IMPORTANT NOTICE: Debit Card Scam
If you receive a pre-recorded telephone message that your debit card is in immediate danger of cancellation and requesting that you verify your account information, be aware that THIS IS A SCAM. If you receive a text message or are otherwise contacted by any organization asking you to call a phone number to unlock your debit card, be aware that THIS IS A SCAM. They will ask you to give them your card number, expiration date and PIN (Personal Identification Number). DO NOT PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION. Guaranty Bank would never ask you for this data as it is already in our system.
If you have already given this information, please contact GUARANTY BANK immediately at 417.520.0260 so that we may deactivate your card.
Bank Fraud and Identity Theft — Vigilance is the Key to Security
According to a recent Federal Trade Commission report, identity theft was the most common complaint received by the FTC in 2003 — the fourth consecutive year that identity fraud has led the list of consumer complaints. The most common examples of identity theft include credit card fraud, phone or utility fraud, bank fraud, employment-related fraud, government document or benefit fraud, and loan fraud. Identity theft can be extremely damaging. Victims can spend years and untold dollars trying to fix the mess made of their credit records and personal lives.
Protecting Yourself from Bank Fraud
A criminal doesn't have to steal your identity to steal from you. A stolen ATM card and PIN can be used to drain your bank account; stolen checks can be forged in your name; Check Card numbers can be used to purchase items from the Internet…the possibilities are, unfortunately, many. But you can protect yourself and minimize your risk of being a fraud victim. Follow the guidelines below to keep all of your Guaranty Bank accounts secure.
Bank Account Security
- Protect your personal and account information at all times. Treat this information as the valuable asset it is.
- Never give your checking account, credit card, or Social Security number to unknown callers or during telephone sales solicitations. Question suspicious e-mail or phone inquiries. Unless you initiate contact with us, Guaranty Bank will never request your personal information through e-mail, US mail, or by phone. Please notify us immediately if you receive odd calls or e-mails claiming to come from Guaranty Bank.
- Review your bank statements promptly and report any discrepancies or suspect transactions immediately.
- Report lost or stolen checks, ATM cards, or Check Cards as soon as you discover they are missing.
- Store your extra checks and deposit slips in a secure, locked location and properly destroy canceled checks or check imaging statements. Never leave your checkbook in your vehicle.
- Tear up or shred bank statements before throwing them away.
- Protect your checkbook and bank documents (including statements and canceled checks) so they aren't accessible to guests, contractors, workers, etc.
- When you close a bank account, be certain to destroy/shred your excess supply of checks and deposit slips.
- If your home is burglarized, check your supply of checks to determine if any may have been stolen. Look closely, since thieves will sometimes take only one or two checks from the middle or back of the book, making it more difficult to determine that they are missing.
- Purchase your checks and deposit slips from an approved check vendor to ensure the quality of your check stock and the integrity of your account documents. Use tamper-resistant checks.
- Do not share your login access codes for Internet Banking, Bill Payment, or Cash Management accounts.
Take advantage of our products and services designed to assist you in protecting your accounts. For additional information about products and services, please call 417.520.0260.
Protecting Your ATM Card, Check Card, and Credit Cards
- Never give out your ATM card, Check Card, or credit card PIN. Guaranty Bank will not ask for your PIN during the verification process. Review your bank and credit card statement for unauthorized use. Report any discrepancies or suspect transactions immediately.
- Be aware of the expiration date on your cards. If you do not receive a reissued card before the expiration date, notify customer service at 417.520.0260.
- Never write your PIN on your ATM card, Debit Card, or credit card. Memorize your PINs and do not give them out to anyone who is not an authorized user of the account.
- Avoid using obvious or easily obtainable information such as birth dates for your passwords or PINs. Cancel your unused cards.
- Protect your ATM card, Debit Card, and credit card receipts. Some receipts may bear the account number and expiration date.
- Special Considerations for Business Accounts
- Segregate financial responsibilities when possible — do not have the same person balance the bank statement and issue checks.
- Regularly review your account activity and canceled checks, especially if someone else reconciles your bank statement.
- Secure all reserve supplies of checks, deposit slips, and other banking documents in a locked compartment or safe.
