At Yadkin Valley Bank, nothing is more important to us than the security of your business and personal information. We’ve made every effort to safeguard your data, and we continually update our security software and procedures to keep it secure.
To that end, it is important for you to keep these points in mind:
- We will never initiate a request for sensitive information from you (such as social security number, personal login ID, password, PIN or account number) nor ask you to verify account information via email.
- We will never send you an email or other text message that requires you to click on a link to take you to another location on the Internet.
- We strongly suggest that you do not share your personal login ID, password, PIN or account numbers with anyone.
- If you receive a letter, telephone call or email that requests this type of action or information, you should be suspicious of it and contact your local branch immediately.
When an issue arises, contact your bank (or card issuer) to protect your accounts. Then report it to the appropriate authorities.
To report a specific e-mail fraud incident to the bank, please send any information on the attack, including attaching any suspicious e-mails, to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What else can you do to protect yourself? If you’re a personal banking customer, consider our Identity Protect and Credit Monitor products. Or, consider IronKey, which is available for both personal and business customers. Ask us for details.
For More Information
For additional education regarding security threats and protecting your information, we encourage you to review the following sections:
Identity Theft Overview and Guidelines
Safeguard Your Information Online
Safeguard Your Information Offline
Tips for Protecting Your Business
Identity Theft Overview and Guidelines
Each year, millions of Americans have their identities stolen. As your financial partner, Yadkin Valley Bank wants you to have the information you need to protect yourself against identity theft. While there are no guarantees that you can avoid identity theft, it's important for you to know these key points:
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft involves the unlawful acquisition and use of someone's identifying information, such as:
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Mother's Maiden Name
- Drivers License
- Bank or Credit Card Account Number
Thieves use the information to steal your identity, opening new accounts, purchasing automobiles, applying for loans, credit cards, and social security benefits, renting apartments and establishing services with utility and telephone companies in your name. It can have a negative effect on your credit and create serious financial problems for you.
How do they get my personal information?
Lost or Stolen Personal Items, including your checkbooks, credit cards, driver's license or Social Security cards.
Stolen mail, including bank statements, credit card statements, credit card solicitations, new checks and tax information. Thieves may also complete a change-of-address form to divert your mail to another location.
Onlookers may watch and/or listen to you conduct personal business such as entering your ATM or debit card PIN or when you’re on the phone.
Going through trash, either yours, the trash of businesses or trash in public dumps.
The Internet, where personal pages can contain information like genealogical data with your mother's maiden name that can be used to set up a credit card account or answer a security question to access existing accounts.
Phishing, which uses pop-ups or emails to deceive you into disclosing sensitive information such as bank account numbers and social security numbers. It often can appear as if it comes from a trusted source.
Posing as a legitimate company, calling on the phone and claiming that you have a problem with your account.
Skimming, stealing your credit or debit card numbers by capturing the information in a data storage device, either by swiping your card for an actual purchase or attaching the device to an ATM machine you use.
Inside jobs, getting information from businesses or other institutions by stealing records or information while they're on the job or bribing an employee who has access to these records.
How do I protect my identity?
- Report lost or stolen checks or credit cards immediately.
- Shred all documents that contain personal information.
- Don't put your trash out until shortly before it will be picked up.
- Pay bills online, mail using a U.S. Postal Service drop box. Don't put mail in your curbside mailbox until shortly before it will be picked up.
- Get your mail from your mailbox as soon as possible after it has been delivered. If you’re traveling, have the Postal Service hold your mail.
- Don't include your driver's license number, social security number, or telephone number on your checks, and don't carry around any more cards than necessary.
- Don't give any of your personal information in person, over the telephone or over the Internet to anyone unless you have a very good reason to trust them.
- Don't give any of your personal information to any unsecured web sites.
- Make sure your high-speed Internet connection has a firewall.
- Use PINs and passwords that are difficult to guess. Do not use birth dates, names of spouses, children, pets or mothers’ maiden names. Regularly change your passwords.
- Examine your credit card and financial institution statement immediately upon receipt to determine whether there were any unauthorized transactions. Immediately report any that you find.
- Promptly inquire if bills or statements are not received in a timely fashion - this could mean that they are being diverted by an identity thief.
