Home Federal Bank - A better way

Consumer Fraud

PHISHING

Scammers have become very sophisticated in their attempts to obtain your personal and account information. One such scam known as "phishing" sends the victim an email claiming to be from a reputable financial institution. The message in the email directs the victim to click on a link that redirects them to a false web page that looks like a legitimate bank web page. Once the scammer has lured the victim to the fraudulent site they are able to capture account numbers, social security numbers, and other personal identification information that will help them to commit fraud.

Home Federal Bank will never ask you to provide account or other personal identification information via email, so never divulge any personal identification information if requested. Personal identification information is defined as:

  • Account or credit card numbers
  • Passwords or PINs
  • Social Security Number
  • Mother's Maiden Name
  • Other private information
     

Another phishing scheme attempts to convince the customer they need special security software to provide encryption, SSL Certificates or some other software protection against unauthorized access to your online banking account. Actually, the criminals are trying to download malicious software to your computer to capture keystrokes, IDs, passwords and other confidential information.

Home Federal Bank will never attempt to download any type of Business or Consumer online banking system updates or other software/certificates to your computer through an email link.

From time to time you may receive emails from us promoting Home Federal products or services, bank announcements, or changes to your accounts, but in these emails we will provide a contact person or telephone number at the bank for you to contact should you have any questions.

If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from Home Federal Bank asking for account or personal identification, or if you think your accounts have been compromised, please alert us at 318-222-1145.
 

Examples of Phishing Messages

You open an email or text, and see a message like this:

  • "We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity."
  • "During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn't verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information."
  • "Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund."

Tips to avoid phishing

  • Using trusted security software and set it to update automatically.
  • Look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar. It means that the information is a secure server transmission.
  • Only submit information to a web site if you have personally typed in what you know to be a valid web site address.
  • Don't email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.
  • Review bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call to confirm your billing address and account balances.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other malware that can weaken your computer's security.

How to Deal with Phishing Scams
If you receive an unexpected e-mail saying your account will be shut down unless you provide financial or personal information, do not reply or click on any of the links in the e-mail. Delete email and text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information.

The messages may appear to be from organizations you do business with. They might threaten to close your account or take other action if you don’t respond. Don’t reply, and don’t click on links or call phone numbers provided in the message, either. These messages direct you to spoof sites – sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information so a scammer can run up bills or commit crimes in your name. Area codes can mislead, too. Some scammers ask you to call a phone number to update your account or access a "refund." But a local area code doesn’t guarantee that the caller is local.

If you are uncertain about the information, contact the Home Federal Bank through an address or telephone number you know to be genuine. If you unknowingly supplied personal or financial information, contact us immediately at 318-222-1145.

Suspicious e-mail can be forwarded to spam@uce.gov and complaints should be filed with the state attorney general’s office or through the FTC at www.ftc.gov.

IDENTITY THEFT

What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make — or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.

Identity theft is serious, and Home Federal Bank wants to equip you with the right information in order to avoid it.

 

How do thieves steal an identity?

Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including:

  • Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
  • Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
  • Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
  • Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.
  • Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.
  • Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources. 

 

What do thieves do with a stolen identity?
Once they have your personal information, identity thieves use it in a variety of ways, including:

  • Credit card fraud
  • Phone or utilities fraud
  • Bank/finance fraud
  • Government documents fraud
  • Other fraud:
    • They may get a job using your Social Security number.
    • They may rent a house or get medical services using your name.
    • They may give your personal information to police during an arrest. If they don't show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.

 

How can you find out if your identity was stolen?
The best way to find out is to monitor your accounts and bank statements each month, and check your credit report on a regular basis. If you check your credit report regularly, you may be able to limit the damage caused by identity theft.

 

What should you do if your identity is stolen?
Filing a police report, checking your credit reports, notifying creditors, and disputing any unauthorized transactions are some of the steps you must take immediately to restore your good name.

 

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