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Fraudulent E-mails and Web Sites

Here is a list of recommendations to follow in order to avoid becoming a victim of scams:

  1. Be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent requests for personal financial information. Phishers have been known to include upsetting or enticing (but false) statements in their e-mails to get people to react immediately. More recently, some phishers have toned down their language, as e-mail recipients have become more aware of the use of this tactic. Either way, the e-mail typically asks for information such as user names, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.
  2. Be careful of e-mails that are not personalized and/or may contain spelling errors and/or awkward syntax phrasing. Many phishing e-mails are sent in great bulk and, therefore, are not personalized. If you are suspicious of an e-mail claiming to be from Farmers State Bank, call us at 517-985-1062 before responding. Many are also being sent from other countries from individuals for whom English is a foreign language, thus resulting in misspelled words and awkward syntax and phrasing.
  3. Be careful of personalized e-mails that ask for personal financial information. Be suspicious of any e-mail that contains some personal financial information, such as a bank account number and asks for other information, such as a PIN. Farmers State Bank will never ask for or send you personal financial information by regular e-mail. If you are an Online Banking customer, there is a feature within Online Banking to send a secure message. This is NOT regular e-mail and information sent this way is secured.
  4. Do not use links in an e-mail to get to any Web page. Instead, call the bank on the telephone to confirm the address, or log onto the Web site directly by typing in the Web address in you browser.
  5. Do not complete forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal financial information. Farmers State Bank would never ask you to complete such a form within an e-mail message.
  6. Only communicate information, such as credit card numbers or account information, via a secure Web site or the telephone. When submitting financial information to a Web site, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with "https". A secure Web server designation can be found by checking the beginning of the Web address in your browser's address bar -- the address should begin "https://..." rather than just "http://..." While you can not be completely sure that a Web site is secure when its address starts with "https", you can be sure the Web site is not secure when it does not start with "https".
  7. Regularly log on to your online accounts and check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate. One of the real advantages of banking online is being able to regularly review your account for unauthorized or unusual activity. If anything is suspicious, contact us at 517-985-1062 and all card issuers immediately.
  8. Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches applied. Always visit your browser's home page to download the latest security updates even if they don't alert you to do so.
  9. MOST IMPORTANTLY, REMEMBER THAT FARMERS STATE BANK WILL NEVER CONTACT YOU VIA TELEPHONE OR E-MAIL REQUESTING PERSONAL INFORMATION, YOUR ACCESS ID, OR YOUR PASSCODE. IF YOU ARE CONTACTED BY ANYONE REQUESTING THIS INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY AT 517-985-1062.

Recommended Actions if You've Become a Victim of a Phishing Scam

If You Have Given Out Your Credit, Debit, or ATM Card Information

  • Report the incident to the card issuer as quickly as possible.
  • Report using toll-free numbers and 24-hour service that many companies have established to deal with such emergencies.
  • Request your card issuer close your compromised account number and reissue you a new card with a different number.
  • Monitor your account activity and review account statements carefully after the information loss.
  • If any unauthorized charges appear, call the card issuer immediately and follow up with a hard copy letter via a traditional delivery service such as the U.S. Postal Service (keep a copy for yourself) describing each questionable charge.

If You Have Given Out Your Bank Account Information

  • Report the theft of this information to the bank as quickly as possible.
  • Request your bank close the compromised account and re-open a like account with a different number.

If You Have Given Out Your Personal Identification Information

If you believe you have given out personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number to someone who may use it for fraud:

Contact the three major credit reporting agencies -- Experian, Equifax and Trans Union -- and do the following:

  • Request that the agencies place a fraud alert and victim's statement in your file.
  • Request a free copy of your credit report to check whether any accounts were opened without your consent.
  • Request that the agencies remove inquiries and/or fraudulent accounts stemming from the theft.

Major Credit Bureaus

Equifax: www.equifax.com

Experian: www.experian.com

Trans Union: www.transunion.com


Additional Actions to Take

  • If bank accounts were set up without your consent, close them.
  • Contact your local police department to file a criminal report.
  • Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline to report the unauthorized use of your personal identification information.
  • Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of your identity theft.
  • Check to see whether an unauthorized driver's license number has been issued in your name.
  • Notify the passport office to be on the lookout for anyone ordering a passport in your name.
  • File a compliant with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Document the names and phone numbers of everyone you speak to regarding the incident. Follow up your phone calls with letters. Keep copies of all correspondence.