Protect Yourself

Your identity is one of the most valuable things you own. It’s important to keep your identity from being stolen by someone who can potentially harm your good name and financial well-being.

Banks Never Ask That

Every day, thousands of people fall for fraudulent emails, texts, and calls from scammers pretending to be a bank.

What to do if you receive a scam email, call, or text.

Email or Text
If you suspect that an email or text you receive is a phishing attempt:

Take a deep breath. In most cases, it’s perfectly safe to open a scam email or text. Modern mail apps, like Gmail, detect and block any code or malware from running when you open an email. The key is not to click links, or download any attachments.

  • Do not download any attachments in the message. Attachments may contain malware such as viruses, worms or spyware.
  • Do not click links that appear in the message. Links in phishing messages direct you to fraudulent websites.
  • Do not reply to the sender. Ignore any requests from the sender and do not call any phone numbers provided in the message.

Report it. Help fight scammers by reporting them. Forward suspected phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726). Then, report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Call
If you receive a phone call that seems to be a phishing attempt:

  • Hang up or end the call. Be aware that area codes can be misleading. If your Caller ID displays a local area code, this does not guarantee that the caller is local.
  • Do not respond to the caller’s requests. Financial institutions and legitimate companies will never call you to request your personal information. Never give personal information to the incoming caller.

If you feel you’ve been the victim of a scam, did provide personal or financial information, contact your bank immediately at their publicly listed customer service number. Often, this is found on the back of your bank card. Be sure to include any relevant details, such as whether the suspicious caller attempted to impersonate your bank and whether any personal or financial information was provided to the suspicious caller.

All information for Banks Never Ask That is provided by the American Bankers Association (ABA).

Shop Smart

In Store

  • Be aware of your surroundings and protect personal space at the ATM and registers.
  • Do not leave backpacks, purses and wallets unattended in a cart or basket inside the store or while loading purchases into your car in the parking lot. Secure these items first.
  • Inspect ATMs and points of sale terminals and look for tampering before swiping cards.
  • Keep cards in sight when paying to deter dishonest cashiers.
  • Store all receipts and closely check your monthly statements to verify transactions.

Digital Channels

  • Be sure your anti-virus software is installed properly and up-to-date.
  • Install personal firewalls and password protection on your wireless connections at home.
  • Shop with retailers you trust and who have positive Better Business Bureau ratings.
  • Avoid links and only visit shopping sites by directly typing in their website address.
  • Don’t purchase items or pay bills while using public computers or shared wireless networks.
  • Use Card Controls and Account Alerts wherever they are available.

Public WiFi

  • Turn off file sharing.
  • Get more information about WiFi access points from the business providing the connection.
  • Choose a seat where your back is facing a windowless wall to avoid allowing someone nearby to see your screen.
  • When your wireless card is no longer needed, turn it off or remove it.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if possible.

Additional Resources

The simple fact is you can protect yourself against most forms of identity theft. The first step is education. Take a few moments to learn about each of the steps you can take to avoid being a victim.