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Fraud Education Center

Welcome to the American Bank of Commerce Fraud Education Center, a resource to help educate our employees and customers to protect themselves from fraud and scams that are common in today’s world. Click on the subject below to learn more.

  • EMV CHIP CARD FAQ

    EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard & Visa. It is a technology designed to reduce card-cloning fraud, and is the global standard for payment processing with credit cards and debit cards. The impact of EMV adoption to the entire payments infrastructure is significant, from terminals to ATMs, from card issuers to merchants. The first generation of new cards and readers are ‘dual-interface,’ meaning that they can process both magnetic stripe and chip transactions to avoid any acceptance issues.

    What are the benefits of chip technology?

    The embedded microchip provides dynamic transaction security features and other capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. Since chip cards support dynamic authentication, they are very difficult to counterfeit.

    How is this card different from a magnetic stripe card?

    Unlike a magnetic stripe card that carries fixed data, chip cards carry security credentials that make each transaction unique when used at a chip-enabled terminal.

    How does chip technology work?

    Every in-person transaction with a chip card has unique data in it. Chip transactions are dynamic, not static like magnetic stripe cards. That is why if someone were able to intercept one of your chip transactions they would not be able to use that information again. This stops criminals from being able to create counterfeit chip cards.

    Will my chip card be accepted outside of the United States?

    Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and in the United Kingdom, so you’ll enjoy greater acceptance when traveling internationally. Your chip card will still work at terminals where only magnetic stripe transactions are accepted.

    CAN I still swipe my card at a terminal?

    Most card readers will accept and process both magnetic stripe and chip card transactions for some time to avoid any acceptance issues. If chip enabled, the card reader will recognize the chip and the card must be inserted into the terminal instead of swiped. This process is referred to as ‘dipping’ the card. The card must remain in the terminal for the duration of the transaction until the terminal indicates that the card can be removed.

  • debit card fraud protection with smsguardian

    smsGuardian is a service that uses text messages to help you monitor activity on your account and to respond immediately to fraudulent activity. Once you have our MasterCardTM debit card or ATM card you can sign up to receive text alerts as a complimentary service from American Bank of Commerce (message and data rates may apply). This program offers another layer of security that helps protect your accounts.

    How it works

    When a transaction meets certain criteria, a text alert is sent to the enrolled phone number. If the transaction is authorized, there is no response needed from the cardholder. If, however, the transaction is unauthorized the cardholder can respond to have the card blocked immediately. This allows you to prevent further unauthorized access in a matter of seconds! The transactions that will generate alerts are:

    • International Transactions
    • Transactions with an authorization amount greater than $300
    • 6 or more transactions in 24 hours
    • Transactions where the card is not present or the card number is manually keyed
    • Declined Authorizations

    HOW TO ENROLL

    Enrollment is initiated online. The system will need some basic information, including your card number to get started. Before alerts can be sent, you must confirm your enrollment by successfully texting your enrollment code provided by the smsGuardian website when setting up a device.

    Sign up today and review terms and conditions.

  • abc Debit card Fraud center

    One of the ways we keep your account secure is via our Debit Card Fraud Center, and the primary tool they use to protect you is temporarily blocking your card when suspicious transactions occur. If this happens, we will immediately begin trying to contact you to verify the activity. Here is how the process works:

    • When suspicious transactions are detected, you will first receive an email from the Fraud Center listing a few of your most recent transactions, including links to mark the activity as authorized or not. These emails will come from virtualbanking@theabcbank.com.
    • If a response to the email isn’t received promptly, the system will begin sending text messages to your text eligible phone numbers from 32874.
    • Finally, the system will attempt to reach you by calling each phone number on file for your account. These calls will be originated from 1-800-417-4592

    At any point in this process, you can respond and let us know whether the transactions were authorized by you. If the transactions are valid, your card will work immediately after you respond, and no further action is required. If the transactions are fraudulent, your card will remain blocked, and you should receive a call from a Fraud Analyst shortly after you respond to review your case and advise you on what to do next.

    Because your card will remain blocked until we receive a response, it’s crucial to keep your contact information up to date. In online banking, you can update your address and contact information by clicking Settings>Address Change. You can also update your information by visiting a branch or via phone at 1(888)902-2552.

  • debit card compromise FAQ

    What is a compromised card?

    A compromised card is a card that is at risk of being used fraudulently. Cards can be compromised in many ways, but some common compromise points include merchant breaches, phishing scams, skimmers, and malware.

    How does ABC Bank react to compromise notifications?

    ABC Bank takes every compromise seriously and affected customers will receive notification if their card information has been potentially compromised. Notifications will be in the form of a mailed letter. The notification will provide information on the compromise and information on replacement card(s).

    Does this mean that I have fraud on my account?

    No. It only means that your card information has potentially been compromised.

    What do I need to do if I discover fraud on my account?

    If you ever detect fraud on your account, contact us immediately at (806) 775‐5000 or call your local banking center.

    Can this information be used to steal my identity?

    The information encoded on the compromised card pertains strictly to the card, potentially including the card number and expiration date. Confidential information such as Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses and dates of birth are not stored on the card.

  • IDENTITY THEFT

    Identity theft is among the fastest growing crimes in the country. The results can be financially and psychologically devastating to the victim. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information without your permission. This information may include your name, address, driver’s license number, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, birth date, or financial information.

    If you are a victim of identity theft, there are a few precautions you should take as soon as possible.

    Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit report by contacting:
    Equifax 1‐800‐525‐6285
    Experian 1‐888‐397‐3742
    TransUnion 1‐800‐680‐7289

    Then, follow these steps:

    1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit report by contacting one the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion). You’ll only need to contact one, and all three will be alerted.
    2. Contact the bank and close your accounts that you know have been tampered with.
    3. File a police report with law enforcement officials to help you with creditors who may want proof of the crime.
    4. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission.

