Protecting Your Identity


Denali State Bank is committed to protecting your identity and privacy.  The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers about fraudulent emails, pop-up advertisements and phony websites that attempt to trick people into providing sensitive, confidential personal information. If you have received an unsolicited request for information, please call Customer Service immediately at 907.458.4236.

 

Here are more ways you can help protect your information.

 

General Security

While anyone can fall prey to fraud and identity theft schemes, there are ways you can minimize your risk. Denali State Bank is providing these security tips to help you guard against fraud and identity theft.

If you feel you may be a victim of fraud or identity theft, call our Customer Service Department immediately at 907.458.4236.

  • Never give out sensitive personal information online or over the phone in response to an unsolicited request. Denali State Bank will never request that you submit confidential information over non-secure channels such as email or pop-up windows.
  • If you cannot verify the legitamacy of the party requesting information, or if you are not sure they are entitled to the information, its is OK to refuse them.
  • Do not open attachments. Denali State Bank does not send unsolicited email attachments.
  • Do not include information such as your driver’s license number or Social Security number on your preprinted checks.
  • Memorize all Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), such as your ATM card PIN and online passwords. Do not keep such numbers in your wallet or purse, and do not share them with anyone. 
  • Avoid using easily guessed or learned information as your online password or PIN.
  • Store new and cancelled checks and receipts in a secure place and shred unnecessary financial documents.
  • Avoid writing your account number, Social Security number, password or PIN on envelopes, scraps of paper, or other items that may be thrown away later.
  • Register your credit cards, ATM, check and debit cards with a liability protection service.
  • If you stop receiving bills, statements or other monthly mailings, or if you do not receive a bill when expected, contact the issuing company immediately.
  • Promptly collect incoming mail and use a locking mailbox if possible.
  • Send outgoing mail from a secured mailbox or a post office.  Try to avoid leaving outgoing mail in your home mailbox.
  • Shred all unwanted preapproved offers for credit cards, convenience checks or loans.
  • Opt out of preapproved credit card offers by dialing 1.888.567.8688.  This will communicate you preference to all three major credit bureaus.
  • Review your statements and billing notices thoroughly and regularly, ensuring the transactions were those made by you.
  • Review your credit report annually for accuracy.  You can go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get a copy of your credit report. 
  • Be skeptical of offers that seem to be "too good to be true."  They usually are.
  • Stop receiving statements in the mail.  Sign in to Denali Online, go to the e-statements tab, and enroll to start receiving electronic statements.
  • Sign up for Direct Deposit to have funds put directly into your account.

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Personal Computer Security

Your home computer can provide thieves with a wealth of personal information.  The following tips detail how you can add to the security of personal information on your home computer.
  • Passwords and User IDs - You should have a distinct user ID and password. For each computer or online service you use, try to create the most bizarre and original password, and make sure you protect it. Commit your password to memory and do not share it with anyone. To create strong passwords, use a combination of numbers, letters and symbols. Longer passwords are better but make sure passwords are something you can remember without writing them down. Avoid using any of the following, which may be easily guessed:

    1. Your birth date or a family member’s birth date

    2. Names of family members or pets

    3. Social Security Number

    4. Phone numbers

    5. Dates of important events, such as anniversaries
  • Install and Use Anti-Virus Programs - Viruses can infect a home computer through floppy disks, CDs, email, websites and downloaded files. Anti-virus programs help protect your computer against most viruses, worms, Trojans and other unwanted invaders that can make your computer “sick”. Viruses, worms and the like often perform malicious acts, such as deleting files, accessing personal data or using your computer to attack other computers. If an infected file is found, most anti-virus programs provide you with options of how to respond, such as removing the harmful item or deleting the file. Installing an anti-virus program and keeping it up to date is the best defense for your home computer.

    Email viruses and worms are fairly common. Here are steps you can take to help you decide what to do with every email message attachment you receive. You should only open and read a message that passes all of these tests:

    1. The Know Test – Is the email from someone you know?

    2. The Received Test – Have you received email from this person before?

    3. The Expect Test – Were you expecting an email with an attachment from this sender?

    4. The Sense Test – Does the email subject make sense based on who is sending the email? Would you expect this type of attachment from this person?

    5. The Virus Test – Does this email contain a virus? To determine this, you need to install and use an anti-virus program.
     
