Awareness is the first line of defense against identity theft and fraud.
As banking customers, you need to be aware of the scams that are used by criminals
to obtain your information and steal your identity or money. A variety of methods
are used to steal your personal information, including:
Two of the most common scams are phishing (pronounced "fishing")
by e-mail and fake phone calls claiming to be from your bank.
- Dumpster Diving – identity thieves rummage through trash looking
for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming – identity thieves steal credit/debit card numbers by
using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing – identity thieves pretend to be financial institutions,
companies or government agencies, and send email or pop-up messages to get you to
reveal your personal information.
- Hacking – identity thieves hack into your email or other online
accounts to access your personal information, or into a company's database to access
- Stealing - identity thieves steal wallets and purses; mail, including
bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax
Phishing is a forged e-mail sent to you via the Internet pretending to be from your
bank or a service provider, asking you to verify or re-submit personal information.
Fake phone calls are very troublesome because the criminals claim
to be calling from your bank and ask you to verify personal and account information.
- IMPORTANT: WaterStone Bank will not send you an unsolicited e-mail asking
you to verify your information. Never provide your personal information
in response to an unsolicited e-mail, fax, letter, or Internet advertisement.
- When using e-mail for account inquiries to WaterStone, always send your e-mail through
secure online banking by signing on to Consumer Internet Banking.
To reduce changes of identity theft you should safeguarding your information
- IMPORTANT: If you have any doubt that the caller is not from your bank,
do not give any information. Ask for the caller’s name, title, and department.
Hang up and call Customer Service to verify that the caller is indeed from WaterStone.
- When WaterStone requests information, you have the option to submit the required
information by mail or in person. It is never required that you give personal information
over the telephone.
Be alert to signs of possible identity theft such as
- Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard
- Protect your Social Security number. Don't carry your Social Security card in your
wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely
necessary or ask to use another identifier.
- Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the
Internet unless you know who you are dealing with. Avoid disclosing personal financial
information when using public wireless connections.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address
you know. Use firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software to protect your home
computer; keep them up-to-date.
- Don't use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother's maiden name, or
the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Finally, report anything suspicious to a local or federal law enforcement agency
and to your bank. If you believe that you are already a victim of identity theft
or fraud, you can learn more about filing an identity theft report with the Federal
Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov
or by calling toll-free 877.438-4338.
- Bills that do not arrive as expected
- Unexpected credit cards or account statements
- Denials of credit for no apparent reason
- Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
- Charges on your financial statements that you don't recognize