    In addition to the steps above, it may also be a worthwhile to enroll in a paid identity theft protection service. We recommend Deluxe Provent.

    Learn More

  • annual free credit report

    Periodically reviewing your credit history is a great way help identify and mitigate identity theft. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act allows all individuals the right to check their credit report once a year, free of charge. Annualcreditreport.com is the only authorized source for consumers to access their credit reports online for free. This central site allows you to request a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The site’s security protocols are designed to protect your personally identifiable information from unauthorized access or alteration.

    Online

    Toll Free: call 877-322-8228

  • online banking security

    We are committed to providing you a secure Internet banking environment. Our Online Banking services use industry‐leading and approved technology to help protect your personal information. You can help protect your online banking services by following our security checklist.

    Protect your personal information:

    • Never provide any personal information over the phone, mail or internet to an unknown or untrusted party.
    • Use strong passwords to protect your online account access.

    Protect your login credentials:

    • Never give your login ID, password, or PIN to anybody, including family or friends.
    • Don’t write your login ID and password anywhere.
    • Change your password regularly.
    • Never store your credentials in your browser or in toolbars, as malicious programs can retrieve and harvest these credentials.

    Protect your computer:

    • Verify the computer you use to access online banking has the most current firewall, antivirus and anti‐spyware software. Update and run these programs regularly.
    • Apply all security updates for your supported operating system or browser. Register for auto‐updates from your software providers to ensure that your system is always up‐to‐date.
    • Never leave your computer unattended while in online banking.

    Review your account information regularly:

    • Review your account information at least monthly. Notify us immediately of any discrepancy on unauthorized activity.
    • Please read and comply with all communications we send to you via secure messaging and follow all instruction and communication within online banking.
    • Keep your contact information up‐to‐date to ensure we can contact you and you can access our online services.
  • For many, an email account holds more sensitive information than anywhere else. While it is both fast and convenient, it is also a popular target for cyber-criminals. Here are a few simple precautions we recommend when utilizing email.

    • One of the most important steps to avoiding email fraud is never re-using a password from another site. In today’s world, remembering all of our credentials can be a challenge, but taking this small step can prevent the majority of hacked email accounts. Since many websites will use your email account to reset your password, a compromised email address can indirectly give unauthorized access to dozens of other accounts.
    • Be cautious responding to any unsolicited emails from someone you don’t know. Some common scams associated with this kind of activity include fake work from home opportunities, lottery winnings for contests you didn’t enter, and even false online banking messages. Never share personal or financial information via email.
    • It is best to avoid clicking links or opening attachments received via email unless you’re absolutely sure that the message is genuine. If there’s something you absolutely need to view, contact the originator of the email by phone to verify that the message is legitimate. A popular version of this scam that becomes very dangerous during the holidays is spoofed emails from a shipping company. The message will often state that your package was undeliverable, and that you should click a link to visit their site and rectify the issue. If you receive an email like this and are expecting a delivery, it’s always best to go to the supposed shipper’s site directly rather than clicking a link received via email.
  • COMMON SCAMS

    IRS IMPERSONATION SCAMS

    With tax season in full swing, American Bank of Commerce reminds you to play it safe and beware of the “IRS Impersonation Scam,” an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers. In this scheme, the victim receives a call from someone posing as an IRS agent who claims that the victim owes money. The caller then asks the victim to either pay their balance immediately or face an arrest. While threats issued by these criminals can sound intimidating, keep in mind that the IRS will never request payment in this way. The IRS site states that they will never:

    • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
    • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
    • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
    • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

    ONLINE CLASSIFIED AD SCAMS

    While online classified sites are convenient and affordable, they’re often a prime target for fraudsters. It’s important to remember that the website you use often will not get involved when fraud occurs, and you may be left on the hook for the bill should it happen to you. Here’s a few of the most important things to keep in mind:

    • Avoid working with anyone non-local whenever possible. Virtually all of these scams target victims outside their own area.
    • If anyone asks you to send funds via wire or Moneygram, it’s almost certainly fraud. Even Craiglist’s site states “Never wire funds…anyone who asks you to is a scammer.”
    • If the offer is too good to be true, it probably is. A common tactic involves the scammer vastly overpaying for an item via a (fake) cashier’s check, then requesting the seller to return the overpayment either back to the sender or to a third party “mover”.
    • Don’t accept job opportunities that involve accepting and forwarding payments on behalf of someone else. This kind of listing is used to recruit “money mules” who help move illegally obtained funds through the financial system. Meeting a prospective employer or landlord in person before sharing any private information is a must.

    MONEY MULES

    “Money mules” are people or businesses who are used to transport and launder stolen money. Individuals being used as money mules may be willing participants, but many are not aware that they are being used to commit fraud. Common money mule scams are disguised as work from home opportunities, secret shopper solicitations, lottery winnings, or even online relationships.

    Once an individual agrees to participate, these scams tend to follow a common pattern. First, the victim will receive funds on behalf of the fraudster. Once the funds have been deposited, the victim is then asked to send the majority of the funds to another account and told to keep a portion of the deposit for themselves as a payment or gift. The method for sending the funds back is typically a wire or some other form of immediate payment, since these are often impossible to have returned once the mule has become fully aware of the situation. After the money mule performs his or her role in the transaction they typically won’t hear from the criminal again, and the victim may be the one on the hook for the entire loss of funds.

    If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look for common warning signs, and do some research before agreeing to participate. Try to investigate the person or company before doing business with them, and always investigate the source of funds before releasing them.

    If you believe that you are participating in a money mule scheme, stop participating immediately and notify us. If you ever have doubts about a transaction or financial relationship, don’t hesitate to give us a call for a second opinion.