- Review your credit report periodically to make sure it is accurate. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report by calling 1-877-322-8228 or by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
What do I do if I suspect I'm a victim of fraud or my identity has been stolen?
If you suspect that your personal information has been compromised, follow these important steps:
- Immediately notify us and your other financial institution(s). You'll need to get new account numbers and select a new PIN. If you are a victim of identity theft, we will offer assistance to help remedy the situation.
- Report any suspicious activity immediately. Scrutinize the charges on your financial statements carefully to ensure that they are legitimate. If there is a questionable transaction or a fraudulent transaction, report it right away.
- Call the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit report.
- Contact your local police department.
- Call the Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft hotline at (877) IDTHEFT to report it. The FTC maintains a program to assist victims of identity theft. The Center logs complaints and provides assistance and information to victimized consumers to rectify damage to their credit and personal reputation.
- Notify the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office. Victims of fraud should contact their local post office to report any crime involving stolen mail or use of the mail in furtherance of a fraud scheme.
- Contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 269-0271. The Social Security Hotline allows a victim of identity theft to report misuse of a Social Security number. You may also visit your local Social Security Office to obtain further information.
- Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles. If your driver's license is stolen, report the theft immediately to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Ensure that a duplicate license was not recently issued in your name to an imposter.
- Keep detailed notes of your repair efforts. Keep a log of all contacts and copies of all documents. Follow up your contact calls in writing.
Check these resources for more information on identity theft. They also offer additional recommendations on what to do it you are a victim:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
United States Department of Justice
P O Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30349-5069
To order a report: (800) 685-1111
To report fraud: (800) 525-6285
P O Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013-0949
To order a report: (888) 397-3742
To report fraud: (888) 397-3742
P O Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
To order a report: (800) 916-8800
To report fraud: (800) 680-7289
Safeguard Your Information Online
Online and Email Safety
- Do not share your login access codes with any third party.
- Do not access your bank, brokerage or other financial services information at Internet cafes or other public spaces.
- Limit financial information on your laptop or hand-held device.
- Never leave your computer unattended while using any online banking or investing service.
- Do not respond to emails appearing to be from your bank, government office or other entity that request personal information such as User IDs, Passwords, PINs, Social Security Number, etc.
- Delete email messages that appear to be spam or contain suspicious attachments.
- Do not open unexpected attachments or links from known or unknown sources.
- Enroll in Online Banking with Bill Pay to help avoid mail fraud.
Virus Protection, Spyware and Firewalls
- Update your virus protection software regularly.
- Use spyware detection and elimination programs.
- Use a firewall, especially if you have a high-speed, or "always on," connection to the Internet, such as DSL or cable modem.
- Check to make sure that your virus definitions and anti-spyware are up-to-date.
- Perform frequent scans on your computer to help detect viruses.
- Keep your operating systems and software up-to-date by applying the latest security patches.
Free tools available through the Internet can help you secure your computer and financial assets. The links below are offered as examples of the types of resources available on the public Internet. The links provided DO NOT constitute an endorsement of the product or service in any way, shape or form by Yadkin Valley Bank or one of its subsidiaries.
Safeguard Your Information Offline
Be careful when conducting transactions at the ATM, on the phone, when shopping or in a restaurant to protect your information. Treat your personal and account information with great care, and avoid giving information over the phone. Here are some helpful tips to put you in control of your information in your everyday life.
Check Fraud can be perpetrated as easily as someone stealing a blank check from your home or vehicle during a burglary, searching for a canceled or old check in the garbage, or removing a check you have mailed to pay a bill from the mailbox.
To protect yourself from falling victim to check fraud schemes, you should become more familiar with the most common check fraud schemes being used today. To learn more and see examples of these schemes, please visit fakechecks.org.
Safeguard your checks
- Store your extra checks and deposit slips in a secure locked location, and properly destroy canceled checks.
- Protect your checkbook and bank documents (including statements and canceled checks) so they are not accessible to guests, contractors, repairmen, etc. Never leave your checkbook in your car.
- When closing a bank account, be certain to destroy or shred any extra checks and deposit slips.
- If your home is burglarized, validate your supply of checks to ensure they have not been compromised or stolen. Look closely, since thieves will sometimes take only one or two checks from the middle or back of the book, so it's harder to determine that they are missing.
