Protecting your personal information is our number one priority!
Fairfield County Bank recognizes your need for security. Whether it is on our website, within online or mobile banking, at an ATM, or while you are going about your daily life, we are Here For You!
Check Washing Fraud:
Check washing is a type of check fraud that occurs when a written check has been stolen and washed, oftentimes with common household chemicals, to remove the ink. The scammer can then change the check amount and payee.
Tips to Prevent Check Washing:
- When writing a check, use a black gel pen. Visit any Fairfield County Bank branch office if you need one
- Do not raise the red flag and place valuable mail in your box. The flag acts as an invitation for criminal attention
- Do not use free-standing USPS receptable boxes when mailing checks
- Mail checks by handing it directly to a USPS employee inside the Post Office
- Monitor your accounts frequently via online and mobile banking
- Use Bill Pay to send your payments.
- For business accounts, use Positive Pay
- Activate online alerts for cleared checks and specific check cleared
Protect Yourself by Detecting Fraud and Avoiding Scams
Review the actionable items provided in the documents below to stay informed and keep yourself safe from fraud.
Caller ID Spoofing and Phone Call Scams:
Caller ID Spoofing, sometimes called voice phishing or "vishing" is a phone scam type of phishing attack, where a criminal impersonates an actual personal or organization in order to get victims to reveal personal information.
Fairfield County Bank will never ask for any Personally Identifiable Information, such as your Social Security number, bank account numbers, passwords, or debit card security codes over the phone, through email, or text message.
Avoiding Phone Call Scams:
- Never give out your personal information via phone call, text, or email
- Emails and Phone Numbers can be spoofed or faked, so always make sure to check the sender or Caller ID carefully
- If you do not recognize the caller or the sender, do not respond or hang up immediately
If you are ever suspicious of a phone call, text or email claiming to be from Fairfield County Bank, you can report the incident by calling 203.431.7431.
For more information visit the Federal Communications Commission's page on Caller ID Spoofing here.
Online and Mobile Banking Security Update:
Starting in August, you may be presented with a One-Time Passcode when banking online or with your mobile device. A One-Time Passcode (OTP) is a heightened security feature that may be triggered when accessing your accounts. As an extra security measure, an OTP will be sent when using Zelle®.
The OTP will be sent via SMS (text message) to the mobile number on file. After entering the passcode, you will be able to access your account.
OTP security works best when a mobile number is on file with the Bank, which is why it is important to confirm that we have a valid mobile phone number associated with your account as the primary number.
Verify that your mobile phone number is listed as the primary number through:
- Fairfield County Bank's online banking platform*
- Fairfield County Bank’s mobile banking app**
- By calling our Customer Care Center at 877.431.7431
- or by visiting a Fairfield County Bank Branch Office. You can find all locations and hours here.
* Once you've logged in to online banking, visit the "My Profile" section located in the Service Center*. Under the "My Profile" section, select "Change Phone Number" to review the phone numbers on file and update your primary number to your mobile phone number.
**In your Fairfield County Bank mobile app, select "Banking Services" and then "My Profile" from the menu options. Select "Change Phone Number" to review or update your primary number to your mobile phone.
Zelle and the Zelle related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.
Tips to Keep You Safe and Secure During COVID-19
- Do not click on any links in an email you do not recognize
- Only respond to things that you have initiated
- Hang up on robocalls
- Delete any emails or texts that you do not recognize
- Never download an attachment from an email you were not expecting
- The sender of the email may look familiar but it could be spoofed. Take extra precaution and double check with the sender before opening
Scams to look out for during COVID-19
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Disclosure Scams
Some third party businesses are using information from the court-ordered data release to market themselves to PPP clients. These communications may reference Fairfield County Bank’s name and may even imply that we have some kind of relationship when none exsists. In some instances, these businesses are not disclosing that they are unaffiliated with the Bank. You should be aware that Fairfield County Bank will communicate directly with you about your PPP loan and the forgiveness process. If you have any doubt that a communication is fraudulent, please reach out to us to confirm if we were the source.
We encourage our PPP borrowers to consult with us, your attorneys, or your accountants directly about your PPP loan and the forgiveness process. You should be wary of responding to unsolicited communications or sharing information about your PPP loan with businesses or individuals not affiliated with Fairfield County Bank.
Cybercriminals will email you pretending to be someone from a hospital warning you that you have been exposed to COVID-19 by either from a colleague, friend, or family member. This email will contain a pre-filled attachment that you need to bring with you to the hospital. Do not click the attachment or any link in the email as it will contain malware. Delete the email right away.
Relief Check Scam
There will be many different versions of this scam but remember, you do not have to do anything to receive your relief check. For more information on this, please visit the Federal Trade Commission website at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/want-get-your-coronavirus-relief-check-scammers-do-too
The Federal Trade Commission has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 Scams and tips to help keep your information secure. Check back to the website often to learn the latest scams and tips.
Grocery delivery services have been quite popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. These services help support social distancing, reduce the number of shoppers in each store, and allow at-risk patrons to safely buy essential items. Unfortunately, the popularity of these delivery services has caught the attention of cybercriminals. The bad guys are now spoofing supermarkets that offer delivery services in hopes of stealing your personal information. It starts with a phishing email that urges you to log in to your supermarket’s website using the link provided. Clicking the link takes you to a fake login page for your local supermarket. The page asks you to select your email provider (Gmail, Apple, and so on) and then log in to connect your account. Don’t be fooled! Connecting your account actually delivers your email credentials to the bad guys.
