Thanks to the Internet, access to information, entertainment, credit and financial services and everyday goods and services is readily available. However, the same Internet can provide someone the opportunity to fraudulently access your personal information and damage your finances and reputation.
The security of your information is paramount to First Carolina Bank , Member FDIC (“The Bank”) with whom you may have an Account and its service providers including, BMTX, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BM Technologies, Inc. (“BM Technologies, Inc.”). We are here to help protect your money. Here is some valuable information and resources that can help you minimize your risks while you are using the Internet and to help keep your identity, online and offline, secure.
Should you become a victim of identity theft, we have included additional tools and contacts to assist you. Please be sure to contact BM Technologies, Inc. immediately at 866-309-7454.
Fraudsters use Twitter to recruit “mules” to commit banking fraud. It’s not easy money: it’s a felony. The Bank and BM Technologies, Inc. are working with law enforcement to break these rings. Read more here: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/fbi-joins-international-campaign-to-stop-money-mules-121718
Fraud rings pay “mules" to open bank accounts to transfer and help hide money raised through drug- and human-trafficking. Helping commit this fraud is itself a crime. You can read more about the scam here: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/fbi-joins-international-campaign-to-stop-money-mules-121718
Security is our top priority. We are committed to keeping your customer information secure. We use a combination of state-of-the-art technology and best practices to help protect the security of your online session.
The secure sign-on technology adds a layer of security for your personal and financial information while you are banking online.
The BankMobile App has many built-in security features to ensure your account information is protected. These security features include authentication checks via strong passwords before access to account information is granted. Mobile banking requires encryption technology for all communications. Personal or financial information is retrieved only when requested and is not stored on your phone – information is not at risk if your phone is ever lost or stolen.
Under no circumstances would The Bank or BM Technologies, Inc. ever contact you by telephone, send you an email or text message, or written communication on an unsolicited basis requesting that you validate or provide your online banking User ID and password, your social security number, account number, or date of birth.
Should you receive any type of unsolicited requests supposedly from The Bank or BM Technologies, Inc. asking for your personal information please reach out to the contact center at 866-309-7454 immediately.
Never respond to requests for personal or account information online or over the phone. When your social security number is requested as an identifier, ask if you can provide alternate information. Watch out for convincing imitations of banks, card companies, charities and government agencies. Use legitimate sources of contact information to verify requests for information; such as your financial institution’s official website or the telephone number listed on statements.
Install anti-virus software on your computer and keep it updated. Use the latest version of your web browser. Install security patches and software updates as soon as they are ready to install.
Use unique and hard-to-guess passwords. Try using a password that consists of a combination of numbers, and letters (both upper case and lower case, and special characters).
Wireless networks may not provide as much security as wired Internet connections. Many wireless networks in public areas like airports, hotels and restaurants reduce their security to make it easier for individuals to access these networks.
Not only is going paperless good for the environment, it can help prevent mail theft. Enroll in electronic statements, use direct deposit and make bill payments online.
If you suspect your personal information has been used to commit fraud or theft, contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus and request that a “fraud alert” be placed on your file. At the same time, request a copy of your credit report. Follow up in writing and include copies (not originals) of your documentation, such as the police report or your credit card statement with circles around the items in question.
Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each company. Follow up in writing, and include copies (NOT originals) of supporting documents. It’s important to notify credit card companies and banks in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, and request a return receipt so you can document what the company received and when. Keep a file of your correspondence and enclosures.
Ask for a copy of the report. Credit card companies may need proof of the crime to erase the debts caused by identity theft.
By sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC, you will provide important information that can help law enforcement officials across the nation track down identity thieves and stop them. The FTC can refer victims’ complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces.
You can file a complaint online at www.ftc.gov/idtheft, by phone at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261, or by mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Be sure to call the Hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.
Follow these best practices to keep your information and money safe.
• Never leave your computer, tablet or mobile phone unattended when using any online banking, mobile banking or other financial services.
• After you have completed your Internet or mobile banking session, it is good practice to always log off and close the browser or app to ensure that the session is disconnected.
• It is also good practice to lock your computer, tablet or mobile device whenever you plan to leave it unattended.
• Never use publicly available information to create your password. Examples to avoid are common names or phrases, birthdates, social security numbers, etc. And of course, it goes without saying that you should never reveal your password to anyone.
Mobile or smartphones and tablets have become commonplace and, in some cases, have replaced computers for some users. These tips will help you secure the device and the information it stores and transmits.
• When choosing a mobile phone, consider its security features. Ask about encryption, the ability to remotely wipe the device if lost or stolen and if the device can be password protected.
• Enable all security features present on the phone. Make the password reasonably complex. See Password section above.
• Think carefully before posting your phone number on a public website. This information could be used to target your device by an attacker.
• Be choosy when selecting and installing apps. There may be a virus or Trojan attached to that app. Obtain apps only from the authorized stores. i.e. Apple App Store and Android Store.
• Always maintain physical control of your mobile phone. Due to the portability of this device it is easy to lose or have stolen.
• Don’t root or jailbreak the device. Altering the firmware may prevent the device from receiving operating system updates which contain security updates as well as feature upgrades.
• Delete all information before discarding your phone.
Create a strong password using the following tips:
• At least 8 characters.
• A mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
• Something other than your username or real name.
• Is significantly different from previous passwords.
• Is changed every 60 days at a minimum.
Whether using Windows, iOS (Apple) or Linux as your operating system, follow these tips to secure the device you use to surf the Internet:
• Enable the firewall. A firewall is like locking the front door to your house—it helps keep intruders (in this case, hackers and malicious software) from getting in.
• Configure the operating system to automatically download and install updates.
• Install robust security software, i.e. anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware capable, and configure to automatically update.
These tips will help you avoid falling for a phish (lured to a fraudulent website to enter personal information) or a pharm (redirects your browser to a fake website that appears to be the legitimate website):
• Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for financial information. Your financial institution will never ask for any personal information in an email.
• Do not click on links in email messages. Get in the habit of copying and pasting the URL into your browser.
• Do not open email attachments from addresses you don’t recognize.
• Ensure the website is secured with https in the address bar before entering any sensitive information.
• Regularly log on and check your accounts to ensure all transactions are legitimate.
Follow these tips to protect your home wireless network as well as accessing wireless networks when traveling:
• Change the default username and password on your wireless router. Fraudsters and hackers can obtain this default information with a simple Google search.
• Enable WPA2 security at a minimum, on your wireless router. Create a key or password that will be difficult to guess. A longer password results in stronger encryption which masks the transmitted data.
• When connecting to a public wireless network, do not access any website that would require you to input sensitive information. These wireless networks, while convenient, typically do not have any security enabled. Use these networks with extreme caution.
• When surfing with a public computer, be mindful of who is around you. Do not give them an opportunity to “shoulder surf” and observe your web session.
For further information go to http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room.