As a financial services company, Artisans' Bank has extensive experience in helping customers manage and protect their assets. We take great care to safeguard the security of your transactions and the information you entrust with us. We employ security tools to keep your online banking sessions safe and we utilize third party resources to help monitor your debit card and ACH activity.
Artisans' Bank will never ask you to confirm your account number, PIN, password or any other personal information via e-mail. If you are concerned that you have received fraudulent e-mail, disclosed confidential information or have questions about online security, please contact our customer service department at 302-658-6881 or 1-800-282-8255.
As you know, crimes like identity theft, computer hacking, telemarketing fraud and email fraud are unfortunately all too common today. One of the ways individuals carry out such activities is by posing as a representative of a company you currently do business with.
At Artisans' Bank, we want you to know that the only reason we would contact you seeking any type of personal or financial information would be if you were in the process of applying for a loan or opening an account with us, or if we were attempting to validate an extraordinary transaction on one of your accounts. If you ever question the legitimacy of a request for your personal or financial information made by an individual claiming to represent Artisans' Bank, please contact us immediately at 302-658-6881 or 1-800-282-8255.
It is important to check your credit report on a periodic basis as part of your ongoing actions to protect yourself from identity theft. This will allow you to validate the accuracy of your information and protect against potential fraudulent activity on your accounts. If you notice any inconsistencies on your report, you only need to notify one agency and they will share the information with the other two credit bureaus.
For Lost or Stolen ATM or Visa Debit Cards
Please call 302-658-6850 (Monday thru Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm) or 1-866-546-8273 (all other hours).
Identity theft is a serious problem worldwide. It is a form of stealing someone's identity without their knowledge. The thief pretends to be someone else by assuming your identity. They use your personal information to benefit themselves, such as your name, social security number or credit card number. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime with over 12 million victims a year and over $50 billion in damages.
For more information visit the Federal Trade Commission website. FTC
Reporting Identity Theft
Contact your local law enforcement agency and report the incident immediately. You can contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place an alert on your credit history if you are a victim of Identity Theft:
To report fraud, call: 1-800-525-6285 and write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
For the Auto Disclosure Line, call 1-800-685-1111 to request a copy of your report.
To report fraud, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) and write:
P.O. Box 9530, Allen TX 75013
To report fraud, call: 1-800-680-7289 and write:
Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
You should also report identity theft to your local law enforcement agency and to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can contact the FTC at 1-877-438-4338.
Common Types of Fraud
Phishing is an attempt to gain information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity by email. This is one of the primary methods a fraudster will use to compromise your personal information. The email will cite an invented scenario which requires haste and includes dire consequences if requests aren't complied with in a short time period. The scenario will either persuade you to divulge sensitive information, send money to an unknown party or click a link that will initiate viruses that give criminals access to your computer.
Smishing is similar to phishing, but carried out via text messages. Cell Phones and other portable devices are targeted as primary channels for transmitting viruses and other methods of stealing your personal information.
Vishing is the same as phishing, but carried out over the phone. You may either get a direct phone call from a fraudster falsely representing an organization or individual or you could receive an email, letter or voicemail with a return phone number. To protect yourself, contact the organization or individual using the phone number that is publicly listed. Never respond directly to the number presented. Artisans' Bank will never ask you to disclose or confirm your password, PIN, or full Social Security Number.
Pharming/Spoofing is the act of redirecting a legitimate URL to a fake website in order to gain access to the personal information of a large number of people. If the website layout, content or colors look different than you are used to seeing or there are many spelling and grammatical errors you may be a victim of pharming. Do not enter your user name and password until you are able to independently confirm that the website is legitimate.
Check Fraud is a popular type of fraud occurring more today due to the capabilities of technology. If a fraudster gets hold of your checks, they could make duplicates or alter them for their benefit. Also, be cautious when depositing the checks of unknown individuals into your account. If a check is made out for more money than is owed to you, never make any arrangement to deposit a check and send the surplus elsewhere; this is a sure sign of a scam. Unless you have an ongoing business relationship with someone, have your bank verify that a check has been cleared before you send goods or make services available.
