The holidays bring lots of joy and cheer. Unfortunately, they also create opportunities for thieves to zero in on your newly acquired gifts.
Here is one simple tip to prevent the Grinch from making your home his next target.
After all the toys, gifts and gadgets have been unwrapped where do all the boxes and paper go? To the trash! For many of us that means curbside pick up by the local waste service, right? So, just for a moment, let’s say a thief is driving around your neighborhood looking for his next target. Does he pick the house with the leftover pizza boxes stacked outside or does something like this catch his eye?
Hmmm... Looks like this house has some fun toys inside that can easily be sold or traded for quick cash.
Here is the tip: Break down your boxes and don’t put them out until recycle pickup day.
A thief is less likely to stop and investigate this pile of trash.
By cutting up your boxes into small sections no one will know that you have a 60” TV or a set of power tools or even the new bikes Santa brought for your kids. Chances are that thief will pass you by and keep looking.
If you do happen to see someone suspicious in your neighborhood on trash day they just might be looking for an easy target with a high payoff. Notify the local police. It is better to be safe that sorry.
See also 10 Vacation Safety Tips
Social Media Marketing Specialist at Extraco Banks
Connect with Justin on LinkedIn
New evidence of gas station pump skimmers is popping up all over the country and just recently gas pump skimmers were discovered in Waco and other cities here in Central Texas.
What makes these skimmers different is that they are not surface devices. They are being installed inside the gas pump and contain Bluetooth technology to transmit card information remotely.
At a glance it is almost impossible to tell if the gas pump you are using contains a skimming device. Master keys to the pump are being copied and used to gain access to the internal electronics of the pump. Many states are implementing security seals or stickers that go over the key lock to prevent tampering. If you discover a broken seal or a lock that appears to have been tampered with notify the gas station attendant and the local police. Don’t swipe or insert your debit or credit card!
Here are some safety tips you should consider when buying gas:
- Pay inside the store when possible.
- Use pumps that are closest to the building. Scammers tend to tamper with pumps with an obstructed view of the station.
- If the security seal over the pump door is broken or voided don't use that pump.
- Be aware of occupied cars parked away from the building. Scammers are often waiting nearby to remotely retrieve card information.
- Monitor your online bank statements regularly and report unauthorized charges. If you notice something suspicious contact your bank immediately.
- Download the Extraco Fraud Alert App for easy remote monitoring of your account.
Social Media Marketing Specialist at Extraco Banks
Connect with Justin on LinkedIn
Warning: Phishing Scams are on the rise. So how do you avoid the trap?
What is Phishing?
How do you spot it?
What do you do if you think you are being scammed?
Let’s look at how to avoid phishing in the first place.
- It is a good idea to change your logins or passwords frequently. Information gets sold or shared frequently without you even knowing it. By changing your logins frequently you prevent hackers from getting current information.
- Don’t use the same login or password for all of your accounts. I know it’s a pain to come up with 37 different passwords and remember them all, but once a hacker figures one out, chances are they will try it on other accounts of yours too.
- If you get an email or text message and you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open it and by all means don’t click that link or open any attachments. Opening an unknown file can release all kinds of viruses onto your computer or smart device. Have you ever heard of Ransomware or Trojan horse viruses? Once your device has been infected, undoing the damage is very difficult and extremely frustrating.
How can you tell if the notification is legitimate?
- The “From” line Spells Discover with the number 0 instead of the letter o. It also has a vague return email address.
- The ”To” line is not specific.
- The color scheme is correct but there is no Discover brand or logo.
- The text in the body is an unusual font with missing punctuation and all the “p”s are uppercase, even when used in the middle of words.
- Discover always uses the registered trademark after its name. It is missing here.
What should you do if you think you have been targeted by a phishing scam?
- Contact the company that is involved. Most companies have a fraud department that will investigate it and can confirm or deny that the issue is real.
- Contact your bank or financial institution and have them review your account for unauthorized activity.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau. They work to protect you and others from predatory scams.
