Security is a very important issue for all of us here at County Bank and customer education is also important. Today’s security issues can be both challenging and frightening at times. We have included the following information for you to get a better understanding of some of the security issues that we all face from day to day.
LOST OR STOLEN Debit Mastercard®
REPORT IMMEDIATELY!!! PLEASE PHONE
302-226-9800 COUNTY BANK
800-500-1044 AFTER HOURS AND HOLIDAYS
LOST OR STOLEN VISA® / MASTERCARD® CREDIT CARDS
REPORT LOST OR STOLEN CARD: 727-570-4881
AFTER HOURS: 866-604-0381
For Equifax's statement about their Cybersecurity Incident please click here.
Help COVID-19 contact tracers, not scammers
June 25, 2020
by Shameka L. Walker
Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
After nearly three months of stay-at-home orders, America is starting to open up again. Contact tracers, the folks who work for state health departments to try to track anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, are an important part of our road to recovery. But some scammers are pretending to be contact tracers so they can profit off of the current confusion. They’re trying to steal your identity, your money – or both. Luckily, there are ways to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer.
A contact tracer might get in touch to discuss results of a test you know you took, or because someone you’ve been in contact with tested positive. Depending on how your state has set up its program, legitimate contact tracers may call, email, text, or visit your home to collect information. They may ask you for:
- your name and address
- health information
- the names of places and people you have visited
Scammers will ask you to do more. Here are some things to do to protect yourself from fake contact tracers.
- Don’t pay a contact tracer. Anyone who says you need to pay is a scammer, plain and simple.
- Don’t give your Social Security number or financial information. There’s no reason for a legit contact tracer to need your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.
- Don’t share your immigration status. Legit contact tracers don’t need — and won’t ask for — this information.
- Don’t click on links or download anything sent from a contact tracer. Real tracers will only send you texts or emails that say they’ll be calling you — not ask you to click or download anything.
What should you do if you think you’re dealing with a fake contact tracer? Check with your state health department to see if they have a way to make sure the person contacting you is a real contact tracer. Otherwise, hang up, close the door, or don’t respond to, click on, or download anything that may be in an email or text. Then, report it to your state and tell the FTC about it at FTC.gov/complaint.
Your Online Banking passcode is key - to everything!
Posted January 2017
Just like the key to your home, passcodes help protect your “online home”. You should do everything you can to prevent others from guessing or gaining access to your passcode.
When creating an Online Banking passcode, make sure it has the minimum number of characters and the appropriate character types. This may be challenging at times - but the stronger the passcode the better your protection against others trying to cause you financial harm.
You should also remember:
- NEVER share your Online Banking passcode with others.
- Make your Online Banking passcode unique to your life and not something that is easily guessed or known to others.
- Have a different passcode for each online account.
- Change your passcode several times a year. This may seem inconvenient but serves as a good security measure.
Keep your Online Banking “home” safe – don’t give the key to just anyone.
Gone phishing? Don't be reeled in...
Posted January 2017
Scanning through a long list of emails can be a tedious task - especially with the influx of spam we all receive today. However, some messages will definitely catch your attention - especially those seeming to be from your bank.
Ever get an email about the status of your account? Perhaps it presented one of the following scenarios:
- We show your account is currently frozen/disabled due to some recent activity...
- Due to inactivity your account is about to be deleted from our system unless...
- To keep your account active, we need some information updated as soon as possible...
Welcome to the world of "phishing". The message probably provided a link for you to access "your account" and "update" or "confirm" your information. The site you access may look exactly like the site of your trusted institution - but it isn't them!
You may have been directed to a site where you will be asked for personal account related information so that fraudsters may gain access to this account and potentially other accounts you own. They may use this information to potentially try to open credit accounts in your name.
Some tips for you to follow:
- Be wary of these types of messages. If you are ever unsure contact us at 302-226-9800 directly and speak with a representative.
- Never provide personal info via a link - even if the email looks legitimate, go directly to our website at: www.Countybankdel.com
- Check your account activity daily and look for transactions that are suspicious.
- Set up "Notify Me Alerts" on your account activity so you can monitor activity even if not logging into the system.
- Set up the "Successful Log In" security alert so you know when someone has accessed your account.
Don't get hooked by these attempts to access your information. We are here to help protect your accounts. By being vigilant and taking actions together, we can do an even better job.
In computing, phishing is a criminal activity using social engineering techniques. Phishers attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business in an electronic communication. Phishing is typically carried out using email or an instant message, although phone contact has been used as well. Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, and technical measures.