  • Your Operating System and Browser Software- As vulnerabilities are discovered on operating systems and Internet browsers, “patches” are developed to block those who attempt to exploit the vulnerability. These patches are available to licensed users, usually through a download. Maintain current versions of your operating system and Internet browser.

  • Cookies:  Denali State Bank uses cookies during your Denali Online Session.  They are used in conjunction with your watermark (the picture you select for your online sessions) to recognize your computer.  If you do not accept cookies, or you clear or have your computer set to clear your cookies, we will not be able to recognize youre computer and you will need to answer your challenge questions each time you log on.

  • Activate a pop-up blocker.  Pop-ups may contain "spyware" or "adware."  Personal financial information should never be entered in a pop-up or a pop-linked site.

  • Adjust your browser settings to prompt you whenever a site attempts to install a new program.  These settings are in your "Active X" settings.
  • Other Products to Protect Your Computer - There are other products available to help you keep your computer secure. Many are available free and are downloadable from the web. These programs protect your computer from spyware, adware and other forms of potentially dangerous software.
  • Firewalls: What Are They and How Do I Use Them? - Before you connect your computer to the Internet, you should install a firewall. A firewall can be generally described as a security guard for your home computer. The guard is a piece of software or hardware that helps protect your computer against hackers and many computer viruses and worms. With a firewall, you define which connections between your computer and other computers on the Internet are allowed and which are denied. There are firewall programs, free or purchased, that provide the capabilities you need to help make your home computer more secure.

  • Carefully read all end user licensing agreements and avoid downloading software if the software agreement is difficult to understand.

  • Viruses, Trojans and Spyware are all malicious programs loaded onto your computer without your knowledge.

    Viruses spread by infecting computers and then replicating, many times using your contact list to further  spread the virus.  Viruses can cause poor computer performance or capture and/or destroy information.

    Spyware disguises itself to look legitimate and embeds itself to monitor what you do on  your computer and collects information, which may include recording the actual keystrokes you use, such as those in your password.

  • Pop-ups are the ads that "pop up" in a separate window.  If you click on a pop-up, you may also be downloading spyware or adware.  Some cyber-thieves create pop-ups that look like they may come from a trusted or well-known site.  It is best to aviod clicking on pop-ups althogether.

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Phishing

All Internet users should be aware of the online scam known as “phishing” (pronounced “fishing”). Phishing involves the use of email messages that appear to come from your bank or another trusted source, but are actually designed to trick you into downloading a virus, or directing you to a website that asks you to disclose sensitive personal information.

Phishing emails typically ask you to click a link to visit a website.  At this website, you are asked to enter or confirm personal financial information such as your account numbers, passwords, Social Security Number or other data. Although these websites may appear legitimate, they are not. Thieves can collect whatever data you enter and use it to access your personal accounts.

To spot a Phishing scam, look for these warning signs:
  • Language and tone. The message you will receive may urge you to act quickly by suggesting that your account is threatened. It may say that if you fail to update, verify or confirm your personal or account information, access to your accounts will be suspended. The wording may also be sloppy and contain misspellings.
  • Requests for personal information. Scam emails typically ask for personal or account information such as:

    1. Account numbers
    2. Credit and check card numbers
    3. Social Security Numbers
    4. Online banking user IDs and passwords
    5. Mother’s maiden name
    6. Date of birth
    7. Other confidential information
  • Non-secure web pages. Clever thieves can build a fake website that looks nearly identical to an authentic one. They can even alter the URL (the web address) that appears in your browser window. Beware of non-secure web pages that ask for sensitive information (secure sites will typically display a lock in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window).

    Safety Tips

    1.  Vishing is one of several "social engineering" practices via the phone designed to gain access to information for malicious purposes.  Often, when a victim answers the call, an automated recording begins advising the consumer that their credit card or debit card has been used fraudulently or that their bank account has had suspicious or unusual activity.  The consumer is directed to call and a person pretending to be an employee of the bank requests information.  Rather that providing such infomation, consumers are advised to contact the bank directly to verify the validity of such calls.

    2.  Smishing is a form of social engineering where the victim receives text messages asking them to sign up for some sort of online service.  Do not repond to these types of requests as they are used to download viruses and capture information.

