Please note, the next meeting of Bay State Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, originally scheduled for April, has been postponed. More information on a new meeting date will be announced in the coming weeks.
We’re always looking out for our customers, which is why helping you stay safe and is extremely important to us.
While we remain vigilant and monitor potential threats every day, there’s a lot you can do too! Take a look at the information below to learn more about how you can help keep yourself safe. If you have any questions, or if you feel you’ve fallen victim to fraud, contact us immediately, by visiting one of our convenient branches, or calling us directly at (800) 244-8161
Most of us depend on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, wearables, smart appliances, emails, texts, and any number of other devices and electronic mediums today, to the point we feel like we can’t get by without them. We use these technologies for everything and anything. It’s that dependence that scammers and hackers look to exploit. If you acknowledge that technology related attacks can happen to you, you are one step closer to defending yourself from fraud and identity theft.
Passwords are the lock on the door to your computer or device or online banking account. Simple passwords can be cracked by a crafty hacker. Avoid using birthdays, maiden names, and other personal information as passwords. Remember those credit bureau data breaches? Acknowledge that your baseline personal information may already be compromised. Instead, consider using things like passphrases for your password, as those are typically harder to crack. Include capital letters and symbols and NEVER use the same password on multiple devices or accounts. An example of a passphrase is something like “1m#appytoCu2!” (but come up with your own!). Make sure to change your password on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is every 90 days. Biometrics like face or fingerprint recognition make locking down devices like a smart phone easier, simpler, and more secure. Take advantage.
Secure your debit card via your mobile device with Card Valet.
Card Valet is available now on our mobile app BSSB Mobile. Read more here.
Protect Your Pin.
When using an ATM, cover the keypad while entering your PIN. Do not store your PIN number with your debit card or share your PIN with anyone. Debit card fraud often originates with someone the victim knows. And only use ATMs at banks you are familiar with.
Exercise Caution Online.
Don’t use public WiFi access for financial transactions. If you make an online purchase, make sure you are on a secure network.
If your EMV Debit MasterCard has been lost or stolen:
Call 1 (833) 337-6075. With this number, you will be able to cancel the missing card and order a replacement. You may also cancel your card on Online Banking.
Have you ever received an unexpected phone call from someone who claims they’re from a large company or government agency? Did they ask you for personal information in exchange for a windfall or to avoid something bad? Be careful. Scammers use “cold calls” and can be very convincing in getting your personal information and using it against you. When you receive unsolicited phone calls and they start asking for your personal information such as your social security number, your birthday, or anything unusually personal, hang up! Sometimes they might want you to log into your computer and go to a website. Don’t do it! No reputable company will ever call you directly and demand your personal information. Hang up and block the number. Use a publicly listed reputable number if you need to call back to confirm everything is okay. Be proactive in taking measures to help protect your personal information and your accounts.
Phishing entails a broad variety of schemes and many different methods of being carried out. One example is where criminals can infiltrate your device with an email or text message after passing themselves off as a person or business that might be familiar with. Their goal is get access to your device or to gain information that would allow them to steal your identity or access your accounts. Phishing emails usually have a “Call to Action,” and this can put pressure on you to do something that compromises your security. Ask yourself, is the communication really from someone you know? Is it from a company you have done business with? Are you expecting a message from them? Do they want you to click a link or open an attachment? These are examples of RED FLAGS, and you should immediately delete the message without visiting any links or opening any attachments. Opening links or attachments creates a gateway into your device allowing hackers to gain control and steal information. Does the sender’s email address use the same “Company.com” extension they claim to be part of or are there slight variations? If the address looks strange or different than what you are used to, you might be able to confirm it’s a scam. Even if the address appears valid, hackers can spoof email addresses and phone numbers to make them appear authentic. Phishing can happen to anyone on practically any device so stay vigilant!
Your mobile phone is as important as your wallet today. Safeguarding it from being used against you is important. Scam Calls, Phishing Emails & Texts can infect it just like any other computer. Make sure your phone’s apps are all up to date. Screen texts and make sure not to click on any unsolicited links. Make sure your phone has a lock with passwords and that only you have access to it. Avoid leaving apps open all the time, and make sure you fully log out when you’re finished so that someone can’t access your data later! Be mindful of apps that track your activities. Every device is different and has different settings, but you can control them by doing your homework and finding out how to change them.
There are no shortage of scams that are not covered here. In most situations however, a healthy dose of skepticism can protect you from becoming a victim. Thinking you can’t become a victim creates a false sense of security and puts you at greater risk. You must continue to be vigilant against these kinds of threats because in the field of technology they are always evolving. We’re only human and being a victim of a crime is not something to be ashamed of. If it does happen, notify your financial institutions immediately and consider placing a security freeze on your credit. Remember the saying: if it sounds too good to be true, it is. If someone demands something from you, remain calm. Retain your control and prevent your fear from taking over. Remain skeptical until you know for sure, and don’t blindly do something you’re not familiar with. Also remember: we are here for you. Your financial security is just as much our priority as it is yours. Never hesitate to give us a call or stop by a branch to talk about your situation.