Fraud Prevention

Let's fight fraud together
  • Protect your First Bank accounts. 
  • Safeguard your identity. 
  • Know how to recognize threats. 

Stay vigilant in the battle against financial fraud. ​You can always rely on First Bank to help you identify threats and navigate challenges. 

Card fraud can occur in a variety of ways from unauthorized use, skimming or card data compromises. First Bank continuously trends your account activity and looks for suspicious transactions that might fall outside of your normal spending patterns. If we find something suspicious, we will temporarily restrict your card and make attempts to contact you. Once we are able to validate the legitimacy of your transaction, we will reinstate your card.

If your card is lost or stolen, contact us immediately using one of the following telephone numbers:

  • For First Bank ATM/Debit Cards, call 800-760-2265
  • For First Bank Credit Cards, call 888-295-5540 (for consumer credit cards) or 1-800-819-4249 (for business credit cards)

Skimming

Skimming is a method by which thieves capture the data in the magnetic strip from your card and use it to create a new, counterfeit card. The counterfeit cards are then used to process unauthorized transactions against your account. There are two main methods of skimming card information:

  • A small device that appears to be a part of the machine is placed over the card insertion slot of an ATM, gas pump, or other self-service kiosk. As you slide your card into the ATM, this device “reads” the data on the stripe and either stores it or transmits it to a nearby location. Often times, there is also a small, hidden camera that captures your keystrokes as you input your PIN into the machine.
  • The device is carried by an employee in a merchant’s store location. When the employee walks away with your card to complete your transaction, they swipe the card through the skimming device and capture the magnetic stripe data.

Data Compromises

Data compromises occur when merchant's or bank's systems are hacked and card data is obtained. First Bank takes an active role in reviewing these instances and taking action to protect your account. If we receive a report of a compromise that includes your information, we will:

  • Immediately review your account activity and contact you if we find suspicious activity
  • Send you a new card if the data obtained puts your account at risk. If we do this, you can continue using your existing card until you receive your new card. During that time, we will continually review your account for suspicious activity.

First Bank will never ask you to provide, verify or update your personal information by sending an email, a text or using a pop-up message or link. If you receive such a message that appears to be from First Bank requesting you to provide or validate personal information, DO NOT RESPOND.

First Bank representatives may call you regarding activity on your account or you may be contacted through our automated systems to verify transaction activity on your account(s), such as debit card or eBanking activity. For your protection, we may ask you to verify your zip code and transaction activity.

Card Prevention Tips

  • Don't write your PIN number on your card. Memorize it.
  • Don't use information that may be easily obtained by identity thieves as your PIN, such as last four digits of your Social Security Number, birth date, or address.
  • Only carry ATM, debit or credit cards that are necessary.
  • Make a list of ATM, debit, credit cards and bank account numbers, as well as customer service numbers for each. Keep this list in a safe and secure place so you can easily notify necessary companies if your cards are lost or stolen.
  • Companies like Mastercard® or VISA® will never contact you directly to verify personal or card information, your PIN or request that you process transactions to protect your account.
  • Never give your debit or credit card numbers over the phone or Internet unless you have a trusted relationship with the person or company.
  • Keep your receipts for card purchases and withdrawals. Don't throw them in a public trash container.
  • Thoroughly review credit card or bank statements upon receipt. Notify the credit card company or bank immediately if there is suspicious activity.
  • When vacationing, notify the bank regarding your plans. Most banks monitor suspicious activity, including geographic shifts in cardholder use. By informing the bank you can prevent unnecessary inconvenience while traveling.
  • Be aware if merchants take your card out of sight for an extended period of time. Most merchants process transactions within your view. If you become suspicious, contact your financial institution to warn of possible fraud on your card/account.
  • Look at ATM, gas pump, or self-service kiosks. If you see an attached device that looks suspicious, don't use it. Notify the institution that owns the machine as soon as possible. 800-760-2265.

Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information. This often includes your full name, birthdate, financial account numbers, social security number (SSN), or any other pertinent details cybercriminals can use to falsely obtain various types of credit in your name. This information is then used by the thief to:

  • Open new accounts, such as bank, credit cards, or loans, using the acquired information.
  • Conduct unauthorized transactions on an account or attempt to empty an existing account.
  • Common tactics used by criminals to obtain the personal details they need are by stealing purses or wallets, intercepting or redirecting mail, or going through the garbage. It can also be obtained if you communicate, shop, or do business online.

