Protect Yourself & Your Account
How Do The Bad Guys Get My Information?
Criminals use a variety of techniques to obtain your personal information:
- Phishing is a type of criminal activity that uses techniques to gather sensitive personal information, such as passwords, account numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), Social Security Numbers or other account information. A criminal can use sophisticated lures to “fish” for users’ passwords and personal or account information by pretending to be a trustworthy person or business in a seemingly official communication, like an email.
- Fraudsters may use other contact methods to obtain your personal or account information, such as text messages (also known as short message phishing or “smishing“) and phone calls (also known as voice phishing or “vishing“). With these methods, you could receive a text message, phone call or voice mail directing you to a bogus website, or phone number that appears to be legitimate, where you would be asked to provide your personal or account information.
- Identity thieves can rummage through your trash or the trash of a business for personal data. This is known as dumpster diving.
- Hacking, or using techniques to place malicious programs on your computer that will capture personal information, such as passwords.
- Stealing purses or wallets.
How Can I Protect Myself?
- Log in and check your accounts frequently. If you notice any unusual or suspicious activity, notify us immediately at 713.400.7100.
- Don’t let people you don’t know well use your personal computer.
- Change your passwords often, and use passwords that are difficult for others to guess.
- Close your browser after logging off from online banking sessions.
- Be cautious about email messages from strangers that claim you may have won or otherwise come into a large sum of money, most of these are fraudulent. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Install anti-virus software on your computer, and be sure to keep it up-to-date.
- Never give your password or PIN to anyone else.
- Open email attachments with care; if you weren’t expecting an email with an attachment, call the sender before opening it.
- Don’t throw away bills or cancelled checks; destroy them using a shredder.
- Review your credit reports often and be on the lookout for fraudulent activity, such as accounts that you did not open or a large number of inquiries.
- If you think any of your personally identifiable information, such as your social security number or account numbers may have been compromised, notify us immediately at 713.400.7100.
- Don’t give out financial information such as checking account or credit card numbers over the phone unless you initiated the call and know that you’re speaking to a company representative.
- Don’t pre-print your driver’s license, Social Security, or telephone numbers on your checks.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately, Patriot Bank can place stop payment orders on lost or stolen checks.
- Never write your PIN on your ATM or credit cards.