Credit/Debit Card Fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit/debit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. Some common types of methods of committing credit/debit card fraud involve: Stolen Cards, Account Takeover, Application Fraud, Card Not Present Transactions, Card Skimming Machines, and Illegitimate Charge-backs.
Loan Fraud occurs when unknown individuals take out unauthorized loans in your name using false documents and possibly forging your signature. In order to catch this kind of fraud you should check your credit report to ensure that all liabilities are legitimate.
Auctions, Sweepstakes & Lottery Fraud Fraud perpetrated under the guise of Auctions, Sweepstakes or Lotteries gets the attention of many people because of the large sum of money they hope to collect as winnings. However, most of these are scams with fraudsters ready to take your money. Some tips to help you protect your identity and avoid these types of fraud are:
- You didn't enter to win or your email address was drawn at random.
- You are required to pay in advance or send bank information to receive your winnings.
- The Game is registered in another country. Games are usually limited to the citizens of the country in which they are registered.
- Gaming Commission is non-existent. Google the name of the gaming Commission or get a second opinion.
- Check received is from an individual and not an organization.
- Request that you wire money back to pay for fees on your winnings.
- You are promised to make extra money working at home in return for using your bank account to send or receive money.
Investment Fraud is probably one of the hardest to detect on your own. However, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If ever you are in doubt, seek a second opinion of an established, certified and registered investment professional. Always independently verify the license and registration of an investment company or representative before agreeing to the business proposition. Below are some additional tips to help you identify risk factors:
- Company not known, little public information or incorporated for a short time
- No Risk with High Yield not consistent with market conditions
- Income based on level, up line or down line
- Unregistered Products being sold by Unlicensed or Independent Individuals
- Requires signing up or sharing personal information of friends and family
- Complex Strategies that cannot be explained
- Off-Shore opportunities outside US jurisdiction
- Missing or No Documentation
Suspicious Types of Activity
If you receive regular notices by mail, for example your monthly bills or bank statements, be wary if some are missing or you suddenly stop receiving them. This could be a sign that your mailbox has been compromised or tampered with by a fraudster.
Suspicious Transactions on Statements
When reviewing your monthly bank statements, if there are payments to any vendor names you don't readily recognize, contact your bank to verify that the payment is legitimate. Check to ensure paid amounts are correct, cancelled or refunded transactions are removed and there are no duplicate transactions listed on your statement.
Suspicious Phone Calls
Be skeptical if you receive phone calls to send money for any reason, to update or verify personal information or notifying you that you won a contest you didn't enter. Be especially skeptical if the call quality is poor, the caller speaks broken English with an unusual accent and you are asked to act with urgency. Before acting, get a second opinion or try to verify the legitimacy of the request independently of the information provided on the phone call.
Credit Cards or Loans you are not aware of.
If you realize that there are credit cards, loans or purchases you didn't authorize, your identity may have been compromised. Contact the issuing companies directly to notify them of the error and try to identify the source of the security breach. We recommend you check your credit history with one of the three major credit bureaus; Experian, Equifax or Trans Union, on an annual basis for inconsistencies to help prevent fraud and /or identity theft.
The Artisans' Bank Security Department is here to help assist you in preventing you from becoming a victim of fraud. If you believe you have become a victim of fraud, contact your local police department and our Security Department at 302-884-6571.
ATM Safety Tips
- Plan your visits to the ATM during daytime hours, rather than after dark.
- Choose an ATM location that is in a busy public place.
- Keep the lowest possible transaction limit for your ATM card.
- Shield the screen and keyboard so anyone waiting to use the ATM cannot see you enter your PIN or transaction amount.
- If at all possible, take a friend along who can watch the surroundings while you are conducting the transaction.