The first recorded mention of phishing is on the alt.online-service.america-online Usenet newsgroup on January 2, 1996, although the term may have appeared even earlier in the print edition of the hacker magazine 2600. The term phishing is a variant of fishing, probably influenced by phreaking, and alludes to the use of increasingly sophisticated lures to "fish" for users' financial information and passwords. The word may also be linked to leetspeak, in which ph is a common substitution for f. The popular theory that it is a portmanteau of password harvesting is an example of folk etymology.
Please check back soon for updates.
Help protect your financial information in five easy steps.
- Double-check monthly statements to ensure they match your records.
- Shred personal and financial information before discarding it.
- Don't give out account numbers or other personal information, unless you initiated the call.
- Review your credit report annually. You're entitled to a free credit report every year. Simply contact one of the three main credit reporting bureaus.
Equifax Experian TransUnion
800-525-6285 888-397-3742 800-680-7289
equifax.com experian.com transunion.com
How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) offers the following tips to help consumers guard against identity theft.
“Community banks are careful guardians of our customers’ personal data and information, but our customers must also play a role and practice caution in stores, online and as they go about their business every day,” said Jim MacPhee, ICBA chairman and CEO of Kalamazoo County State Bank in Kalamazoo, Mich.
The following tips can help lower your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft:
- Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card or other cards that show your SSN.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you know who you’re dealing with and preferably only if you've initiated the contact. Make sure you are dealing with a legitimate organization. As a general rule, never give out your Social Security or driver’s license numbers.
- Don’t put personal information such as your birth year, mother’s maiden name or other information on public social media sites. Fraudsters can use that information to decipher your passwords. Also, if you use a smart phone, be careful not to list personal information, account numbers and passwords. If you lose or misplace your phone, a potential fraudster could easily access your information.
- Ask questions whenever you are asked for personal information that seems inappropriate for the transaction. Ask how the information will be used and if it will be shared. Ask how it will be protected. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, don’t give your personal information.
- Remember: Banks will not ask you to verify your personal account information over the phone or via e-mail if they initiated the call. They already have that on file. If you receive a phone call or e-mail asking you to verify such information, don't respond. Instead, contact the bank directly.
- Don’t leave sensitive documents containing personal information where people can see it. Shred or destroy papers containing your personal information, including credit card offers and convenience checks that you don’t use.
- Retrieve your postal mail promptly, and discontinue delivery while you’re out of town. Whenever possible, mail bills from your post office, not your mail box. Stop or reduce junk mail or unsolicited credit card offers by visiting the National Credit Bureau’s opt out website at: www.optoutprescreen.com or call them at (888) 567-8688.
- Open your bills and bank statements right away. Check carefully for any unauthorized charges or withdrawals and report them immediately. Call if bills don’t arrive on time—it may mean that someone has changed contact information to hide fraudulent charges.
- Check your credit reports. Review your credit report at least once a year. Check for changed addresses and fraudulent charges. To find out more about credit reports, your rights as a consumer, access the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the FACT Act at www.ftc.gov/credit.
- Protect your computer by following good security practices. Use strong passwords that are hard to guess. Use firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software that you update regularly. Download software only from sites you know and trust and only after reading all the terms and conditions. Don’t click on links in pop-up windows or in spam e-mail.
- Before you get rid of an old computer, make sure you destroy the information on the hard drive. Often that means destroying the drive itself because erasing data doesn’t completely eliminate it. Otherwise look for software tools that will completely wipe data from the hard drive.
“No method is foolproof,” said MacPhee. “Identity thieves are devising new schemes all the time. But when you see how long it takes for someone to restore their good credit after being victimized, then you know that any steps you can take to prevent identity theft are definitely worth the extra time.”
For more information, visit the Identify Theft Web page at www.icba.org.
Tips for Preventing Elder Financial Abuse
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) and County Bank are providing tips for preventing the disturbing trend of elder financial abuse.
“Community bankers nationwide serve a vital role in protecting members of our communities, including the elderly who are all too often targets of financial abuse,” said ICBA Chairman John H. Buhrmaster, president and CEO of 1st National Bank of Scotia, N.Y. “It’s important for all Americans to be aware of this very real issue and learn about ways to help prevent elder financial abuse from happening to themselves or their loved ones. If you have questions or concerns about the safety and security of your finances, you should speak to your local community banker right away.”
ICBA, SHCPF and County Bank offer the following suggestions on ways to prevent elder financial abuse:
- Secure all of your valuables in a bank safety deposit box. These valuables can include your Social Security card, passports, credit card account numbers, will and other legal documents, financial statements and medical records.
- Do not give financial information to callers that contact you and claim to be from established organizations such as your bank or credit card companies, especially if they ask you to wire funds or send them private information. If you are concerned about your bank account, contact County Bank directly.
