Home

 

Security

 

The Vernon Bank is committed to protecting all of your assets, including your identity.  We have safety measures in place to help protect you and we are dedicated to fighting fraud and identity theft.  You can depend on us to safeguard your personal and financial information.  We will never send unsolicited emails or contact you via telephone asking you to provide, verify or update your account information, such as passwords, account numbers, PINs or Check Card numbers.  Do not give out any information in these situations.  If you believe you have, contact us at 337-239-3865.

 

Occasionally, we may send a secure message via our internet banking system asking you to update your email address or your contact telephone number.

Cybersecurity Awareness

Recognize Online Fraud

Phishing - What is it?  How does it work?

There's a new type of Internet piracy called "phishing."  It's pronounced "fishing," and that's exactly what these thieves are doing:  "fishing" for your personal financial information.  What they want are account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information that they can use to loot your checking account or run up bills on your credit cards.

In the worst case, you could find yourself a victim of identity theft.  With the sensitive information obtained from a successful phishing scam, these thieves can take out loans or obtain credit cards and even driver's licenses in your name.  They can do damage to your financial history and personal reputation that can take years to unravel.  But if you understand how phishing works and how to protect yourself, you can help stop this crime.

Here's how phishing works:

In a typical case, you'll receive an e-mail that appears to come from a reputable company that you recognize and do business with, such as your financial institution or a government agency.

The e-mail will probably warn you of a serious problem that requires your immediate attention.  It may use phrases, such as "immediate attention required," or "Please contact us immediately about your account."  The e-mail will then encourage you to click on a button to go to the institution's Web site.

In a phishing scam, you could be redirected to a phony Web site that may look exactly like the real thing.  Sometimes, in fact, it may be the company's actual Web site.  In those cases, a pop-up window will quickly appear for the purpose of harvesting your financial information.  In either case, you may be asked to update your account information or to provide information for verification purposes: your Social Security number, your account number, your password, or the information you use to verify your identity when speaking to a real financial institution, such as your mother's maiden name or your place of birth.

If you provide the requested information, you may find yourself the victim of identity theft.

Prevent Identity Theft

  • Never provide personal financial information, including your Social Security number, account numbers, or passwords, over the phone or the Internet if you did not initiate the contact.
  • Never click on the link provided in an e-mail you believe is fraudulent.  It may contain a virus that can contaminate your computer.
  • Do not be intimidated by an e-mail or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information.
  • If you believe the contact is legitimate, go to the company's Web site by typing in the site address directly or using a page you have previously book marked, instead of a link provided in the e-mail.
  • Report suspicious e-mails or calls to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT or through the Internet at www.ftc.gov

Free Annual Credit Reports

The federal FACTA law enables you to receive a free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus. (FCRA 612) This is over and above the free reports you can order when you place fraud alerts on your three credit reports. Once you have received your free credit reports as a part of the fraud-alert process, follow up in a few months by taking advantage of your free FACTA copy. Order your free credit reports by phone by calling 877-322-8228 or online at www.ftc.gov

Report Identity Theft or Fraud

If you believe, you may be a victim of identity theft:

  • Contact us immediately at 337-239-3865.
  • Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271 to report fraudulent use of your identification.
  • If you have disclosed sensitive information in a phishing attack, you should also contact one of the three major credit bureaus and discuss whether you need to place a fraud alert on your file.  This will help prevent thieves from opening a new account in your name.  Here is the contact information for each bureau's fraud division:
     
    • Equifax
      800-525-6285
      P.O. Box 740250
      Atlanta, GA  30374 
       
    • Experian
      888-397-3742
      P.O. Box 1017
      Allen, TX  75013 
       
    • TransUnion
      800-680-7289
      P.O. Box 6790
      Fullerton, CA  92634
       
  • File a police report in your local jurisdiction and retain the report number and the name of the officer who took the report.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by contacting the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline:  877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338)

Recover from Identity theft

FTC regulations define an "identity theft report" to include a report made to a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency. If your local police department refuses to file a report and your situation involves fraudulent use of the U.S. mail, you can obtain an identity theft report from the U.S. Postal Inspector. If your case involves fraudulent use of a driver's license in your name, you might be able to obtain a report from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles. The FTC has more information on identity theft reports at
www.ftc.gov

Protect your Computer

Install anti virus software to prevent viruses, and anti spam software to help prevent spam and junk email from entering your inbox.

  • Install a firewall to help prevent unauthorized access to your computer.
  • Install spyware software to block the installation of spyware on your computer.  
  • Spyware can monitor or control your computer use, and send you pop ups or redirect you to Websites.

Additional Resources

Protect yourself, your family and your devices with tips and resources from:

www.staysafeonline.org

Learn how to avoid scams, secure your PC, protect your kids and how to be smart online from:

http://onguardonline.gov