- File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at www. FTC.gov/complaint.
1. Turn off the geo-tracking on your phone or smart device.
2. Similarly, wait until you return home before posting all those pictures on social media.
3. Have the post office hold your mail.
4. Make sure to take multiple forms of payment.
5. Download the Extraco Fraud Alert App.
6. Let your Bank or credit card company know what dates and where you plan to travel.
7. Keep a list of phone numbers of your bank and credit cards companies.
8. Be aware of your account balances before and after your trip.
9. Check with your insurance company before long trips or out of the country excursions to learn what items are covered should an accident occur.
10. You can get temporary data plans when on a cruise ship.
Are checks really safer than debit cards?
- Extraco Fraud Alerts allows customers to become part of our Fraud department, giving them the authority to deactivate their debit cards in the event of fraud or even a stolen or lost debit card.
- Because of the quick turnaround time we can save both the customers and bank time and money by stopping multiple transactions from occurring on the customer’s account.
- Again, this is a completely free service to our customers.
Tips on protecting your personal data Online, on your Mobile and in Social Media
Here are some tips on protecting your device and personal data in all of these channels.
U. S. Migration to chip-and-PIN, or EMV debit cards are in full swing!
GUIDE TO BUSINESS EMV IMPLEMENTATION
Decide how to upgrade your processing software and point-of-sale terminals
Know the difference between “Chip-and-PIN” and “Chip-and-Signature”
Implementation of Chip-Enabled Terminals
Communicating Changes to Customers
Risks of not migrating to chip enabled terminals
What is “Bank Jugging?”
How to prevent Bank Jugging:
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially if something seems strange as you enter the bank.
- Conceal your bank deposit bags, coin boxes or envelopes as you enter and leave the bank.
- If you feel like you are being followed, call 911 and drive to a police station.
- Take your bank bag or envelope with you into your next destination. Don’t hide it in your vehicle.
“Need cash quick with no strings attached? Have I got a deal for you?”
“Card Cracking”- How it works:
- Card Cracking involves online solicitation through social media: a tweet, Facebook, or Instagram post offering a way to “get some fast cash” often disguised as a scholarship opportunity.
- The thief then pressures the victim to grant access to a savings or checking account in exchange for some easy money on the back end.
- The thief deposits phony checks using a mobile deposit app.
- Now that the thief has access to account numbers and PIN information they withdraw some or all of the money in the account.
- The student is coached to then report the card to the bank as stolen in order to get the funds reimbursed.
Let’s start with what is Card Skimming actually is.
- A card reader attachment or “skimmer”
- A keypad overlay
- A hidden video camera
So how do you know if the ATM you are about to use has a skimmer device?
- Most card skimmers are affixed to the ATM. If the card reader looks different than the rest of the machine, try to jiggle it. If it moves or seems to protrude away from the machine, it may be a skimmer.
- Look for tiny cameras above or near the keypad. They can be as small as a pin hole. Check for molded pieces of plastic that don’t match the rest of the machine. They could be hiding a camera inside.
- Does the keypad seem too thick? If you use the same ATM frequently you may notice that the keypad looks or feels different.
- Look for parts or panels that don’t seem to fit correctly or don’t match the rest of the machine.
- A quick image search for “card skimmers” on your favorite internet browser will produce hundreds of photos of skimming devices.
How you can avoid skimmers.
- Frequent the same ATM when you need cash. The more often you use it, the more likely you are to notice when something seems wrong.
- Use your hand to cover your keystrokes as you type your PIN sequence. While this will make it difficult for a camera to capture your number, you may still be vulnerable to a keypad overlay.
- Beware of unbranded ATMs when possible. Dummy ATMs can be set up in high traffic areas where cash is needed quickly. You may scan your card and enter your PIN only to get an error message that the machine is not working properly. Odds are you just got “Skimmed”.
- Use ATMs in trusted places such as Banks & stores where surveillance cameras are present and might deter a thief trying to place a skimmer.