Fraud Prevention

USAmeriBank will never ask for or send personal or account information through email, text message or phone. We will only contact you regarding account changes or secure account information through post mail, fax, or your myAccess or Secure Access Manager online banking account.

The two most prevalent types of fraud, keylogging and phishing, occur from viruses on your computer. In both cases, the end result is that the fraudster captures your login credentials, which allows them to commit fraud.

  • Keylogging is a method by which fraudsters record your actual keystrokes and mouse clicks. Keyloggers are "Trojan" software or malware programs that target your computer's operating system and are installed via a virus.
    • These can be particularly dangerous because the fraudster has captured your user ID and password, account number, Social Security Number – and anything else you have typed. If you have the same ID and PIN or password for many different online accounts, you've essentially granted the fraudster access to any computer with whom you conduct business. After all, they've got your login credentials so they appear to be valid.
       
  • Phishing involves identity thieves stealing personal information by posing as a financial institution, credit card company, online merchant, utility company, internet service provider, government agency, or prospective employer, and asking people to provide their Social Security numbers, account numbers, pins, passwords and more.
    • These requests are most commonly in the form of an email from an organization with which you may or may not do business. In many cases, the email has been made to look exactly like a legitimate organization, complete with company logos and other convincing information. The email usually states that the company needs you to update your personal information or that your account is about to become inactive. Their goal is to get you to click the link, which takes you to a site mirroring the real thing. Phishers will also claim that you have won a contest or have unclaimed money available.
    • These types of communications aim for you to react immediately from fear or excitement before there is time to evaluate the circumstances. If you click on the link to go to the phony website and enter your information, you've just been the victim of a phishing attack. The fraudsters have captured the necessary information to access your accounts online.
    • No reputable business will ever email you requesting that you update your personal information, such as account numbers, system passwords or Social Security numbers.

With new viruses and scams being developed every day, there are no foolproof prevention methods. As the customer, you are responsible for protecting your user IDs and passwords to combat fraud. Having a general awareness of the threats and using the tips below enables you to bank online with less risk and more peace of mind.

Consumer Online Banking Safety Tips

  • Keep your password protected. Do not use your Social Security number as a username or password. Change your username and passwords regularly and use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Never keep login information written down or near your computer.
  • Don't use your bank information for other online accounts.
  • Don't share your answers to security questions. Avoid sharing personal information on social media sites. Details such as your birthday, home address and mother's maiden name are common answers to security questions. Carefully review privacy options for any of the social networks you use to ensure there is no disclosure of private information.
  • Watch out for questionable emails and text messages. Don't open attachments, click on links, or respond to emails from unknown senders. If you share personal or banking information, contact USAmeriBank immediately. If you're looking to download a program, double check that it is from a legitimate source.
  • Use secure and trusted websites. Use secure websites for transactions and shopping. Shop with merchants you trust. Make sure internet purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account. Look for secure transaction signs like a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your browser or "https" in the address bar.
  • Use caution when conducting online banking on shared computers. Any actions that require entering financial or personal credentials should be done from a safe and secure computer. Set up security alerts so if information is changed you will receive and email that a password or other information has changed. If you did not change the information, contact the bank to investigate.
  • Keep your computer operating system, programs, browser version, software, patches and plug-ins current. Having up-to-date anti-virus software and firewalls is critical for protecting your computer. Configure your devices to prevent unauthorized users from remotely accessing your devices or home network.
  • Check your credit report regularly for suspicious activity. You can pull a free report at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Business Online Banking Safety Tips

  • Don't give out login information. Never share account information with employees or customers, such as user IDs and passwords. Don't provide such information to anyone who contacts you through telephone, email or text message.
  • Use Dual Control. Use dual control for online transactions, wire transfers, ACH transactions and self-administration services. Dual control, an industry best practice, requires a second level of approval to release online payment transactions and make self-administration user changes. Drafting and Approving transactions should be completed on separate machines as a safety measure.
  • Notify the bank of administrative or employee changes that may affect your business' accounts. If an authorized signatory or approver leaves the company, the bank should be notified immediately. The former employee must be removed from all authorizations. Make sure bank signature cards, funds transfer agreements, access codes and other authorizations are current by conducting an annual audit. Set up security alerts so if information is changed you will receive and email that a password or other information has changed. If you did not change the information, contact the bank to investigate.
  • Monitor your online accounts for suspicious activity. Contact USAmeriBank immediately if anything is out of the ordinary.
  • Make sure everything is up-to-date. Check that your company's operating system, firewalls, servers and client applications are updated with all vendor-recommended patches. Antivirus and antispyware software should be installed and updated regularly.
  • Use caution if you get a message asking you to make a change to an account. If you receive an email or text message asking you to update your information, activate an account, or verify your identity by calling a phone number or submitting information online, call back and check that it is from a legitimate source. Be careful when dealing with email attachments and downloadable files as well.
  • Use secure and trusted websites, especially for transactions. There are signs to identify if a site is secure. A lock symbol in the corner of your browser or "https" in the address bar can signify trusted websites. Block access to web addresses not necessary for your employees' business use.
  • Educate your employees about online fraud. Stress to them that they should never give out online banking information, including passwords or PINs.

Mobile Banking Safety Tips

  • Install mobile security software to provide device protection.
  • Make sure the app you use for financial transactions is genuine and authorized. Only download banking applications from reputable sources. Log out before closing apps to reduce the risk of others accessing information from your device.
  • Do not give out financial information over the phone. Unless you initiate the call and know the person or organization you are dealing with, do not give out this information, especially your Social Security Number.
  • Lock your mobile device. When you're not using your smartphone, use the keypad lock or phone lock. This will make it more difficult for someone else to view your information. Keep the mobile operating system updated.
  • Be wary of emails and text messages with links or attachments. Never open attachments or click on links from suspicious or unknown senders.
  • Don't store financial information on your phone. Avoid saving any passwords or sensitive information on your phone, where it could be discovered if stolen.
  • Contact the bank if your smartphone is lost or stolen, or if you change your number. You need to make sure the bank has the most up-to-date information for your records.
  • Perform regular backup of data stores on mobile device.
  • Use caution when tapping into public hotspots. Review your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection settings.

If You Detect Fraudulent or Suspicious Activity

If you believe your online banking credentials have been compromised, or your identity has been stolen, it's critical that you report it without delay. Any incidents of fraud or suspected fraud should be immediately reported to the bank.
Report suspicious activity involving your USAmeriBank accounts by emailing eBanking@usameribank.com.

We cannot advise you as to all the potential threats to the security of your computer system or network so if you have particular questions or concerns we recommend that you contact a computer security professional to help you secure your computer system to protect your financial information and combat fraud.