Protecting Yourself

  • Safeguard your personal information. Only share it when you’ve made the initial contact, knowing how, where, and why it will be used.
  • Do not give out your Driver's License Number or Social Security Number, unless it is critical the individual requires the information. Don’t be afraid to ask why they need the information and how it will be used.
  • You should not carry any sensitive information with you in a wallet.
  • It’s wise to review your credit report annually.
  • Check your bank accounts and statements regularly for any unauthorized transactions. Reconciling your checkbook is still a good financial habit.
  • Make it a habit to shred any documents that contain your personal information, including any cards that have expired, receipts, pay stubs, or direct mail solicitations for credit cards. Be sure to check with your tax consultant to verify how long you should retain financial documents for tax purposes. Just be sure they are kept in a safe, secure filing system.
  • Do not let your mail stay in the mailbox for any length of time. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, ask a family member or neighbor to retrieve your mail. For outgoing mail, deposit it for delivery at the post office or in a mailbox clearly marked for U.S. Postal Service delivery.

Reporting Identity Theft

  • Call the nearest First Bank branch location as soon as possible or call 1-800-760-2265.
  • Report it by calling the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.
  • Report the theft of mail to your local postal inspector.
  • The identity theft should be reported to the top three credit bureaus. It’s recommended to request a copy of your credit report from each of the bureaus. The credit bureaus will make a notation on your credit report, requesting verification on all potential applications for credit.
  • Equifax
    • Phone: 1-800-525-6285 to report fraud.
    • Phone: 800-685-1111 to request a copy of your credit report.
  • Experian
    • Phone: 888-397-3742 to report fraud and request a copy of your credit report.
  • TransUnion
    • Phone: 800-680-7289 to report fraud.
    • Phone: 800-916-8800 to request a copy of your credit report.

Online fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate source (like your bank, favorite shopping site or internet service provider) in order to obtain your personal information. This information is then used to conduct transactions on existing accounts. Methods used by fraudsters to commit online fraud are typically fake emails, pop-up messages and/or web sites.

Your Relationship With First Bank

First Bank will never ask you to provide, verify or update your personal information by sending an email, a text or using a pop-up message or link. If you receive such a message that appears to be from First Bank requesting you to provide or validate personal information, DO NOT RESPOND.

First Bank representatives may call you regarding activity on your account or you may be contacted through our automated systems to verify transaction activity on your account(s), such as debit card or eBanking activity. For your protection, we may ask you to verify your zip code and transaction activity.

Online Fraud

Another type of fraud can occur when you sell something online. If the buyer of your product or service wishes to write a larger check than the original selling price, be suspicious. In this type of fraud, after the buyer issues the larger check, he or she will ask the seller to remit the difference back to the purchaser. This is typically in the form of a wire payment. Often, the check originally used to make the ‘overpayment’ and purchase of the product or service is fraudulent. As a result, the seller is not only out the item sold, but also any money that was returned to the purchaser as an “overpayment.” You should be suspicious even if the check is a money order or a government-issued check.

  • Stay vigilant! Always keep your private information safe.
  • When providing sensitive, private information such as account numbers, PINs, and card numbers, always be cautious.
  • Keep your password confidential.
  • Change passwords regularly using a combination of numbers, letters and special characters.
  • Avoid using obvious passwords like mother's maiden name, children or pet names, Social Security Number or date of birth.
  • Regular anti-virus updates and security patches should be installed on your PC and mobile devices. This is especially vital for any devices you use for eBanking or shopping.
  • Install anti-spyware on your computer to prevent your personal and account information from being collected without your knowledge.
  • We ask our clients not to send First Bank any personal details or account information through email. If If you should need to do so, please only use secure messaging in our secure eBanking portal.
  • Do not open—and immediately delete—any suspicious emails from unknown sources.
  • If you should open any type of suspicious email from an unknown source, do not click on any links or attachments included with the email.
  • Stay vigilant for any emails alerting you of fraudulent activity or charges to your account(s). Often, this type of fraudulent email will direct you to respond with your personal information and/or a “click here” option re-directing you to a fictitious site. This is another way cyber-criminals wish to gather and obtain your personal information.
  • When conducting any type of online financial transaction, ensure it is trusted by finding the secure padlock icon in the lower right-hand corner. Simply double-click the padlock icon if you wish to view the security certificate.
  • If you are conducting financial transactions, always look for the "https" in the URL of your website browser. This ensures your data will be encrypted throughout the communication.
  • We also need to remember old-fashioned basic security rules, such as knowing your surroundings, if you are utilizing your laptop or mobile device in a public area. Be aware of ‘shoulder-surfers’ who may be watching you enter your passwords or User IDs.
  • Whether you use e-statements or paper statements, promptly and regularly review them for any suspicious activity or transactions. Report any to your financial services provider.
  • It’s important to wipe, or clean, the hard drive of your computer before disposing of it.

Regulation E and Your Online Accounts

Regulation E is a consumer protection regulation which provides a basic framework to establish the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of consumers in electronic fund transfer systems such as eBanking.

