PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY

Mega Bank takes the security of your financial information very seriously. We have developed a robust Information Security Program that includes investing in technology to ensure that your confidential information is shielded from outside attack, insuring that all bank records are maintained in secured facilities, and providing regularly training to all employees on the Bank’s security policies as well as proper methods to communicate with you, our clients, in a secure and confidential manner.

Over the past several years, as banks have become more secure, criminals have started targeting you, the client, in an attempt to gain access to your funds. Identity theft, check fraud, corporate account takeover, and other financial fraud schemes are in the news every day. Every year thousands of people are victimized through the passing of forged checks accompanied by lost, stolen or fictitious identification. To help combat these crimes, we have put together tips you can use to minimize your risk by managing your personal and corporate account information wisely, and are describing some of the more common schemes used to defraud individuals and businesses alike. If you are a business, please share this information with employees that interact with your finances.

Mega Bank's staff will never initiate a request for sensitive information from you (i.e. social security number, personal login ID, password, PIN or account number) through an unsolicited email message or phone call.

TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF

IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost you time and money. It can destroy your credit and ruin your reputation. Below are recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission to help combat the threat of identity theft.

1. Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your information.

Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them. Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.

Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you know the entity you are dealing with. Avoid disclosing personal financial information when using public wireless connections.

Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails. Instead, type in the source page of the website using a separate tab or window. Use firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software to protect your home computer. Keep this software current. If you use peer file sharing, check the setting to make sure you are not sharing other sensitive private files.

Don't use an obvious password. Avoid using passwords like birth date, address, mother’s maiden name, children’s name, or last four digits of your Social Security number.

Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having work done in your house.

2. Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements.

Be alert to the following signs that require immediate attention:

  • Bills do not arrive as expected
  • Unexpected credit cards or account statements
  • Denials of credit for no apparent reason
  • Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
  • Charges on your financial statements that you don't recognize. Inspect your credit report. Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history.
  • The law requires the major nationwide credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - to give you a free copy of your credit report every 12 months if you request it.
  • Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228, a service created by these three companies, to order your free annual credit report. You can also write to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
  • If you see accounts or addresses you don’t recognize or information that is inaccurate, contact the credit reporting company and the information provider. To find out how to correct errors on your credit report, visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft.

3. Defend against ID theft as soon as you suspect it.

Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports, and review the reports carefully. The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing account. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have toll-free numbers for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert; a call to one company is sufficient:

  • Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn't open and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.

Contact the security or fraud departments of each company where an account was opened or charged without your okay.

  • Follow up in writing, with copies of supporting documents.
  • Use the ID Theft Affidavit at www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft to support your written statement.
  • Ask for verification that the disputed account has been dealt with and the fraudulent debts discharged.
  • Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.

File a police report. File a report with law enforcement officials to help expedite the correction of your credit report and deal with creditors who may want proof of the crime.

Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the country in their investigations.

FAKE CHECK SCAMS

EMAIL & TELEPHONE SCAMS

MALWARE

Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed by criminals to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. It is a general term used to describe any kind of software or code specifically designed to exploit a computer, or the data it contains, without consent.

Examples of malware include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other malicious programs. Malware works to remain unnoticed, either by actively hiding or by simply not making its presence on a system known to the user.

Mega Bank offers the following tips to reduce the potential release of malware into your computer or network:

SOCIAL ENGINEERING

Social engineering attacks use human interaction (social skills) to obtain or compromise information about an organization or its computer systems. An attacker may seem unassuming and respectable, possibly claiming to be a new employee, repair person, or researcher and even offering credentials to support that identity. However, by asking questions of several people or over a period of days, they may be able to piece together enough information to infiltrate an organization’s network. These questions may include user identification, passwords, full names, PC numbers, and IP numbers. If an attacker is not able to gather enough information from one source, they may contact another source within the same organization and rely on the information from the first source to add to their credibility.

Additional Resources:

Onguardonline.gov

OnGuardOnline.gov provides tips to avoid scams, secure your computer, and protect kids online. The site also has a blog that is updated with recent fraud trends.
http://www.onguardonline.gov

Idtheftinfo.org

IDtheftinfo.org provides the latest news from Consumer Federation of America and other sources. It also provides an ID theft library with education materials for consumers and businesses, a Privacy Information Website, and a victim resources guide.
http://www.idtheftinfo.org/

Consumer Federation of America

The Consumer Federation of America provides information to consumers through research, advocacy, and education. CFA also partners with financial institutions to help educate clients through advertising, readings, and other publications.
http://consumerfed.org/index.php/consumer-privacy/fraud

FDIC

The FDIC provides a consumer protection site to help educate consumers about the risks of identity theft, and also provides tips on how to guard themselves against it. Topics include online and electronic banking scams, identity theft, phishing scams, and safe internet banking.
http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/theft/index.html

Internet Crime Complaint Center

The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center. This site provides a place to file claims of victims of identity theft. It also houses sources of internet crime prevention and current schemes.
http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx