Fraud Prevention, Detection, and Reporting

 

Fraud Detection and Protection

We know how important it is to protect your identity from unlawful use and unauthorized access.  We want you to know that it is not our practice to ask for your User ID or password in an e-mail.  It is also not our practice to:

  • Share your name with any contacts outside our firm in a manner inconsistent with our Privacy Policy
  • Send e-mail that requires you to enter personal information directly into the e-mail
  • Send an e-mail asking you to reply by sending personal information
  • Send an e-mail threatening to close your account if you do not provide personal information to us immediately

With these things in mind, you should exercise caution when reading an e-mail that may appear to have been sent by us.  Unfortunately many criminals devise ways to exploit technology in an effort to rip you off.

Types of Online Fraud

Phishing and Spoofing

  • Sometimes criminals may send you an e-mail that looks like it has come from SouthernTrust Bank.  These phony e-mails ask you to go to a website that also looks like SoutherTrust bank and provide your personal account information.  These e-mails may even ask you to call a phone number and provide account information, but the website is a fake.
  • Asking for personal information should raise a flag since SouthernTrust will never ask you to reply  in an e-mail with any personal information such as your social security number or ATM or debit card PIN.
  • Typos and other errors are often the mark of fraudulent e-mails or websites.  Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors, awkward writing, or poor visual design.
  • Urgent appeals claim that your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify, or authenticate your personal information.  SouthernTrust Bank will not ask you to verify information in this way.

Offers that sound too good to be true often are.  You may be asked to fill out a short customer service survey in exchange for money being credited to your account.  You are then asked to provide your account number for proper routing of the supposed credit.  SoutherTrust Bank will not request your information in this way.

Vishing

Vishing uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to call and leave an automated recording.  The recording alerts the consumer that their account has experienced unusual activity.  The message instructs the consumer to call the same phone number shown on the spoofed caller ID with the same name as the financial company they are pretending to represent.

Social Media

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow people to stay connected to friends and family.  Not surprisingly, the popularity of these sites has made their users attractive targets for identity thieves and hackers.

  • Don't "friend" strangers
  • Don't announce upcoming vacations or other trips on a public site
  • Be careful of the personal information you post.  Birthdays, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers may all enable an identity thief to track down additional information about you or may give them hints to you account and online passwords

Money Mules

Money mules are unsuspecting victims who become middlemen for criminals trying to launder stolen funds.  Criminals recruit money mules, send them stolen money, and ask for the mules to wire or transfer the money unwittingly to the criminals and tell them they may keep a commission for performaing the transfer or wire.

The victims of these scams may not only have their bank accounts closed and financial reputations ruined.  They are often left financially responsible for returning the stolen funds.

Common signs of a money mule may be:

  • An unsolicited offer or opportunity for you to make some easy money
  • Unsolicited contact from people or companies from overseas
  • Requests to open a new bank account to receive money from someone you don't know

Malware

Malware is short for "malicious software".  Malware includes viruses, spyware, and Trojans that are designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system.  Malware is often used to steal personal information and commit fraud.

  • Make sure your anti-virus software is updated and that your firewall is active.  Ensure that your anti-virus software subscription includes anti-malware software.
  • Be aware that downloads from file-sharing and social networking sites can be distribution points for malware.
  • Use your security software to scan attachments before opening.
  • Be aware that pop-up advertisements asking for personal or financial information are likely fraudulent.  It's best to just close them down upon popping up.

Types of Traditional Fraud

There are other types of fraud of "traditional fraud" that are scams that normally involve physical documents or contact with another person.  A few of those are:

Telephone Scams

Criminals scan the phone book in order to cold victims hoping they reach customers of a bank they are claiming to be calling on behalf of.  If the call was not initiated by the customer, the customer should ask for information from the caller.  Never give out sensitive information.  Always report the phone call to your bank.

Nigerian Scam Letters

Nigerian scam letters involve unsolicited letters and e-mails that are sent to individuals and companies offering the recipient something of value for their assistance in transferring millions of dollars to American banks.  These fraud schemes have existed for a long time.  The Federal Trade Commission has a list of the most common schemes at www.ftc.gov.  Should you receive one of these letters, please do not reply but report the letter to the Internet Fraud Compaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Reporting Fraud of Identity Theft

Identity Theft

If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or if you believe your SouthernTrust Bank account information may have been compromised, please request or download the bank's Identity Theft Affidavit Packet which will assist us in processing your case.

Contact the bank using any of the following methods:

  • Telephone - Goreville 618-995-9000, Vienna 618-658-8888
  • Postal Mail at:  SouthernTrust Bank, PO Box 9, Goreville, IL 62939
  • In Person

E-mail Fraud or Phishing

If you believe you have received or replied to a suspicious e-mail and provided private information about your SouthernTrust Bank account, please contact us immediately at the numbers provided above.

Lost or Stolen ATM Card, Debit Card, or Checkbook

Please contact us immediately at the numbers provided above.  If possible, please provide the check number for the last check that was written and to whom it was written.  If your ATM card or debit card has been lost or stolen, we will cancel your card and issue a replacement immediately.

Privacy Policy

We know how important it is to protect your identity from unlawful use and unauthorized access.  Review SouthernTrust bank's Privacy Policy to see how we use your personal information.

Identity Theft Packet

SouthernTrust Bank provides an Identity Theft Packet that you should complete and bring to the bank when reporting being a victim of fraud or identity theft.  Please contact the bank for a copy or download directly from the bank's website here.

 

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