A consumer’s liability for unauthorized eBanking transactions is limited when the transactions are reported to us within specific time frames. Sole proprietorships and other types of businesses are not protected by Regulation E liability limits.

These protections apply to transfers (between First Bank accounts), bill payments, personal payments and account-to-account transfers (between an account at First Bank and accounts at other financial institutions) that are processed through eBanking.

Reporting Unauthorized Transactions

Tell us at once if you believe your eBanking user credentials been compromised or if someone has transferred or may transfer money from your account without your permission.

The best way to minimize your loss is to call us immediately. The unauthorized use of your eBanking services could cause you to lose all of your money in your accounts, plus any amount available under your overdraft protection plan.

You will have no liability for unauthorized transactions if you notify us within 60 days after the statement showing the transaction has been mailed to you (or 90 days if the transaction was from an account maintained at another financial institution). If you do not, you may not get back any of the money you lost from any unauthorized transaction that occurs after the close of the 60-day period (or 90 day period if the transaction was from an account maintained at another financial institution), if we can show that we could have stopped the transaction if you had notified us in time. If a good reason (such as a long trip or hospital stay) kept you from telling us, we may extend the time periods.

Your Account Statement

Promptly review your account statements. If you determine fraudulent activity has occurred on your account. Provide your name and account number and describe the transaction and amount in question and explain why you believe it is an error. Contact us with this information immediately by one of the following methods (do not use email to report these incidents):

  • Call us at 1-800-760-2265, option 3.
  • Visit or call your local First Bank Branch.
  • Send us a Message via eBanking.
  • Write Us at: First Bank - Internet Banking Center, Mail Code M1-199-046. 600 James S. McDonnell Blvd. Hazelwood, MO 63042

eBanking

To protect your First Bank accounts from unauthorized eBanking transactions follow these important steps.

  • Do not share your User ID and Password used to access eBanking with anyone.
  • Your User ID and Password identify and authenticate you to First Bank when you use First Bank's eBanking service.
  • When you give someone your eBanking User ID and Password, any eBanking transaction that person conducts is considered authorized by you even if you did not intend or want the transactions conducted.
  • In order to revoke the authorization you must notify us you no longer wish to allow the person to use your eBanking credentials. We can attempt to return transactions conducted by the person; however, you are liable for any funds we are not able to return.
  • If you tell us about fraudulent activity committed by someone you authorized to access your eBanking account, we will verify any pending payments or transfers to determine which items are not legitimate, so we can prohibit additional items from being processed against your account. We will require your Password to be reset and may require you to choose a new User ID.
  • Regularly review your account activity, pending payments and transfers, and payment and transfer history.
  • Contact us immediately by one of the methods above if you believe fraudulent activity has occurred.
  • Take advantage of our optional automatic alerts function to notify you of eBanking transaction activity.
  • Never leave your computer or mobile device unattended while using eBanking.
  • Never leave your account information displayed where it may be viewed by others.
  • Avoid using public computers (like those at the Library, Internet cafes) to access eBanking.
  • Always exit the system by logging out and closing your browser or mobile app.

For businesses, Regulation E does not provide liability protections if fraudulent activity occurs on their accounts. This includes transfers (between two First Bank accounts), bill payments, personal payments and account-to-account transfers (between an account at First Bank and an account at another Financial Institution) that are processed on their accounts through eBanking.

Commercial eBanking customers are encouraged to periodically perform a risk assessment, which includes a threat assessment as it relates to their eBanking activities. Controls to mitigate those risks should be considered and enhanced, if determined necessary, as part of the assessment.

Remember, First Bank will never ask you to provide and/or update personal or account information such as, account number, PIN, User ID or password, social security number, by phone call, automated phone message, email or a pop-up message. A bank representative may call you to verify activity on your account (Debit Card transactions, bill payment, personal payment and/or account-to-account transfers) that appears suspicious or to provide you with information about products and services we offer.

When you contact us, we may ask for personal information in order to authenticate you before releasing any account information.

Your security is important to us. When communicating via email please do not include any personal, business or confidential account information. Thank you!

Although scams continue to change, one thing remains the same: check fraud. In fact, at some point in your life, there’s a chance you’ve been targeted by a criminal with a check fraud scheme. To help illustrate some of the more common types of check fraud, the American Bankers Association (ABA) released an infographic detailing the sophisticated process. Don’t be scammed!

There are a variety of ways criminals will target victims with check fraud schemes. For instance, you receive a check in the mail saying you’ve won a prize. As a condition of being a prize winner, you are instructed to return the cost of taxes and fees for your winnings. You deposit the check at your bank and return a portion of your winnings to cover the taxes and fees as a condition of being a winner. However, what you don’t realize is that you’ve just been scammed! Once the bank processes the check and it bounces, you are then on the hook to cover any withdrawals you made against the check.

