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Five Tips for Keeping Your Financial Information Safe This Holiday Season

Don’t let a phishing scam spoil your holiday season.

Phishing scams use unsolicited phone calls, emails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as financial account numbers, usernames, passwords and Social Security numbers.

Fortunately, you can help protect your financial information with a few simple tips, courtesy of the American Bankers Association and the Iowa Bankers Association:

  1. Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or email, no matter how official it may seem.
  2. Do not respond to a phone call or an email that may warn of dire consequences if you do not validate your information immediately. Contact the company to confirm the call’s or email’s validity using a telephone number or website you know to be genuine. Clicking on a link within the unsolicited email could give a criminal access to your personal information.
  3. Check your credit card and bank account statements regularly and look for unauthorized transactions — even small ones. Some thieves hope small transactions will go unnoticed. Report any discrepancies to your bank immediately.
  4. When submitting financial information on a website, look for the padlock or key icon at the top or bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with “https.” This signals that your information is secure during transmission.
  5. If you have responded to an email or phone call you think may be a phishing scheme, contact your bank immediately, so they can help to protect your account and your identity.

Banks have many safeguards in place to detect unusual spending patterns and alert customers to help combat potential fraud. Banks also work closely with industry coalitions, such as the Anti-Phishing Working Group (www.antiphishing.org) to team up against criminals. These groups help to identify new schemes and develop counter-phishing methods to help thwart phishing attacks.

If you ever have questions about online security, don’t hesitate to contact Customer Support at 888.902.5662.