- Limit access to a few authorized employees.
- Change the locks or combination when an employee leaves your company.
- Conduct random audits and enforce vacation policies (especially for employees who have access to financial records and documents).
- Consider using an electronic payment system for check disbursement rather than manually issuing checks.
- Familiarize yourself with your liability for fraud under the Uniform Commercial Code.
- Use a shredder to destroy all canceled checks and financial data that is no longer needed.
- Have your employees bonded when appropriate.
- Stay in touch with other businesses to share information regarding suspected fraud activity.
- Purchase your checks and deposit slips from an approved check vendor to ensure quality of your check stock and the integrity of your account documents.
- Do not share your login codes for Internet Banking, Bill Payment, or Cash Management with third-party providers. Change your passwords whenever an employee leaves your company.
Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft
How identity thieves get your personal information
- They steal wallets and purses containing your identification and credit and bank cards.
- They steal your mail, including your bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, and tax information.
- They complete a "change of address form" to divert your mail to another location.
- They rummage through your trash, or the trash of businesses, for personal data in a practice known as "dumpster diving."
- They fraudulently obtain your credit report by posing as a landlord, employer, or someone else who may have a legitimate need for, and legal right to, the information.
- They find personal information in your home.
- They use personal information you share on the Internet.
- They scam you, often through e-mail, by posing as legitimate companies or government agencies you do business with.
- They get your information from the workplace in a practice known as "business record theft" by: stealing files out of offices where you're a customer, employee, patient, or student; bribing an employee who has access to your files; or "hacking" into electronic files.
Skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your personal information, including:
- Skimming: They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing: They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages, or call you to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Pharming: They try to gain access to your computer by secretly installing spyware or other malicious software or trick you into handing over your passwords or other sensitive financial or personal information.
- Dumpster Diving: They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Changing Your Address: They divert your billing statements to another location by completing "change of address" forms.
- "Old Fashioned" Stealing: They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit cards/offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personal records from their employers, or bribe employees who have access.
How identity thieves use your personal information
- They call your credit card issuer and, pretending to be you, ask to change the mailing address on your credit card account. The imposter then runs up charges on your account. Because your bills are being sent to the new address, it may take some time before you realize there's a problem.
- They open a new credit card account, using your name, date of birth, and SSN. When they use the credit card and don't pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report.
- They establish phone or wireless service in your name.
- They open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account.
- They file for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they've incurred under your name, or to avoid eviction.
- They counterfeit checks or debit cards, and drain your bank account.
- They buy cars by taking out auto loans in your name.
- They give your name to the police during an arrest. If they're released from police custody, but don't show up for their court date, an arrest warrant is issued in your name.
Minimize Your Risk — Identity Theft Prevention Tips
By managing your personal information wisely, cautiously, and with an awareness of identity theft risks, you can help protect yourself. Below are some of the steps you can take to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of these crimes.
- Photocopy the IDs and credit cards in your wallet (both sides). Keep the copies, phone numbers for the credit card companies, and your account numbers in a safe place in your home.
- Do not give your personal information over the phone, via e-mail, or through a website unless you know the person and have initiated the contact.
- Shred financial documents, including old bank statements, invoices, and pre-approved credit card applications before you throw them away.
- Never use your mother's maiden name, your birth date, or the last four digits of your Social Security number as a password or PIN.
- Don't carry your Social Security card, birth certificate, or passport with you unless necessary.
- Don't print your driver's license number or Social Security number on your checks.
- Promptly remove incoming mail from your mailbox, and don't use an unlocked mailbox for outgoing bill payments.
- If regular bills or statements stop reaching you, take action. Call the company's customer service number. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail.
- Don't ignore suspicious charges. If suspicious or unauthorized charges appear on your bills or statements, call immediately to resolve the discrepancy.
- Never preprint your driver's license number or Social Security number on your checks.
- Periodically check your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report per year. Contact the following agencies to obtain your report.
- Shred or burn financial documents and paperwork with personal information before discarding them.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited e-mails; keep firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software up to date on your computer.
- Never give out any personal information, including user names, passwords, SSN and birth date.