- Check your bank accounts and bill statements carefully. You can check them online so you can zoom in easily in case you need to make the statement larger for easier reading. If you notice unauthorized charges, alert County Bank immediately.
- Do not give your personal information, such as bank account numbers or PINs, to anyone in a phone call, letter, email, fax or in a text message.
- Have enough money set aside to support yourself and your immediate family for at least six months in case of an emergency. Your local community banker can help create a financial roadmap for you and your family
Don’t Fall for Fake Check Scams
If someone you don’t know wants to pay you by check but wants you to wire some of the money back, beware! It’s a scam that could cost you thousands of dollars.
How do fake check scams work? There are many variations of the scam. It usually starts with someone offering to:
- Buy something you advertised for sale;
- Pay you to work at home;
- Give you an “advance” on a sweepstakes you’ve won; or
- Give you the first installment on the millions you’ll receive for agreeing to transfer money in a foreign country to your bank account for safekeeping.
The scammers often claim to be in other countries and say it’s too difficult to pay you directly, so they’ll have someone in the U.S. who owes them money send you a check or money order.
The amount of the check or money order may be more than you’re owed, so you’re instructed to deposit it and wire the rest to the scammer or to someone else. Or you’re told to wire some of the money back to pay a fee to claim your “win - nings.” In some cases, the scammer promises to transfer money directly to your bank account.
You provide your account information for an electronic fund transfer. Instead, the crook sends your bank a phony check or money order with instructions to deposit it in your account. When you check your balance, it looks like the funds have arrived. Whatever the set-up, the result is the same—after you’ve wired the money, you find out that the check or money order has bounced.
Can my bank tell if the check or money order is good or not when I deposit it?
These fakes look so real that even bank tellers may be fooled. Some are counterfeit money orders, some are phony cashiers checks, and others look like they’re from legitimate business accounts. The companies whose names appear may be real, but someone has dummied up the checks without their knowledge.
Under federal law, banks must make the funds you deposit available quickly—usually within one to five days. But just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good, even if it looks like a cashier’s check or money order from the post office. Forgeries can take weeks to be discovered.
If the check or money order turns out to be fake, isn’t that the bank’s problem?
You are responsible for the checks and money orders you deposit. That’s because you’re in the best position to determine how risky the trans - action is—you’re the one dealing directly with the person who is arranging for the payment to be sent to you. When a check or money order bounces, you owe your bank the money you withdrew. The bank may be able to take it from your accounts or sue you to recover it. In some cases, law enforcement authorities could bring charges against the victims because it may look like they were involved in the scam and knew the check or money order was counterfeit.
How do these scammers find their victims?
Fake check scammers scan newspaper and online advertisements for people listing items for sale, and check postings on online job sites from people seeking employment. They place their own ads with phone numbers or email addresses for people to contact them. And they call or send emails or faxes to people randomly, knowing that some will take the bait.
How can I protect myself from fake check scams?
There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back—that’s a clear sign that it’s a scam. If a stranger wants to pay you for something, insist on a cashiers check for the exact amount, prefera bly from a local bank or one with a branch in your area.
If you think someone is trying to pull a fake check scam, don’t deposit it—report it! Contact the National Consumers League’s National Fraud Information Center, www.fraud.org or (800) 876- 7060. There are also more detailed tips about fake check scams in the telemarketing and Internet fraud sections of the Web site.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of fraudulent e-mails that have the appearance of being from the FDIC.
The e-mails appear to be sent from various "@fdic.gov" e-mail addresses, such as "firstname.lastname@example.org," "email@example.com," or "firstname.lastname@example.org."
They have subject lines that read: "FDIC: Your business account" or "FDIC: About Your Business Account."
The e-mails are addressed to "Business Customer" or "Business Owner" and state "We have important information about your bank" or "…financial institution." They then ask recipients to "Please click here to find details."
They conclude with, "This includes information on the acquiring bank (if applicable), how your accounts and loans are affected, and how vendors can file claims against the receivership."
These e-mails and the link included are fraudulent and were not sent by the FDIC. Recipients should consider the intent of these e-mails as an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users' computers. Recipients should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mails and should NOT, under any circumstances, provide any personal financial information through this media.
Financial institutions and consumers should be aware that other subject lines and modifications to the e-mails may occur over time. The FDIC does not directly contact consumers in this manner nor does the FDIC request personal financial information from consumers.
For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's Website at https://www.fdic.gov/news.
Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)
Paper copies of FDIC Special Alerts may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 1-877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200.
