How To Avoid a Scam
Recognizing these common signs of a scam could help PREVENT you from falling for one:
- Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.
- Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or a PRIZE.
- Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately.
- Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way.
What can you do to avoid a scam?
- Block unwanted calls and text messages.
- Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect.
- Resist the pressure to act immediately.
- Know how scammers tell you to pay, like gift cards and money transfers.
- Stop and talk to someone you trust.
Identity Theft Protection Tips
- Secure your Social Security number (SSN).
- Don’t share personal information (birthdate, Social Security number, or bank account number) because someone asks for it.
- Collect mail every day.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles.
- Use the security features on your mobile phone.
- Update sharing and firewall settings when you’re on a public wi-fi network.
- Review your credit card and bank account statements.
- Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired credit cards.
- Store personal information in a safe place.
- Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
- Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess.
- Review your credit reports once a year.
- Freeze your credit files with Equifax, Experian, Innovis, TransUnion, and the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange for free.
If you have been the victim of identity theft, please report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.
Mobile Device Security Tips
- Use a PIN, password, or pattern to lock your mobile device.
- Download apps only from trusted sources, such as Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store.
- Install a security app on your device that actively scans for viruses and malware.
- Delete unused apps taking up space on your device.
- Back up your data so information can be restored after a device upgrade or device issue.
- Keep your operating system and apps updated to ensure critical security updates are applied timely
- Log out of sites after you make a payment
- Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Location when not in use.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi as it is inherently insecure.
- Perform a factory reset when trading in your device.
- Contact your financial institution immediately to notify them of potential fraudulent activity and a lost/stolen device.
Password Security Tips
- Never use personal information such as names, phone numbers, addresses, or sensitive numbers (e.g. social security number, account number, birth dates, etc.).
- Avoid using single dictionary word passwords and instead go for multiple word passphrases.
- Add length to your password – the longer the password, the harder it is for someone to compromise it.
- Include complexity with your password by including uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Use unique passwords across all accounts to prevent someone from compromising multiple accounts.
- Set up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) where available to provide an additional layer of account security if your password is compromised.
- Store passwords in secure password management software that can be installed on your mobile device or computer.
- Periodically check to see if your credentials have been involved in a data breach by visiting https://haveibeenpwned.com/.
Computer/Laptop Security Tips
- Keep ALL software up-to-date, including operating system, browsers, office productivity software, PDF readers, and any other third-party software.
- Download and install software from reputable, reliable sources.
- Use a firewall to filter inbound and outbound traffic.
- Install anti-virus/anti-malware software onto your computer. Make sure that the latest definition updates are applied and periodic scans are scheduled.
- Back up important data off your computer.
- Never use a public computer to log into financial websites, including online banking, credit card sites, and retirement sites.
- Lock a computer if you need to step away from it to prevent someone else from accessing sensitive information.
- Remove the hard drive when disposing of a computer/laptop and properly destroy it.
Email Security Tips
- Use a complex password and enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – see Password Security Tips
- Routinely review email account settings associated with email forwarding, security, and privacy.
- Avoid giving out personal information – use secure email or a secure portal to ensure personal information is properly encrypted.
- Be on the lookout for suspicious activity (e.g. missing emails, large amount of unexpected emails from third parties, etc.).
- Identify potential phishing emails by recognizing common tactics by phishers:
- Misspellings or grammatical errors
- Sense of urgency conveyed (e.g. claiming a reward, threatening to shut off service, etc.)
- Action required (e.g. clicking on a link, opening an attachment, providing personal information, etc.).
- Email claims to be from a reputable source but the email domain is misspelled or unknown (e.g. gmail.com versus gma1l.com versus gmail.c0m).
ATM Safety Tips
- Protecting Your ATM/Debit Card:
- Keep your card in a safe place as you would cash, credit cards, or checks.
- Do not leave your card unsupervised at home or at work.
- Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) a secret.
- Never give your card number, PIN, or other sensitive information over the phone, in an email, or in a text message.
- Using an ATM:
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
- Have your card in hand as you approach the ATM.
- Visually inspect the ATM for possible skimming devices (e.g. sticky residue or adhesive, scratched or damaged pieces, loose or extra attachments on the card slot, etc.).
- Do not allow anyone to see you enter your PIN at the ATM.
- Take your receipts with you as you leave the ATM.
- Do not display or count the money you receive.
- At a drive-up ATM, roll up passenger windows and lock doors.
Caller ID Spoofing:
Dedham Savings has received reports of area residents receiving suspicious phone calls which appear to originate from Dedham Savings. Caller ID information can be faked to make it look like these calls are coming from a trusted entity. Dedham Savings typically will not call you asking for personal information. If such a call occurs, please hang up and call the Bank’s direct line, 781-329-6700, to talk to a representative to determine if the call is legitimate. If it was a legitimate call from us, we would never take issue with you requesting to call us back.
For more information on caller ID spoofing, please visit the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) web site. For more information on how to keep your banking information safe, please visit our security page.
Text Smishing Alert:
Some area residents have received suspicious texts that appear to be from Dedham Savings. Remember that sender info can be faked. If you receive a suspicious text that appears to be from Dedham Savings, do not respond. Instead, call the Bank directly at 781-329-6700. Read on to learn more about Smishing.
Smishing is a mashup of SMS – for “short message service.” A typical smishing scam message may seem like it’s from a bank and may include a link or phone number to bait you into clicking or calling. Don’t take the bait! Follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim of Smishing:
- Never click links, reply to text messages or call numbers you don’t recognize.
- Do not respond, even if the message requests that you “text STOP” to end messages.
- Delete all suspicious texts.
- Make sure your smart device operating system and security apps are updated to the latest version.
- Consider installing anti-malware software on your device for added security.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a smishing scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC.
Vishing (voice-phishing) is the fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving voice messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as bank details and credit card numbers.
Be wary of spoofed phone calls that show the bank’s name and/or phone number on caller ID and typically received in the evening or at night. Fraudsters making these calls are using social engineering tactics to allay customer concerns by stating that they are calling to help mitigate potential fraud and are requesting the customer provide their online banking credentials, including username, password, and multi-factor authentication information. Once the fraudster gains entry to the customer’s online banking profile, they can initiate payments, transfers, and other transactions. The fraudsters know that real-time fraud prevention processes will initiate automated phone calls to the consumers to verify these flagged transactions, and they preempt the automated calls by first calling the customer and advising the customer to respond favorably to subsequent automated calls by marking them as “no fraud.” Once this is achieved, the fraudulent transactions are allowed to proceed.
Remember that no bank, including Dedham Savings, will call you and request your account number, password, verification codes or social security number. Click to learn more about Vishing.