensure the information they report is correct. Ask the agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit file if you feel you have been, or may be at risk for identity theft. To obtain your annual free report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 1.877.322.8228. Contact the three reporting agencies via:
Equifax (www.equifax.com) 1.800.685.1111
Experian (www.experian.com) 1.888.397.3742
TransUnion (www.transunion.com) 1.800.888.4213
- Lastly, staying informed about the latest scams and security threats through reliable sources and the bank’s official communications can provide valuable insights into emerging risks and proactive measures to take. By staying vigilant and applying these tips, you can navigate the financial landscape with greater confidence and protect yourself from potential threats and scams.
- Report any suspicious email or other activity to the Federal Trade Commission. Send the actual spam email to [email protected]. Learn more by visiting the FTC’s identity theft website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1.877.FTC.HELP (1.877.382.4357).