Cell Phone Text Scam
Don't believe a cell phone text message saying there's a problem with your bank account, said the Delaware Attorney General's office in a consumer alert.
The state's Consumer Protection Unit issued the alert recently on what it calls a new scam -- actually a new twist on the more common e-mail "phishing" scam. Here's how it works: A text message, also called an SMS (for short message service), arrives on your cell phone with the news there's a problem with a bank account. The text message also includes a toll-free number to call or a 4 digit reply text number.
The message looks legitimate, but the phone number will connect you with a scammer who tries to get your personal information. The scam is known as "SMiShing."
The agency recommended consumers contact the customer service number of the company that sent the message to verify if it's legitimate, instead of trusting that the number is real. The Consumer Protection Unit urged Delaware residents to file a complaint with the state if they fall for the scam.
Here is another example of a Cell Phone Scam
You receive a text message or an automated phone call on your cell phone saying there’s a problem with your bankaccount. You’re given a phone number to call or a website to log into and asked to provide personal identifiable information—like a bankaccount number, PIN, or credit card number—to fix the problem.
But beware: It could be a “smishing”or “vishing” scam…and criminals on the other end of the phone or website could be attempting to collect your personal information in order to help themselves to your money. While most cyber scams target your computer, smishing and vishing scams target your mobile phone, and they’re becoming a growing threat as a growing number of Americans own mobile phones. (Vishing scams also target land-line phones.)
“Smishing”—a combination of SMS texting and phishing—and “Vishing”—voice and phishing—are two of the scams the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is warning consumers about as we head into the holiday shopping season. These scams are also a reminder that cyber crimes aren’t just for computers anymore.
Here’s how smishing and vishing scams work: criminals set up an automated dialing system to text or call people in a particular region or area code (or sometimes they use stolen customer phone numbers from banks or credit unions). The victims receive messages like: “There’s a problem with your account,” or “Your ATM card needs to be reactivated,” and are directed to a phone number or website asking for personal information. Armed with that information, criminals can steal from victims’ bank accounts, charge purchases on their charge cards, create a phony ATM card, etc.
Sometimes, if a victim logs onto one of the phony websites with a smartphone, they could also end up downloading malicious software that could give criminals access to anything on the phone. With the growth of mobile banking and the ability to conduct financial transactions online, smishing and vishing attacks may become even more attractive and lucrative for cyber criminals.
Here are a couple of recent smishing case examples:
- Account holders at one particular credit union, after receiving a text about an account problem, called the phone number in the text, gave out their personal information, and had money withdrawn from their bankaccounts within 10 minutes of their calls.
- Customers at a bank received a text saying they needed to reactivate their ATM card. Some called the phone number in the text and were prompted to provide their ATM card number, PIN, and expiration date. Thousands of fraudulent withdrawals followed.
ICBA and County Bank offer the following tips to help consumers prepare before an emergency occurs:
- Keep marriage and family records, including adoption papers, property deeds, birth certificates, wills, insurance policies, passports, Social Security cards, immunization records, credit card account numbers, car titles or lease contracts, bank and investment account numbers and three years of tax returns in a bank safe-deposit box. Put each of these documents in a sealed plastic bag to keep out moisture.
- Make and safeguard additional official copies of critical documents such as birth certificates, adoption papers, marriage certificates and the deed to your home for safekeeping and notify a trustee, close relative or attorney where your important financial information is located.
- Keep names and contact numbers for executors, trustees and guardians in a safe place, either in your safe deposit box or with a close relative.
- Take an inventory and keep a list of household valuables. Taking photographs of these items can help as well.
- Start and regularly contribute to an emergency fund that can cover at least three to four months of expenses. This fund should be separate from your savings or investment account.
- Include extra cash in your home emergency kit, which should include a three-day supply of water, food, a first aid kit, can opener, flashlights, radio and extra batteries.
- Identify the records that you keep only on computer. They may not be available if electrical power fails, so make a printout and safeguard them or back them up to an external device or web storage facility
- The web can serve as a supplement or back up to paper copies. Scanned or other electronic documents can be attached to e-mails and stored in your e-mail account or with secure online back-up services.
- If you feel flood insurance may be necessary to protect your home, start shopping around. Contact your insurance agent or visit FEMA’s website at http://www.fema.gov for more information.
“If you have any questions about how to better prepare for a natural disaster, please ask us,” said Dave Gillan, Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of County Bank. “We are here to help you better understand how to organize your finances, important documents and valuables before a crisis strikes.”
For more information and resources, including a copy of an Emergency Financial Preparedness Guide, visit the consumer education and resources section of www.icba.org. For additional information about the National Preparedness Coalition, visit www.ready.gov.
