Bank Better Resources
Protect Your Information!
Below are helpful tips to protect your information while using your computer or mobile device.
- Use a Code Word. A Code Word is a secret word or phrase that only you and your bank know. Adding a Code Word to your account provides an additional verification method to ensure your information stays protected.
- Use our Mobile Banking app. Our mobile banking app allows you to stay on top of your accounts and quickly discover any suspicious activity.
- Use Strong Passwords. Use a strong mix of characters and don’t use the same password for multiple sites. Keep your passwords secure and don’t share your passwords with others. If your device allows, add a biometric login (Fingerprint ID or Facial Recognition) for additional security when logging into your mobile banking and mobile device.
- Use Account Alerts. Set alerts on your online banking or mobile app. Alerts can be received via app notification, text alert, or email. Knowing when transactions, especially debit card purchases, post to your account can help you prevent losses.
- Use Secure Wi-Fi. Limit the type of activity you conduct on public wireless networks, such as logging into your bank account or making online purchases. Entering sensitive information on these networks could open you up to being hacked.
- Don’t Follow Links. Links in emails and texts are often how cyber-criminals try to steal information or infect devices. Never click on a link sent to you in an unsolicited or unfamiliar text message or email.
- Manage Your Debit Card. Use Manage My Cards on your mobile app to turn your debit card off when not in use. Set limits on the amounts and types of transactions that can be approved.
- Research Before You Buy. When using a new website for purchases, read reviews and see if other consumers have had positive experiences. Make sure the site is security enabled. Look for URLs with https:// to help keep your information secure.
- Install Antivirus Software. Use antivirus software for additional protection against malware and other viruses that can harm your device or steal your information.
- Always Update Your Device’s Operating System When Prompted. These updates are meant to protect your device and your information.
- Keep Your Contact Information Updated. Notify the bank of any changes to your address, phone number or email address. If we spot an issue with your account, we want to get in touch with you the quickest way possible.
- Go Paperless. Get your bank statements online quickly and securely, without worrying about paper statements being lost or stolen in the mail.
To learn more about protecting your identity visit:
If you have lost or misplaced your debit card, please contact us immediately at:
DURING BUSINESS HOURS
Contact your local branch. Find your local branch here.
TURN YOUR CARD OFF! You can turn your debit card off using our Western States Bank mobile app! Download the FREE Western States Bank mobile app from your favorite app store to log in or enroll, then click on "manage my cards" from the homepage to turn your debit card on / off or customize other security or transaction restrictions for your debit card.
Fake check scams are another way fraudsters try to steal money and information. Fake checks can come in many forms, including business or personal checks, cashier's checks, money orders, or checks delivered electronically.
Fraudsters can be persuasive - using scare tactics, offering deals that sound too good to pass up, or by building a relationship with the victim. Below are just a few examples of what a check scam might look like.
- Employment Scams: People applying for certain work from home jobs online are targeted by fraudsters that present themselves as being employed by the company they are applying with . The fraudster sends the job applicant a fraudulent check via FedEx with specific instructions on how to deposit the check. The fraudster's goal is to get the fraudulent check to post and then have the applicant wire the funds elsewhere. The applicant follows instruction and wires the funds out. The fraudulent check is then returned, leaving the applicant out the funds that were wired.
- Sweepstakes Winner Scams: Sweepstakes "winners" are given a check and told to send money to cover taxes, shipping and handling charges, or processing fees. The "winner" then pays for the additional fees, only to have the sweepstakes check returned as fraudulent and the "winnings" debited from their account.
- Overpayment Scams: A fraudster buys something that a seller has listed online. The fraudster "accidentally" sends the seller a check for too much money and then asks the seller to refund the balance. The seller sends the refund and the sold item to the fraudster - which means the seller ends up losing the purchase amount, the "refund" amount, and the item that was for sale when the payment is returned.
- Mobile Deposit Scams: Fraudsters state that money is due to an individual. The individual is instructed to provide their account number and, in some cases, their mobile banking credentials. The fraudster accesses the individual's bank account using mobile banking and uses mobile deposit to deposit a fraudulent check. The fraudster then transfers the funds to another account via wire, Person-to-Person transfer (Venmo, Paypal, Zelle), or other electronic transfer. The fraudulent check is then returned after all of the funds have been transferred out of the account. The individual is left with the loss.
When a fake check is deposited, the funds may show as available in your account. It can take weeks for your bank to be notified that the deposited check is fraudulent. By that time, the fraudsters are long gone with your money and you are left to cover any funds that were transferred out, including fees for transfers and overdrafts.
Be vigilant in protecting your identity and account information. Do your research before accepting or sending money and immediately report any suspected fraud to Western States Bank.
Learn more by reading the Federal Trade Commission's How To Spot, Avoid, and Report Fake Check Scams.
Important Notice: Links to the interactive calculators and information provided below are made available to you as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice. We can not and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.
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