Fraud Protection

Like millions of American's you are probably already banking online, paying bills online, and shopping online to save time and money. It is no coincidence that as the popularity of such activities has increased, so has the number of cases of online fraud. Most of the online fraud that has been reported in the media, has been the result of unsecured personal and corporate computers. We take great pride and effort in securing your personal information, and would like to remind you, that Online Security is Everybody's Business. With a few simple steps you can ensure that your computer is secure, and that your online banking and shopping experiences are rewarding and safe.

Fraud Prevention Tips

Protect your accounts

There are many steps you can take to secure your checking, credit card, and debit card accounts. These tips can help get you started.

Debit Card Security Tips

  • Always keep your credit or debit card in a safe and secure place. If your checks are lost, stolen or you suspect unauthorized use report it immediately.  Once you receive a replacement card be sure to destroy your old card.
  • Do not send your card number through email or give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • Review account statements regularly to quickly detect and stop fraudulent activity. Ask about suspicious charges.
  • Regularly update your Personal Identification Number (PIN).  When selecting a PIN, don’t use a number or word that appears in your wallet, such as name, birth date, or phone number.  Memorize your PIN. Don’t write it down anywhere, especially on your card, and never share it with anyone.
  • Shop with merchants you know and trust. Make sure any internet purchase is secured with encryption to protect your account information. Look for secure transaction symbols such as a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your web browser, or “https://…” in the address bar of the website. The “s” indicates "secured" and means the web page uses encryption.
  • Always log off from any website after a purchase transaction is made with your credit or debit card. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information.

Checking Account Security Tips

  • If your checks are lost, stolen or you suspect unauthorized use report it immediately.
  • Review account statements regularly to quickly detect and stop fraudulent activity. Ask about suspicious charges.
  • Our Online banking program enables you to monitor your account online any time and as frequently as you like.
  • Be careful when ordering checks for your accounts and be sure to limit the amount of information on checks. Don’t print your driver license number or Social Security number on your checks.
  • Store new and cancelled checks in a safe and secure location and only carry your checkbook with you only when necessary.
  • First Madison Valley Bank is partnered with Deluxe checks which include many safety features such as tamper-resistant packaging and chemically sensitive paper to deter alterations.

Online Security Tips

Online fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate company to obtain personal data and illegally conducts transactions on your existing accounts. 'Phishing' or 'Spoofing' are common methods of online fraud utilizing fake email and websites, and pop-up windows to obtain sensitive information. First Madison Valley Bank will never send unsolicited email containing attachments, or require customers to send personal information to us via email or pop-up windows. Any unsolicited request for First Madison Valley Bank account information you receive through emails, Web sites, or pop-up windows should be considered fraudulent and reported to us immediately.

  • Do not use your Social Security number as a username or password.
  • Change your usernames and passwords regularly and use combinations of letters, numbers, and special characters such as # and @. Do not write down or share your passwords with anyone.
  • Our Online Banking Program allows you to set up account notifications via email or text.
  • Social media is increasingly popular, but it's a good idea to keep certain personal information private. Avoid sharing personal details that are used by financial institutions to identify you, such as your birth date, home address, mother’s maiden name, schools attended/mascots and pet’s name. Fraudsters may use this type of information to help gain access to an account since they are common answers to security questions.
  • Be sure your home and office computers have current virus protection software and update it regularly

Email Security Tips

Be aware of suspicious or fake emails.  When reading and responding to emails on your computer, apply the "If it appears too good to be true, then it probably is" rule, to avoid falling victim to email phishing and scams.  Never open attachment, click on links, or respond. Suspicious emails will often:

  • Ask for personal information
  • Appear to be from a legitimate source
  • Contain fraudulent job offers
  • Contain prize or gift certificate offers
  • Link to counterfeit Web sites or legitimate Web site
  • Contain both fraudulent and real phone numbers

Mobile Device Security Tips

  • Use the keypad lock or phone lock function on your mobile device when it is not in use. These functions password-protect your device to make it more difficult for someone else to view your information.
  • Frequently delete text messages from your financial institution, especially before loaning out, discarding, or selling your mobile device.
  • Keep your account numbers, passwords, Social Security number and date of birth private. Never share your personal or financial information in a text message, phone call or email.
  • Avoid storing your banking password or other sensitive information on your mobile device and always log off when you are done banking online.
  • Be careful when using public hotspots. Regularly review your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection settings, even at a trusted retailer, as fraudsters can spoof the name of reputable hotspots.

QR codes (quick response codes) are two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned with a mobile device to provide easy access to online information.

Sample QR Code:  QR Code

Fraudster will use QR codes like links or attachments in emails to send you to websites that may request your personal and financial information or could corrupt your mobile device.

  • Treat QR codes with the same suspicion as you would any URL or link you find in an email. Be cautious of QR codes placed in public places as they may have been tampered with.
  • Use a QR code scanner from a reputable source that will check links for malicious content.

Identity Theft Prevention

Identity Theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information, such as Social Security number or bank account number, and uses it repeatedly to open new accounts or initiate transactions in your name. Financial loss and damaged credit can result. While thieves can obtain personal information via online methods, the majority of identity theft occurs offline. Stealing wallets and purses, intercepting or rerouting your mail, and rummaging through your garbage are some common tactics thieves use to obtain personal information.

The more information you have about Identity Theft, the better you'll be able to protect yourself.

  • Do not open or respond to online solicitations for personal information.
  • Carry only necessary identification.
  • Don't provide your Social Security number as identification, unless it is truly needed to sign up for a service.
  • Make photocopies of all the information you carry daily and store them in a secure location such as a safe deposit box.
  • Shred financial or personal documents before discarding. Most fraud and identity theft incidences occur as a result of mail and garbage theft.
  • Use paperless options such as E-Statements and Online Bill Payment whenever possible to limit your receipt of paper statements. Reviewing your bank accounts online frequently will help you monitor your account activity and more quickly detect any fraudulent transactions.

Reporting Identity Theft

How to Report Identity Theft

Contact First Madison Valley Bank immediately if you think your personal information has been compromised or you have been a victim of identity theft. Please have your account information and details about the suspected fraud available when you call.

Suspicious or unauthorized transactions on your account

  • Call 1-406-682-4215
  • Toll Free 1-888-622-4215

To Report a Lost or Stolen Card

  • Call 1-406-682-4215 (during regular business hours)
  • Call 1-800-500-1044 (after business hours/weekends)

Contact all Creditors

Contact all creditors, including credit card and phone companies, banks, and other lenders, to notify them of potential fraud or identity theft. Consider following up your telephone conversations with a letter.

You should close any accounts that have been breached and reopen them with new account numbers and passwords. Do not use your Social Security number as a username or password.

You should contact one of the three main credit bureaus place a short or long-term fraud alert on your credit file. This alert requires creditors to verify your identity before opening any new accounts in your name or changing any existing accounts.

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 or www.equifax.com
Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 or www.transunion.com

File a Report with Your Local Police Department

You should contact your local police department if you suspect that your personal or financial information was stolen. A police report will increase credibility to your case when dealing with creditors, who may require proof of criminal activity.

Continue to Review All Account Activity

Identity theft can take time to investigate and completely resolve.  As such you should continue to review all charges and transactions appearing on account statements and online.  Be sure to immediately report any discrepancies to First Madison Valley Bank or the appropriate creditor.