At Citizens Commerce we understand that you not only trust us with your financial security but the security of your personal information as well. To that end we are just as committed in protecting your identity as we are your checking account and continually monitor for fraud schemes that target you, our customer.
We would like to caution our customers and remind them to never open emails or text messages that appear suspicious or are from an individual/business/entity you were not expecting communications from. Malware, which is malicious software that steals your credentials and can provide remote access to your device, can be installed by clicking on links embedded in the email/text message or via opening of attached documents. Newer variants of malware being sent by text message may even not require this step to occur and can deliver their malicious content by simply opening the message. In these instances, if you do not recognize the sender, it is best to utilize your devices ‘spam’ functionality and immediately remove these messages.
Remember that it is the goal of a fraudster to cause alarm and force you to do something you typically wouldn’t do. To that end they will use threatening language about the consequences of waiting and the importance of acting right now. If the email, pop-up, or text message is asking you to input confidential information that they should already know then you should immediately cease what you are doing and contact the requestor directly in order to verify the legitimacy of the communication.
Please know that Citizens Commerce will never contact you and ask you to provide your personal information via text message, email, or phone. If you’ve responded to one of these communications please contact us immediately at 859-879-9455 so that we can review your account with you and discuss how to protect your information going forward.
In the instance that you’ve already provided the fraudster with your debit card information or believe it to be otherwise compromised you can report the card as lost or stolen by dialing 1-800-915-2617 and choosing option 3. If you have access to online banking or the mobile app, you can also block the card yourself by choosing the appropriate option from the menu.
Additional tips to protect yourself online include making sure that your operating system (e.g. Windows, Android, iOS), web browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox), and anti-virus programs (e.g. Windows Defender) remain up-to-date. Many of these programs contain helpful features such as allowing you to schedule when you want updates to occur or even better yet to allow updates to occur automatically. Often times after the update has occurred you will only need to simply restart your device in order to take advantage of the newly installed features. Continuing to use an unsupported or unpatched device increases the risks that your confidential information may become compromised as fraudsters regularly exploit these out-of-date systems.
When using a Wi-Fi access point in public or other similar ‘common’ spaces (e.g. hotel) avoid logging into your online banking account if at all possible. As these networks generally do not require a password to connect to or the password is not changed frequently they pose a higher security risk to you and your information. While on the go, if you do find yourself regularly logging into your online banking account or other sensitive sites consider purchasing a subscription to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider which will help add a layer of security to your activity.
Care should also be taken to only ever download and install applications from “official” sources such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store and never from a third-party repository.
Other helpful habits to ensure your personal and banking information remains confidential to you are to regularly review your bank statements each month and immediately report any unauthorized charges.
Additionally, you are entitled by Federal law to receive one free credit report every 12 months and reviewing your information regularly not only allows you to verify legitimate activity but will also help to catch identity theft early. If upon review of your credit report, you discover that you are a victim of identity theft, you should immediately report it to one of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) and request an alert be placed on your record. In addition to the above, be sure to file a police report to document the fraud as well as keeping all correspondence between you, creditors, and the credit bureaus regarding the fraudulent activity.
We hope that this information is useful to you and if you ever have a question about correspondence purporting to be from Citizens Commerce whether it be via email, mail, or telephone please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. Often times contacting your local branch can provide immediate verification that the communication is either legitimate or fraudulent and stop the scheme before it even has a chance to begin.