Online Security

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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. Some examples of the types of information that will be found on this page are:

  • New laws or regulations that impact customers
  • Operations disruptions (e.g. disasters)
  • Fraud alerts
  • Consumer Privacy & Protection Notices
  • Online Security Notices
  • Tips to prevent fraud

CONSUMER PRIVACY AND PROTECTION

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.

Use the links on the right to learn more about a variety of threats, how to protect yourself from them, and what to do if you feel you have become a victim. Check out the tips below to begin protecting yourself today!

Tips to Prevent Identity Theft and Fraud

ID Theft Prevention

  • Never respond to any e-mail that asks for debit card and personal information, even if it looks legitimate. Do not click on links within an e-mail; instead, copy and paste the address into your browser. Note: By opening or viewing a preview of the e-mail or by clicking on the link within the email, you may cause your PC to discreetly download a virus or spyware.
  • Install spam filter and anti-virus software on your PC.
  • Ensure your PC is protected with a personal firewall.
  • Scan your PC regularly to detect and remove spyware.
  • Update your operating system and web browser software regularly.
  • Look to ensure “https://” appears in the web site address and that the security padlock icon appears on websites that request personal information.
  • Educate yourself about Internet fraud scams.
  • Regularly request and validate the accuracy of your credit report.

Blackhawk Bank & Trust Heartbleed Vulnerability Response

  • The bank does not maintain customer information on our website choosethechief.com.
  • We are being proactive in working with our vendors to ensure security.
  • We advise that you identify all websites which store your personal information to see when/if you need to change your password.
  • Please note all passwords should be changed AFTER the vulnerability has been addressed by those sites.

Our recommendations to our customers for best online security practices are:

  • Change passwords frequently
  • Use complex passwords (a combination of capitals, lowercase, numbers, and symbols when possible)
  • Do not use the same password on multiple websites

The security of customer information is of utmost importance to Blackhawk Bank & Trust.

The news agencies have recently reported a vulnerability in one of the main encryption tools used to securely transmit data over the Internet. This vulnerability has been termed the “Heartbleed bug,” a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL software.

Blackhawk Bank & Trust does not maintain customer information on our website www.choosethechief.com. We have communicated with our primary service providers to verify that systems running services with customer information such as Internet banking have not been vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug.

We have been, and continue to be, proactive in working with the bank’s vendors to verify whether their webservers have been affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability. As we receive additional details from these vendors we will act appropriately to ensure that any exposure they may have is properly remediated.

More information on the vulnerability can be found at http://heartbleed.com/.

Fraudulent Cashier’s Check Notice

Like many businesses, Blackhawk Bank & Trust may be the target of consumer security attacks or become the victim of the unauthorized use of our name and logo as part of a consumer fraud or identity theft crime.

It has come to our institution’s attention that a cashier’s check with Blackhawk Bank & Trust’s logo has been distributed to persons in connection with a mystery shopper/consumer protection draw letter, instructing recipients to either “wire”, “send” or “ship” money as soon as possible. BLACKHAWK BANK & TRUST HAS NO CONNECTION WITH THESE ALLEGED DRAWS, AS THEY ARE FRAUDULENT.

If you have received any material purporting to be in connection with Blackhawk Bank & Trust and have questions about its authenticity, please contact any of our locations. To view a list of our locations and phone numbers, click here. If the suspected fraud was received via mail, you are encouraged to file a claim of Mail Fraud with the United States Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455 or visit their website at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/. You are also encouraged to contact your local or state law enforcement office on issues involving fraud.

PHISHING and SPOOFING

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

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.

E-Bay Scams

You sell a large item on E-Bay, such as a car. The buyer sends you a check for more than the selling price and freight, usually several thousand dollars more. When you contact them, they ask you to mail or wire transfer them the difference. The check they sent you is counterfeit or drawn on a closed account. Be wary of shipping items you sell overseas. If you pay by credit card, understand that you have now provided your credit card number to a complete stranger.

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.

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