Banking-Related Things To Do
- Apply for an ATM card. ATM cards provide access to your checking account and allows for you to withdraw cash from participating ATM machines.
- Apply for a Debit Card. For even greater access to your checking account, Debit Cards give you the ability to make purchases, to make transactions where checks may not be accepted and withdraw cash from any ATM location.
- Know your PIN number for your ATM Card or Debit Card. If you do not know your PIN number call 1-866-633-5293 from your home phone or a previously provided cell number, you may also visit or contact your local branch to request a new PIN. If you lose your card, the Lost/Stolen card hotline number is 1-302-226-9800 or after business hours 800-500-1044.
- Use County Bank’s Complimentary Online Banking at www.CountyBankDel.com With Online Banking you can check your account balances, transfer funds between accounts, make loan payments, research check status, and more. All you need is Internet access. Existing Online Banking customers, make sure to access your account at least every six months in order for it to remain active. If you do not have Online Banking make sure you enroll BEFORE a storm.
- Once you are enrolled in Online Banking you may download our Mobile Banking app for iPhone and Android devices. Access your account information, transfer funds, and pay your bills (for eligible customers) from a smartphone or tablet with Internet access.
- Sign up for Online Bill Pay from County Bank. Just like Online Banking, you can stay on top of your bills no matter where you are. No more worries about falling behind on your payments or worrying if an interrupted mail service will deliver your payments on time. With Online Bill Pay you simply go online and set up your bills to be paid—you're in control!
- Keep our 24-Hour Telephone Banking number handy - 1-302-226-9523 locally or 1-877-226-9800 long-distance toll free. With one call from any touch-tone telephone, you can get information on your accounts to monitor recent account activity, transfer funds between accounts and check balances.
- Set up Direct Deposit with your employer, government agency or retirement service. In the event mail service is disrupted, you are displaced from your employer, or simply have no way to get to the bank, Direct Deposit ensures that your deposit is automatically and securely deposited into your account for you. You can have payroll deposits, Federal government benefits, pension, annuity, and more automatically deposited into your account.
- Bring important documents and essentials with you when evacuating such as your driver’s license, insurance papers, checks, ATM/Debit Card, deposit slips, account information, tax papers, credit cards, utility bills (for proof of residence) and any prescriptions. And remember that even if your cell phone service goes out, text messaging may still be available.
County Bank encourages you to prepare yourselves and your family in case of an influenza pandemic. You can access Family Disaster Planning by clicking on the link http://www.flu.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources
It is important to be prepared in advance of a pandemic. Maybe you don’t want to purchase all the supplies at one time. Try purchasing a little at a time, rotating your supplies over time with newer purchases.
If County Bank is forced to close one or more branches, branch closings will be listed on our bank website and posted at all the branch locations. Along with other closings, look for branch closings on your local television or radio stations. Don’t worry, you will still have twenty-four hour access to the bank through your online banking and XPRESS Banking at 302-226-9523 or 302-226-9526. You will have access to your cash through any local ATM. Use your local County Bank ATM for fee-free service.
COVID – 19
Visit https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/ for the most current State of Delaware information and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for national (CDC) Center for Disease Control information.
Individuals with general questions about coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text your ZIP code to 898-211 for deaf and hard of hearing. For those with specific health-related questions, email us at DPHCall@delaware.gov.
Contact your primary health care provider if you have concerns about symptoms, particularly those with fever and coughing or shortness of breath.
What you can do to mitigate the impact of COVID-19:
- Wear a face covering in public
- Maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet from others)
- Practice good hand hygiene
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow
- Clean frequently used surfaces often
- Don’t go to work if you are sick
- Anyone can get tested for COVID-19 – even those with no symptoms
- Help us stop the virus; answer the call from our contact tracers – the phone number they call from is (302) 446-4262, or your caller ID will say DE PUBLIC HEALTH)
Will the seasonal flu shot protect me against pandemic influenza?
- No, it won't protect you against pandemic influenza. But flu shots can help you to stay healthy.
- Get a flu shot to help protect yourself from seasonal flu.
- Get a pneumonia shot to prevent secondary infection if you are over the age of 65 or have a chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma. For specific guidelines, talk to your health care provider or call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hotline at 1-800-232-4636.
- Make sure that your family's immunizations are up-to-date.
Take common-sense steps to limit the spread of germs. Make good hygiene a habit.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues in a waste basket.
- Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve if you don't have a tissue.
- Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Stay at home if you are sick.
- Eat a balanced diet. Be sure to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products. Also include low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and beans. Drink lots of water and go easy on salt, sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat.
- Exercise on a regular basis and get plenty of rest.