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home or in a Safe Deposit box.
- Protect your Social Security Number. Don't write your Social Security Number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
- Don't give out personal information unless you know who you are dealing with.
- Don't use an obvious password such as birth date, mother's maiden name or last four digits of your Social Security Number.
- Create difficult passwords which include letters, numbers and symbols when possible.
- Avoid using public computers to access your Online Banking.
- Don't give any of your personal information to any Web sites that don't use encryption or other secure methods to protect it.
Internet Crime Prevention Tip — Online Shopping
The FBI urges consumers to protect themselves when shopping online:
- Be cautious if you lose an auction on an auction site but the seller contacts you later saying the original bidder fell through.
- Make sure websites are secure and authenticated before you purchase an item online. Use only well-known escrow services.
- Research to determine if a car dealership is real and how long it has been in business.
- Be wary if the price for the item you'd like to buy is severely undervalued; if it is, the item is likely fraudulent.
- Scan files before downloading them to your computer.
- Keep your computer software, including the operating system, updated with the latest patches.
- Ensure your anti-virus software and firewalls are current - they can help prevent malware infections.
What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen
- If you believe you have had your identity stolen, follow these steps to reduce the possible damage and loss. It is extremely important to quickly protect your credit rating and reduce your risk of loss.
- Immediately contact Guaranty Bank to close your existing accounts. Open new accounts with new account numbers, ATM cards, and PINs.
- Cancel all of your credit cards and request that new accounts be established.
- Report any suspected theft of your information to your local police and request copies of all police reports.
- Contact the three major reporting agencies by telephone and in writing to request a fraud investigation.
- Contact the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles to see if a new license has been requested or issued in your name.
- Keep copies of everything.
Who To Contact If You're A Victim
If your name, account number, or any form of personal identification has been used in a fraudulent scheme or transaction you may wish to contact the appropriate agencies listed below.
Guaranty Bank Customer Service
Report any fraudulent activity on your deposit account, such as lost or stolen checks and other unauthorized transactions found in your account statement. Report stolen ATM cards, Debit Cards, credit cards, or any suspicious or fraudulent use of these accounts. Contact us at 417.520.0260.
Request a copy of your credit bureau report and look for unknown inquiries or approved credit. Request a statement be placed in your record that no further credit be approved unless you are contacted directly before approval is granted.
PO Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374 www.equifax.com Order Credit Report: 800.685.1111 Report Fraud: 800.525.6285
PO Box 2002 Allen, TX 75013 www.experian.com Order Credit Report: 888.397.3742 Report Fraud: 888.397.3743
PO Box 2000 Chester, PA 19022 www.transunion.com Order Credit Report: 800.888.4213 Report Fraud: 800.680.7289
Merchant Check Guarantee Firms Report any bank account set up fraudulently under your name to:
National Processing Company: 800.526.5380
SCAN (Deluxe): 800.262.7771
These agencies will place information in their system about checks that are reported stolen or lost. They will also make note of accounts that were opened for the purpose of true name fraud. This information is then made available to merchants who subscribe to their service.
Fraudulent Charges on Your Credit Accounts
Report fraudulent charges on your Guaranty Bank credit account or contact the credit card issuers. Review your account activity to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions. If you subscribe to a credit card protection service, contact them to report any fraudulent or unauthorized transactions.
Social Security Services
Report victimization and improper use of your Social Security number to the SSA Hotline at 800.269.0271. The Social Security Hotline enables a victim of identity theft to report misuse of a Social Security number. You may also visit your local Social Security office to obtain further information.
United States Post Office
Report any crime involving stolen mail or use of the mail in furtherance of a fraud scheme to your local post office. You can also file a report with the U.S. Postal Inspector. Complete information on mail fraud is available at www.usps.com/postalinspectors.
Local Police Departments
File a police report with your local department, and keep a copy of the report with your records. Be persistent. Some police departments do not routinely file reports for identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center (877.ID.THEFT) maintains a program to assist victims of identity theft. The Center logs complaints and provides assistance and information to victimized consumers to rectify damage to their credit and personal reputation. Visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft for complete details.