- Pre-plan your transaction and don't spend too much time at the machine.
- When making a withdrawal, quickly place the money in your purse or wallet and leave as soon as you complete your transaction.
- Watch out for suspicious looking people waiting around an ATM. They may not be customers. If someone offers to let you go ahead of them, decline politely and leave.
- When visiting a drive-through ATM, keep your doors locked and be prepared to drive away quickly. If anyone approaches your car on foot, roll up your window and drive off.
- If you have not yet completed your transaction and you are approached by a suspicious person, press the CANCEL button and leave quickly. Keep your PIN in a safe place and never give your PIN to anyone.
BE ALERT-------KEEP SAFE
Mobile Device Security
If you use a smart phone (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile), tablet (iPad, Android), or other mobile device, consider taking some or all of the following precautions:
- Avoid storing confidential or otherwise sensitive passwords, bank accounts, or credit card numbers, etc. on a mobile device, because it is more likely to be lost or stolen than a computer. If you do choose to store such information on your device, make sure you use an application that encrypts the information, and choose a strong password.
- Keep your device software up-to-date. Apply application and operating system updates when they are released. Uninstall unused applications.
- Back up the information on your device, or make sure that it's synced with online services. Be sure you understand what information is synced automatically and what information has to be backed up manually, and plan accordingly.
- Set a PIN, password, or security pattern on the device, and configure the device to require it to be entered after a certain period of inactivity (e.g., 5 minutes). Some devices also offer a feature that will erase the information on the device if someone makes repeated attempts to unlock it using the wrong password. If you choose to enable this feature, make sure you have backups!
- Be careful about the information you keep in text messages. Even if you don't have a smart phone with Internet capabilities, it's possible to get important information, or even new passwords and access codes, "texted" to your cell. Delete text messages that contain sensitive information.
- Only install apps from official app stores, and check online reviews to get a sense of the developer's credibility. Some apps can host malware that will expose your sensitive information. Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you are not using them. When using Wi-Fi, make sure you are connecting to a known and trusted network.
Home Warranty Letters
These letters are not only deceptive, but they could also be targeting your personal information.
We were recently contacted by a concerned customer who received a Home Warranty letter and was confused about whether or not the letter came from Artisans’ Bank, or if it was a scam. The letter is not from Artisans’ Bank and is in no way endorsed by Artisans’ Bank.
We are unclear about the intentions of this letter, but we do ask that you do not respond, as there is a chance that it could put your personal information at risk.
What happens if I respond to the letter?
By calling the number, you could get a real person or an automated response. Regardless, make sure you DO NOT give your personal information. Doing so could cause unwanted consequences including identify theft. If you are interested in a home warranty, reach out to a reputable company or your mortgage provider to discuss your options.
How did they get my information?
Artisans’ Bank does not sell your information. Some information surrounding a purchase of a home becomes public record. These public files are used by companies to find recent home buyers. Be cautious when replying to any offer from a company that you have not researched.
What should I do if I get this letter?
We advise you to discard the letter and not respond.
Millions of people use online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money.
Romance scammers adjust their story to what they think will work in each situation.
- Scammers say they can’t meet you in person. They might say they’re living or traveling outside the country, working on an oil rig, in the military, or working with an international organization.
- Scammers will ask you for money. Once they gain your trust, they’ll ask for your help to pay medical expenses (for them or a family member), buy their ticket to visit you, pay for their visa, or help them pay fees to get them out of trouble. They may even offer to help you get started in cryptocurrency investing.
- Scammers will tell you how to pay. All scammers, not just romance scammers, want to get your money quickly. And they want your money in a way that makes it hard for you to get it back. They’ll tell you to wire money through a company like Western Union or MoneyGram, put money on gift cards (like Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Steam) and give them the PIN codes, send money through a money transfer app, or transfer cryptocurrency.
Scammers do these things to pressure you into acting immediately by paying money. But it’s a scam.