Online Security

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Fraud happens more frequently than you may expect. At Blackhawk Bank & Trust, we know how important it is to keep our customers informed and up-to-date on financial information that will impact you. On this online security page you will find a variety of notices, alerts, and other valuable communications between Blackhawk Bank & Trust and our customers.

View news releases regarding the most recent Equifax Security Breach.

For more information on the breach and for guidance on what to do if you’ve been exposed to or are experiencing identity theft, please see the websites below.


Identity theft, fraud, and online attacks unfortunately have become a risk of everyday business. We at Blackhawk Bank & Trust are doing everything we can to protect you from becoming a victim. In addition to using technology, policies, and procedures, we feel that knowledge is power. Our goal is to enable you the customer to protect yourself by learning how your identity can be attacked, how to identify such attacks, and how to protect yourself against those attacks.

PLEASE BE AWARE: When you enter a Blackhawk Bank & Trust branch contact us by phone or email, we will take precaution to ensure we protect your accounts by verifying you are who you say you are. These precautions are not meant to be an inconvenience to you, but to those who may try to steal your identity. An example of new security practices you may notice:

  • If you enter a branch wearing a hat or hood preventing us from seeing your entire face, we may ask you to remove it before we conduct a transaction with you.
  • We will ask for your driver’s license or other Photo ID. We will also make a photocopy of your license or photo ID. This may happen more than one time.
  • We will ask you security questions that only you should know.
  • We will not provide any account information without an account number and proper verification of identity.

Tips to Prevent Identity Theft and Fraud

ID Theft Prevention

  • Disclose with Extreme Caution: Never respond to any e-mail, text message, or phone call that asks for debit card, credit card, and personal information including banking passwords and log in ID’s, account numbers, etc., even if it looks or sounds legitimate.
  • Do Not Click: Never click on links within an email or open email attachments from sources you are not familiar with. Note: By opening or viewing a preview of the email or by clicking on the link within the email, you may cause your PC to discreetly download a virus or spyware.
  • Protect Your PC: Install spam filter and anti-virus software on your PC and ensure your PC is protected with a personal firewall. It is also recommended to scan your PC regularly to detect and remove spyware. Lastly, update your operating system and web browser software regularly.
  • Look for Security Clues: Before you enter personal data into a website, look to ensure “https://” appears in the web site address and that the security padlock icon appears on websites that request personal information.
  • Create Unique Passwords: Many websites requiring log in credentials will offer you a set of guidelines for your password. Those may include mixing up the letters (capital and lowercase), numbers, and symbols. Be sure to update your passwords frequently and to stay away from a preset formula for all your passwords. Uniqueness in passwords is an important security tool.
  • Education: Keep updated on the current fraud scams. You can also request an annual free credit report. Annually viewing and validating the accuracy of your credit report helps keep you confident in the security of your information and can stop fraud from happening or spreading.


Identifying the risks of card fraud is an important first step in keeping unauthorized use of your credit, debit or ATM cards from happening.

To report a lost or stolen THE CHIEF ATM card or CHIEFChek Debit Card
During regular business hours, call (309) 787-4451
After regular business hours, call (800) 472-3272

Visa credit card information (existing customers)
Customer Service (800) 423-7503
Lost/Stolen cards (800) 325-3678

Below are some tips to help you prevent fraud on your credit, debit or ATM cards:

  • Do not share your Personal Identification Number (PIN) with anyone.
  • When your card has expired and you have received your new card, destroy your old card.
  • Monitor your debit and credit card transactions on a regular basis to verify that all transactions were authorized by you.
  • Be sure to sign the back of your card in the signature panel as soon as you receive it in the mail.
  • Keep your cards in a secure location.
  • Subscribe to a monitoring service. At Blackhawk Bank & Trust we offer:
    •  CardValet, an app and/or feature of our Mobile Banking system which allows you to receive transaction alerts, view debit card transactions, and to turn your cards on and off in real-time. Coming October 2017, we’ll also have SecurLOCK, a credit card monitoring app that functions in the same manner as CardValet.
    • Two-way Text Alerts. As part of our fraud detection program, if a debit cardholder enrolls to receive two-way text alerts, we’ll text you if we think a transaction could be potentially fraudulent. Learn more.



PHISHING uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive consumers into disclosing their credit card numbers, social security number, passwords and other personal information. Phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal with, such as your internet service provider, online payment service, bank or even the government. The message usually says you need to “update” or “validate” your personal information. SPOOFING creates a false of shadow copy of a real website or email that misleads the recipient. Even though the email or website looks real, it is a fake. They then ask you to enter personal information like account numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers.

The PHISHERS and SPOOFERS then use this information to steal your identity and sell it to criminals who will use it to ruin your credit and drain your account.


SPYWARE is software that collects personal information from your computer without your knowledge. It looks at sites you visit and can send this information to a third party without your knowledge. The software may also perform unwanted functions, including the delivery of pop-up ads or harvesting private information.

It can serve up inappropriate ads to you and your children, and can seriously slow your computer down, as it attempts to run spyware software processes instead of the programs you are trying to use.
Clues that spyware may be on your computer:

  • a barrage of pop-up ads
  • a hijacked browser – that is, a browser that takes you to sites other than those you type into the address box
  • a sudden or repeated change to your computer’s internet home page
  • new and unexpected toolbars
  • new and unexpected icons
  • keyboard keys that no longer work
  • random error messages
  • sluggish or downright slow performance when opening programs or saving files

Advance Fee/ Loan Fraud Schemes

The advance fee swindler claims to be able to obtain a loan for you from a bank or credit union. They “guarantee” the loan will be made in exchange for an up-front fee, usually a percent of the loan amount. The swindler however has no ability to secure a loan for you. They end up stealing the fee you paid in advance.

Ask yourself why the promoter can obtain a loan for you from a legitimate lender when you have been turned down for loan by lenders in your area.

Be careful when using websites offering debt consolidation. You usually have to pay an up-front fee and provide your personal information, which increases your risk of identity theft.

Nigerian Internet Scams

With the NIGERIAN SCAM, you receive an unsolicited e-mail from a lawyer or other official in another country informing you that you have won a lottery, or an unknown relative has died and has left you a large inheritance. Or they may need your assistance in moving a large sum of money out of their country into another country. They ask you to deposit the funds into your account, and then transfer the funds out at a later time. For your trouble, you get to keep a percentage of amount transferred, usually around 10 to 20 percent.

Before the money can be transferred, they will ask you to pay taxes, legal fees or bribes to government officials, often in great detail with the promise these expenses will be reimbursed as soon as the funds are out of their country. The email you receive will often be typed in capital letters. You may be asked to travel overseas to meet with them and complete the necessary paperwork. You may receive a check for a portion of the proceeds to show good faith. The check is counterfeit.

In reality, there is no money – except for the money you put up in advance. You will be instructed to pay thousands of dollars in “taxes,” “attorney costs,”, or other advance fees. You will suffer serious financial loss. If you travel overseas, you may be physically threatened and not allowed to leave until these expenses have been paid. The best thing to do is delete the e-mail message or throw away any letters you receive. If you think it is legitimate, ask your banker just to be safe.

Counterfeit Checks

The number of counterfeit checks is increasing. We are also seeing counterfeit Postal Money Orders. If you receive a check or money order, go ahead and deposit it, but do not spend the money. Wait 2-3 weeks in case the check is returned. If it is returned, your bank or credit union will remove the money from your account. You are responsible for repaying your bank or credit union.