Remember the following tips:
- Never click on a link within an email that you weren’t expecting.
- Remember that email addresses can be spoofed. Even if the email appears to be from a familiar organization, it could be a phishing attempt.
- When an email asks you to log in to an account or online service, log in to your account through your browser-not by clicking the link in the email. That way, you can ensure you’re logging into the real website and not a phony look-alike.
Stop, Look, and Think. Don't be fooled.
The KnowBe4 Security Team
Cybercriminals are using text messaging, or short message service (SMS), to pose as a government agency. The message says you have been seen leaving your home multiple times and as a result you are being fined. They urge you to click on their official-looking link to pay this "fine" online. If you click the link, you’ll be taken to a payment page where you can give your credit card details directly to the bad guys!
This tactic is known as “Smishing” (SMS Phishing). Smishing can be even more convincing than email phishing because criminals know how to spoof their phone number to appear as though they're calling from an official source. Be careful!
Here’s how to stay safe from this smishing attack:
- Think before you click. The bad guys want to get under your skin. Not only does this message accuse you of ignoring regulations, but it also claims you have to pay a fine! Don’t give in to this tactic.
- Never trust a link in an email or text message that you were not expecting. Instead of clicking the unexpected link, open your browser and type in the official URL of the website you wish to visit.
- Stay informed during this confusing time by following local news, government websites, and other trusted sources.
Tools You Can Use in Online and Mobile Banking
- Create and edit real-time text and email alerts
- Utilize the Debit Card Activation/Deactivation tool
- Make secure payments through bill pay
- View pending transactions
- Monitor your credit score
Use Money Manager 360 to put all your finances in one place. This is a great monitoring tool to use to ensure all your accounts activity is normal.
Please call our Customer Care Center at 877.431.7431 with any questions or concerns you may have. Remember, we are always here to help you!
Can you pick out what is different?
When you go to use our website or receive an email from the Bank, be on the lookout for fake web (URL) and email addresses. Never click on a URL with a misspelling!
Tips and Tools to Keep You Safe
- Secured Socket Layer – SSL is an encryption method that we use to protect the information transmitted between our website and your computer.
- Electronic Mail - Our email form allows you to contact us safely by sending secure information through our form rather than through public email. The form is encrypted when it is sent over the Internet, which helps protect this information from being intercepted.
- Firewalls & Routers – We control and verify the data transmissions that gain access to our internal computer network through firewalls and routers.
- Multi-factor authentication
- Session time out
- Secure messaging
- Only the last four digits of your account number are visible
While the internet is a resourceful tool to find answers, stay up-to-date on news, shopping, and more, it is essential to take precautions to keep your identity safe.
Watch Dan Berta, President of Fairfield County Bank, provide tips on how to keep your identity safe while online.
The following articles contain information that can help you keep your identity protected.
- Creating a Cyber Secure Home
- Four Steps to Staying Secure
- FDIC Cybersecurity Guide for Financial Institution Customers
- Keep Your Email Safe from Web Scraping
- Avoiding Online Tax Scams
- Why Strong, Unique Passwords Matter
- Phishing Emails and You
- Traveling Securely
- Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015
- The Hidden Costs of a Data Breach
- FDIC Cybersecurity Guides for Business
- Top Tips for Internet Security at Work
- Going for Gold in Cybersecurity
While cybersecurity seems to get the majority of attention these days, it is just as necessary to mitigate the potential for identity theft offline.
- Never leave your purse or wallet in an unlocked car or unattended where its contents could be easily stolen.
- Never provide personally identifiable information, such as your social security number, over the phone or in the mail.
- Shred all documents that may contain sensitive personal information (social security numbers, bank account numbers, passport information, healthcare information, medical insurance, credit card and debit card numbers, and drivers license numbers)
- Properly discard of hard drives.
- Safely store personal information at home.
- Destroy credit cards and debit cards that are not in use.
Closely monitoring transactional activity on your bank and credit card accounts, checking your credit reports, and freezing or locking your credit are a few other steps you may want to consider to help protect yourself.
Considering freezing your credit? The Federal Trade Commission provides additional information at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
To establish a credit freeze you will need to place it with the major credit bureaus listed below.
Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp or 1-800-349-9960
Experian: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html or 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion: https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze or 1-888-909-8872
Innovis: https://www.innovis.com/personal/securityFreeze or 1-800-540-2505
If you are not ready to place a freeze on your credit, you may want to consider a fraud alert. The Federal Trade Commission provides information about alerts here https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert.
Equifax Breach - The recent credit bureau breach potentially exposed hundreds of millions of consumers’ personally identifiable information. This sensitive information includes but is not limited to Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and credit card numbers.
Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com is dedicated to helping you understand the breach and provides steps you may want to take to help protect your identity. Some of the suggested actions include:
- Checking to see if your personal information may have been exposed.
- Enrolling in Equifax’s free identity theft protection and credit monitoring. (The free enrollment period ends January 31, 2018.)