    3.  Be suspicious of demanding messages. Messages threatening to terminate or suspend your account without your quick response should be treated as suspicious. A legitimate bank or business should not request personal information from you over an unsecured website. When in doubt, call the business’s customer service number (available on your account statement) to confirm the status of your account. Do not use telephone numbers found on the suspected website.

    4.  Always type in the URL of the web page you need. Phishing scams rely on embedded links that take you to fake websites. It is safer to type your bank’s web address directly into your browser so you know you are visiting the legitimate site.

    5.  Protect your password. Do not write down sensitive personal information such as your password or Social Security Number. Change your password frequently.

    6.  Keep your computer software up to date. Download operating system patches and updates regularly.  Denali State Bank recommends that you also install anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall programs to protect your personal information.  Make sure these programs are also kept updated.

    7.  Always look for your "watermark" (the picture you chose) when you sign in to Denali Online.     

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Identity Theft

The United States Government has determined identity theft to be the fastest growing crime in America. Identity thieves use your personal information fruadulently, without your permission..

Identity theft can happen to anyone. Experts say your mailbox and garbage are the easiest ways criminals can access your personal information, but do not rule out emails and the Internet.

FDIC also offers identity theft Help.  They unveiled an online multimedia presentation about identity theft called "Don't Be an Online Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams." It is available on the agency's website at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/guard/index.html.  This presentation provides information on steps consumers should take to secure their computer and protect themselves from identity theft, as well as what they should do if they are victimized by the crime. 

To avoid being victimized, you can do the following:

  • Never give out sensitive personal information online or over the phone in response to an unsolicited request. Denali State Bank will never request that you submit confidential information over non-secure channels such as email or pop-up windows. Do not open attachments, as Denali State Bank does not send unsolicited email attachments.
  • Change your passwords regularly and make them complex, mixing letters, numbers and other characters (@, #, etc). Memorize them. Do not write down your passwords.
  • Never share your passwords. Doing so allows complete access to your information.
  • Do not include information such as your driver’s license or Social Security Number on your preprinted checks and do not carry your Social Security Card in your wallet.
  • Memorize all Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), such as your ATM card PIN and online passwords. Do not keep such numbers in your wallet or purse.
  • Avoid using easily guessed or learned information as your online password or PIN.
  • Do not use credit cards on the Internet unless the site has a secured, encrypted system (look for “HTTPS” in the URL or the lock icon in the corner of your screen).
  • Store new and cancelled checks and receipts in a secure place and shred unnecessary financial documents.
  • Avoid writing your account number on envelopes, scraps of paper, or other items that may be thrown away later.
  • Register your credit cards, ATM, check and debit cards with a liability protection service.
  • If you stop receiving bills, statements or other monthly mailings, or if you do not receive a bill when expected, contact the issuing company immediately.
  • Promptly collect incoming mail, and use a locking mailbox if possible.
  • Send outgoing mail from a secured mailbox or a post office.  Try to avoid leaving outgoing mail in your home mailbox.
  • Shred all unwanted preapproved offers for credit cards, convenience checks or loans.
  • Review your statements and billing notices thoroughly and regularly, ensuring the transactions were those made by you.
  • Review your credit report at least once per year for accuracy.

If you suspect identity theft has occurred:

  • If you believe you have provided personal or account information in response to a fraudulent email or website, or that your personal information has been compromised, please contact Denali State Bank at 907.458.4236 and contact any other financial institutions with which you have accounts.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1.877.438.4338. Use the ID Theft Affidavit at www.ftc.gov.
  • Call for a credit report, add fraud flags and statements to your report saying that all potential creditors should contact you to verify credit applications.
    Equifax 1.800.685.1111
    www.equifax.com
    Experian 1.888.397.3742 www.experian.com
    Trans Union 1.800.916.8800 www.transunion.com
  • Notify local law enforcement to file a report.

 

Scams

There are those who are intent on stealing your information and your money and they work very hard at devising methods to accomplish their goals!  Listed are some of the scams these fraudsters have devised with the intent of stealing your identity, your money, or both!

 

Fake Lottery Scam

An email or letter is received stating that the recipient has won a lottery (usually from a foreign country) and may receive a substantial amount of money.  The recipient is informed that they must pay a processing or transfer tax or fee before they can claim their prize.  A check or money order is enclosed to cover these required fees, and the recipient is instructed to deposit the check into their bank account and wire the money to a third party (usually to a foreign country). 

