Together we can safeguard your finances.
Predicting a cyber-attack is not a simple task.
If you're hacked, you can lose everything, including your identity. Your identity may be the most important thing you have, but many people don't realize it until it's stolen. Fraudsters look for ways to find out information about you so they can piece together a fake picture of you from the parts they have stolen. Social security numbers, complete account numbers, access codes, user IDs, passwords—all these can help a fraudster to steal your identity. In this section we’ll look at how you can protect yourself against common hacker techniques, so you can protect your identity.
Fraudsters are looking for any opportunity to get your account statements or documents with your personal information. They're especially interested in your social security number. The solution to dumpster diving is easy—shred your documents. Shred anything with private information on it before disposing of it. If you don’t have a shredder, many companies hold special events where they’ll accept your confidential materials and process them through their own document shredding companies for a small fee, charitable donation or even for free.
It's been around forever, but the bad guys still try to steal wallets, purses and your mail—which may include bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks or tax information. A locked mail box will help since most crooks look for easy targets, but the best prevention is keeping documents secure.
Avoid carrying sensitive information such as your social security and account numbers in your wallet or purse (besides the cards you need to have) and take advantage of paperless statement so that you don’t have paper statements that scammers can steal.
Crooks sometimes arrange to have your mail forwarded to somewhere else so they can collect information, cards, identity materials or even purchases. When the United States Postal Service begins mail forwarding, they'll always send a confirmation letter to the old address. If you get one, and you didn’t request mail forwarding, contact your Postmaster immediately.
This is the new breed of fraud where the bad guys try to trick you into visiting a website (phishing) or calling a number (vishing), or replying to a text message (smishing) to enter your personal information. Sometimes a link in a phishing mail will send you to a fake site where they will try to capture your information by using a man-in-the-middle scam (see below). One way to avoid this is to type in the site addresses yourself, rather than using links. Your own bookmarks are also safer than links in email or texts. Don't give your personally identifiable information to anybody contacting you online or by phone unless you are absolutely sure they are reputable and they've explained satisfactorily why they need it. Your best bet is to collect information about why they are contacting you then hang up and find the phone of that business on their website and call them to verify the issue.
Social media offers an easy avenue for scammers. By posing as a friend of a friend, or just a stranger with a “great offer” for you, scammers can infiltrate your social feeds requesting payment or personal information. Instances where scammers have targeted First Tech employees and members with First Tech checking accounts have steadily increased. For example, a recent scam attempt on Facebook Messenger cited the ability to make "$10,000 without paying any money up front." Perhaps sensing the suspicious nature of the offer, this particular scam added a note, explaining "this is not a scam." Yes, it is. As a reminder, First Tech–and most other reputable financial institutions–will never ask you to divulge personal information, or request enrollment in a program, through a public social forum like Facebook Messenger. And as a general tip, any offer that explicitly states “this is not a scam” is most likely a scam.
Man-in-the-middle—safe internet practices
In this scam, the crooks are PRETENDING to be a site you trust. When you enter your information, they'll "forward" it to the real site (but capture it on the way) and then return any other requests from the real site until you have fully confirmed yourself. Then, they have everything they need to pretend to be you. The key to avoiding man-in-the-middle phishing is to be sure you know that you're on the site you think you're on.
Another man-in-the-middle scam is when you're using a non-secured Wi-Fi connection and the criminals intercept your activities. In those situations, it's doubly important that you make sure you're on a secure and encrypted connection and that your personal machine is secure against having keytracking software installed on it over an insecure network. A strong firewall can make all the difference.
Skimming occurs when crooks put devices OVER the entry port on ATMs or credit card readers to skim off your information as it's processed. This doesn't, by itself, give them more than your card number, but even more sophisticated skimmers will have a camera aimed at the keypad to capture your PIN.
It's always best to take a good look at the ATM or card readers for anything that looks "added on" or unnatural to the machine prior to using it. Also, keep your other hand over the keypad when you enter your PIN. It's important to note that First Tech's ATM machines use advanced, dip card reader technology which make it much harder for fraudsters to attach skimming devices. If you have any doubt about the security of an ATM, don't use it and report it to us immediately.
Beware of suspicious emails, phone calls and texts
Phishing, vishing and smishing are all just different terms for when a fraudster tries to fool you into giving them your information over email, your phone, or via text message. If you ever receive a communication (even if it claims to be from First Tech) that seems suspicious, or just doesn’t seem to make sense, DO NOT click on the links or follow the instructions in that message without first verifying that the message is legitimate. You can do this by contacting First Tech directly at 855.855.8805, or by emailing our Fraud Department.
Urgent and/or time-sensitive requests for information
Be wary of communications that try to create a sense of urgency in the message. Fraudsters want you to think with your emotions and not your head when making decisions about your security and privacy, and creating a sense of urgency is one of the ways that they do this.
Typos and/or errors in messaging
Cybercrime is a numbers game, and the more communications and fake websites that a fraudster can push out, the greater their chances of success. That rushed mentality can sometimes lead to sloppy presentation in their messaging, so be on the look-out for typos, grammatical errors, and rough visual designs.
Requests for personal and/or sensitive information
In some instances, we may ask for general personal information to verify your identity over the phone, but this is when you call First Tech. First Tech will never reach out to you and request for you to respond to emails or text messages with your personal information (i.e., password, PIN, account #, etc.). If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with First Tech requesting this information and you’re not sure about the source, contact the First Tech directly at 855.855.8805 and ask to be routed to the appropriate personnel to continue the discussion.
Deals that seem too good to be true
While the products and services that we provide are great, as the old saying goes: “If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Providing fake goods or services in exchange for your personal information is a favorite tactic of fraudsters, so if you receive a message from First Tech or another business asking for you to provide your information in order to take advantage of a great deal, don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly for clarification before you take action.
Keep your contact information up-to-date
This allows First Tech to quickly get a hold of you if we need to.
Only use trusted networks and WiFi
Especially when shopping online or sending sensitive data, you want to make sure it is secure and not easily accessible to someone looking to steal your information
Alert First Tech
For anything that seems out of the ordinary so we can help determine if there is a problem.