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Keeping your money and information safe

Protecting your valuable personal information

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are almost 10 million identity-theft victims a year. Anyone can fall victim to identity theft. The best way to prevent it from happening to you is to educate yourself about the ways thieves steal your personal information, which can provide instant access to your financial account, your credit record and other assets.

Keep your personal information personal

First Westroads Bank will NEVER ask for your personal information unsolicited. If you are asked for your personal information — your name, Social Security number, address, date of birth, etc. — know who's asking and how they will be using this information.

Phishing scams: How to protect yourself from being victimized

If you receive an email or pop-up message asking for an immediate reply for verification of information, don't reply or click on the link within the message. The safest action is not to respond to requests for your personal or financial information. Again, First Westroads Bank will never ask for your personal information in an email. If you believe you have received any such email from use, please call us immediately at (402) 330-7200.

Examples of Phishing

"We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below to confirm your identity."

This is just one of the many phrases identity thieves will use to get you to fall prey to their attacks. "Phishers" send spam, online pop-up messages and text messages claiming to be from a business organization that you might deal with — for example, an internet service provider, bank, online payment service or even a government agency.

The message usually states that you need to "update" or "validate" your account information. It might threaten dire consequences if you don't respond. The message directs you to a website that looks legitimate, but isn't. The purpose of the bogus site is to trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.

Don't take the bait: never reply to emails, texts or online pop-ups that ask for personal information. Legitimate companies also don't ask for this information via email.

If you are directed to a website to update your information, verify the site by calling the company directly, using contact information from your account statements. Or, you can open a new browser window and type the URL into the address field, watching that the actual URL of the site you visit doesn't change and is still the one you intended to visit. In this case, the URL would be https://www.firstwestroads.bank.

Please notify First Westroads Bank of spam that is phishing for bank information by calling (402) 330-7200.

For more information on phishing and other cyber crimes, visit onguardonline.gov or consumer.gov/idtheft.

Helpful Tips to Protect Your Privacy

The growth of technology has, understandably, raised concerns about the privacy of consumers' financial information. We must work together to protect sensitive information. Banks use a combination of safeguards to protect your information, such as employee training and accountability, strict privacy policies, rigorous security standards, encryption and fraud detection.

You can help maintain your privacy by taking these precautions.

  • Do not give your Social Security number or personal credit information over the phone.
  • Mail bills in a postbox or at the post office — not from your own mailbox.
  • Monitor your credit report annually to ensure accuracy. Order your free annual report by calling (877) 322-8228 or by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
  • Never open email from unknown sources.
  • Protect your PINs and passwords. Change them often. Use a combination of letters and numbers and, if allowed, special characters.
  • Report any suspected fraud to First Westroads Bank at (402) 330-7200 and the "Big Three" credit-reporting agencies immediately.
Equifax (800) 525-6285
Experian (888) 397-3742
TransUnion (800) 680-7289

To reduce telemarketing calls at home, register your phone number at donotcall.gov or call (888) 382-1222. The Direct Marketing Association offers services to help reduce unwanted mail and telephone solicitations. To join their Mail Preference Service, go to the-dma.org/consumers or mail your name, home address and signature to:

Mail Preference System

Direct Marketing Association

P.O. Box 282

Carmel, NY 10512

If you believe a company is trying to con you, contact:

Nebraska Attorney General's Office

Consumer Protection Division

(800) 727-6432 or (402) 471-2682

ago.state.ne.us

Feteral Trade Commission

Consumer Reponse Center

(877) FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)

consumer.gov/idtheft