There was never a lottery and there are no cash prizes. The checks sent to the victim are counterfeit.  They may seem legitimate, as they may be drawn off well-known businesses or appear to be postal money orders, but they are not.

 

Fake Charity Scam

Signing up online to help out when a tragedy strikes is commendable, but there are fake charity sites numbering in the thousands on the Worldwide Web.  Generally, these fake charity sites enlist the victim as a "middleman" or "broker" to receive donations into a new bank account that they are instructed to open.  The middleman/broker job description includes receiving checks and depositing them into the bank account, and then wiring money when the funds are posted.  The victim is instructed to keep a percentage of the checks as their "salary".  The checks being deposited are other fraud victims who may have had their identities stolen or who responded to a phishing email on the Internet.  The victim acting as the middleman/broker has received and kept fraudulent funds and has sent a portion of those funds to the fraudster.

 

Fake Business Proposal Scam

The victim receives an email from a "foreign official or business person who would like a large sum of money moved from a foreign country and needs assistance.  The victim is offered a percentage of the proceeds as payment for their trouble.  If the victim agrees, they may receive a large check or money order by mail, which they deposit to their account.  The business person then needs an advance fee to bribe an official, pay attorney or other fees, settle taxes, etc.  If the victim believes the check they deposited to be genuine, they honor the business person's request and wire the funds.  BUT the check or money order was counterfeit.  The checks may seem legitimate, as they may be drawn off well-known businesses or appear to be postal money orders, but they are not.

 

Inheritance Scam

The victim receives a communication from what appears to be a legal authority of some type (law firm, executor, etc), notifying the victim of an inheritance from a long-lost relative or friend.  The fraudster requests account information from the victim so that they may send deposit the funds.  A fee must be paid.  The fraudster may ask that the victim pay the fee via a money order or by electronic means, or they send the victim the inheritance check and then claim they sent too much and request the difference be sent by electronic means or money order.

 

Internet Auction Scam

The victim sells goods via the internet.  The buyer sends a check or money order for more than the purchase amount and asks that the excess be wired somewhere (typically to a foreign country).  The victim is told this money will be used to pay the shipper for the "purchaser".  The check used to purchase the goods was counterfeit.  The purchaser and shipper are both fraudsters. The checks may seem legitimate, as they may be drawn off well-known businesses or appear to be postal money orders, but they are not.

 

Other Scams

All of these scams send what appears to be, but are not, legitimate checks or money orders, requesting the victim to deposit them.  Then they claim they need a portion back due to "overpayment", cancellation, or any one of a number of other reasons.  The warning sign is that the refunds are requested immediately and the original payment hasn't cleared the bank the checks were drawn on yet.  And they won't since the checks deposited were counterfeit.

 

1.   Wealthy family seeks nanny, willing to advance a generous amount, later claims overpayment.

2.   Fraudster responds to an ad for a roommate, sends the victim a check for first and last month rent, utilities, security deposit, etc.  Then need to cancel the deal, and requests a refund, less a fee for the victim's time and trouble.

3.   Internet love matches where a fraudster sends the victim checks or money orders to deposit, ostensibly to cover travel costs to the US to begin their life together.  The fraudster then asks the victim to transfer funds from the deposited checks via wire to cover the travel expenses of the "internet mate."

 

How you can avoid fraud 

  •     If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  •    Talk to your bank or financial institution before acting on any calls or emails you may receive about security or fraud investigationsBe wary of any offer that requires you to wire money, withdraw cash, or provide account information.

  •    Review information regarding fraud schemes from the FBI at http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/fraudschemes.htm

  •    Never give your personal information to people you do not know, especially over the phone to unsolicited calls.

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Lost or Stolen Visa Debit card
Report your lost or stolen debit card immediately to:  1.800.528.2273.

In addition, please call our customer service department at 907.458.4231 so that we may issue a replacement card.

Purchasing and Installing Programs
Apply these practices when you select software for your home computer.

  • Learn as much as you can about the product and what it does before you purchase the product.
  • Understand the refund and return policy before you make your purchase.
  • Buy from a local store that you already know or a national chain with an established reputation.
Backups: Your Safety Net
It is a good practice to back up important files and folders on your computer. To backup files, you can make copies on media that you can safely store elsewhere, such as CDs or DVDs.

For more information on computer security, visit
www.cert.org.

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