- Purchase your checks and deposit slips from our approved check vendor to ensure quality of your check stock and the integrity of your account documents.
Credit Card Fraud
Most credit card fraud involves lost or stolen cards. Thieves can get your credit cards by stealing your wallet, burglarizing your home or even paying store employees for credit card numbers and reselling them on the black market.
Credit card thieves don't need to have the credit card itself to do damage. All they need is a sales slip or bill with your account number and expiration date. Think of your credit card number as a confidential piece of information that you need to guard vigilantly.
Guard your card
- Never give your card number to strangers or telemarketers who call you on the phone. Be wary of a tantalizing offer or prize that requires you to give out your credit card number.
- Write down the toll-free numbers for reporting your credit cards lost or stolen, and keep the number at home, in your purse or wallet and at your office so that you will be prepared to call immediately if you have to.
- Always check that you get your card back after you make a purchase.
- Keep your cards in a safe place that won't be obvious to burglars.
- Always sign your card in ink as soon as you receive it.
- Never lend your card to anyone. If you want to let someone else use your card to buy something, handle the transaction yourself.
- Shred all credit card receipts and pre-approved credit card offers into tiny pieces before you throw them away. Keep your billing statements in a safe place.
- When you use your credit card online, make sure you are using a secure Web site. Look for a small key or lock symbol at the bottom right of your browser's window.
Criminals may disguise themselves as telemarketers, impersonate bank personnel, and use the mail to commit financial fraud. Also, fraudsters often target the elderly with schemes designed to take advantage of their finances. Here are a few of the more common telemarketing scams:
- You've won the lottery! Now, just wire us some money.
- Help us transfer funds to the U.S. and you'll be rewarded.
- You've inherited money from a relative you don't know.
- Bank Employee Impersonator--Customer is told there is a computer problem or security investigation and asked to provide their account information for verification. Or, customer is told of a problem with their account and directed to click on a link where information about their account is solicited or the link installs software on their computer.
- Law Enforcement Impersonator --Someone claiming to be a bank examiner, FBI agent or police officer contacts a bank customer and indicates that they are investigating suspected employee fraud at the bank and needs the customer's help in catching the thief.
Watch for these signs
- Be wary of any offer that sounds unreal or too good to be true.
- Be suspicious of any offer that requires you to wire money, withdraw cash from your account or provide account information.
- Verify any calls or emails that you receive about a security or fraud investigation with your bank or financial institutional.
- Be wary of telemarketers or direct mail merchants who want to "draft" your bank account, and do not provide your bank account information over the phone to strangers.
- Be wary of any individual that approaches you outside the bank or in the parking lot and needs you to withdraw money from your account for any reason.
- Avoid clicking on any links in emails about which you are unsure. Especially avoid links that have suffixes like “exe.” Misspellings and bad grammar are also giveaways of a fraudulent email.
Tips for Protecting Your Business
Your business is your livelihood, so keeping your business information secure is a top priority. Here are 12 tips to keep it safe.
- Do not have the same person balance the bank statement and issue checks.
- Regularly review your account activity and canceled checks, especially if someone else reconciles your bank statement.
- Secure all reserve supplies of checks, deposit slips and other banking documents in a locked compartment.
- Limit access to only a few authorized employees.
- Change the locks when an employee leaves your company.
- Conduct random audits, especially for employees who have access to financial records and documents.
- Use an electronic payment system for check disbursement rather than manually issuing checks.
- Understand the deposit account agreement with your bank and what your liability is for fraud under the Uniform Commercial Code.
- Use a shredder to destroy all canceled checks and financial data that is no longer needed.
- Have employees bonded if appropriate in your industry. A bond is insurance that an employer has purchased from a bonding company to protect clients from losses caused by an employee.
- Stay in touch with other businesses to share information regarding suspected fraud activity.
- Purchase your checks and deposit slips from our approved check vendors to ensure the quality of your check stock and the integrity of your account documents.
- Do not share your login access codes for online services with any third party.
- Talk to your banker about other ways he or she can help you maintain the highest security standards.
What are some other things small businesses can do to secure their sensitive information? Explore the links below.