If it’s a scam, why does it show the funds are in my account?

By law, banks are required to make the funds available as soon as possible. But, by the time the bank discovers the check has bounced and is fraudulent, it’s too late. Not only does the scammer have the money you’ve paid back to them, but you also now have to pay back the bank.

To help you spot a scam, always be wary of the following:

  • Anyone sending you more money than the selling price for anything you sell online.
  • Anyone asking you to send money back to them after sending you a check.
  • Anyone informing you of winning a foreign lottery or getting paid as a secret shopper.
  • Anyone asking you to pay for a prize. If it’s a legitimate prize, then it should be free.

As always, it’s important to stay alert and vigilant. Resist the urge to act immediately to any offer. Proceed with caution and, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Feel free to contact your trusted team at your local First Bank branch if you have any questions regarding fake check scams. Don’t be afraid to ask--we’re always here to help!

If you feel you’ve been a victim of a fake check scam, please report it to ftc.gov/complaint.

Source: American Bankers Association (ABA)

First Bank representatives may call you regarding activity on your account or you may be contacted through our automated systems to verify transaction activity on your account(s), such as debit card or eBanking activity. For your protection, we may ask you to verify your zip code and transaction activity.

Telephone Fraud Tips

  • Protect your personal information, account numbers, User ID & password, card numbers and PINs.
  • Use caution when providing this information to persons/entities over the phone.
  • Never give your debit or credit card numbers over the phone or Internet unless you have a trusted relationship with the person or company or you have initiated contact.

Mail Fraud

When someone takes your mail illegally, it’s considered mail theft. The intent of mail thieves is to obtain private information, including bank account numbers, credit card details, and, of course, your Social Security Number. This information can then be used to fraudulently apply for credit in your name. Tampered, altered, or stolen mail should be reported immediately to your local post office.

Mail Fraud Tips

  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox to mitigate the risk of it being stolen.
  • Watch for financial statements and bills for services or credit cards. If you don't get them when expected, contact the issuer immediately.
  • Beware of mail solicitations that offer prizes or awards - especially if you are asked to provide personal information or financial account numbers.
  • If you are going to be away from home for any extended period of time, arrange for the post office to hold your mail or make arrangements for a trusted family member or friend to collect your mail.
  • If you change your address, immediately notify your post office and anyone that you do business with by mail.
  • Never send cash or coins through the mail.

Your security is important to us. When communicating via email please do not include any personal, business or confidential account information. If you have questions, please contact us. Thank you!

Imposter fraud occurs when someone acts as if they work for a company that you know and trust such as a utility, bank, or insurance company. The hacker uses the current relationship between you and the company to request a payment or inform you that a change will be made to your traditional payment arrangement.

Providing information to the hacker allows them to redirect these payments. The payments look normal to the bank because they are being made by authorized users. Typically, this type of fraud is not quickly identified, making it harder to recover funds, particularly those sent electronically.

Best Practices to Avoid Imposter Fraud

  • Require verification on all requests for payments made outside normal channels or changes to vendor remittance information.
  • Cross-verify. If the request came by mail or email, verify it with a phone call. If the request came by phone, verify it by email.
  • Always use the contact information that you have on file to verify the requestor. Never use the contact information that comes with the request.
  • Reconcile your accounts daily. If you spot an unauthorized transaction or unusual activity, notify First Bank immediately.

Your security is important to us. When communicating via email please do not include any personal, business or confidential account information. Thank you!

Malware is a virus or malicious code designed to steal your personal information or hijack your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Malware can find its way onto your device through an email, a website, text message or instant messages. In most situations, you don’t know it is happening. Popup ads that appear without an open browser, warnings from a security program that you never installed, or navigation that redirects your browser can all be signs of malware.

Best Practices to Avoid Malware

  • Keep antivirus software up-to-date on all of your devices.
  • Maintain current updates for all of your devices.
  • Only download apps from trusted sources like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Your security is important to us. When communicating via email please do not include any personal, business or confidential account information. Thank you!

Passwords are important. Being creative with your password is even more important. A strong password goes a long way toward keeping your personal information and accounts safe.

Best Practices for Secure Passwords

  • Use complex passwords that include letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Make passwords at least eight characters in length.
  • Change your password every three to six months.
  • Do not store your passwords in a document on your computer.
  • Never use your Social Security Number in your user ID or password.
  • Make sure your new password is significantly different from a previous password.

When you log in to First Bank eBanking or other secure locations, it's not uncommon to be asked to answer a challenge question first. This offers an extra layer of security to protect you. Even on sites you know are legitimate, beware of requests for other types of personal or account information.

Your security is important to us. When communicating via email, please do not include any personal, business or confidential account information. Thank you!

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