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Phishing Alert:

Protect yourself from suspicious emails!  American Bank & Trust Company would like to remind our customers that we will NEVER send any email requesting sensitive information. If you receive an unsolicited email that looks like it's from us requesting confidential information, please let us know.

At American Bank & Trust Company, we care for our customers and for their safety. It is our hope to convey these best practices for PC security to help prevent the likelihood of our valued customers becoming victims of fraud. Here you will find resources to enhance your knowledge on PC security and beyond.

Fraud Safety Tips

American Bank & Trust Company is committed to helping you - our customer - protect yourself from fraud. As one way to demonstrate this commitment, we have compiled helpful information to enable you to protect your personal privacy and financial security.

You can easily deter potential theft of your privacy by following some of these steps:

Shred It - Don't throw away statements containing personalized information such as account numbers, birth dates and social security numbers without shredding them first.

Lock It - Thieves can easily snatch mailbox correspondence that has all of the information they need to commit identity theft. Consider purchasing a locked mailbox or slot in which to receive mail at home.

Review It - Check your bank, credit card, brokerage and other financial statements immediately upon receipt. Report any inaccuracies as soon as they are discovered.

Watch It - Review your credit bureau reports and report any errors immediately.

Prevent It - Get the latest firewall and anti-virus software to protect your computer against possible attacks.

Protect It - Never use public computers located at libraries, Internet cafes, etc., to view your accounts or to conduct financial transactions.

Don't Need It - Be careful of pop-up ads offering the latest anti-spyware, screensavers, or warnings regarding your system. There is no guarantee these are coming from reputable companies, so research before you download.

ATM Safety

How to Stay Safe at the ATM Machine

Here are some important tips to remember when utilizing your ATM – Debit Card – Credit Card

  • Never reveal your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to anyone in person or over the telephone for any reason, even if the individual represents themselves as a bank employee. Bank employees will not ask you for your PIN. This is especially important if you have recently lost or had your card stolen.
  • Be cautious or suspicious of anyone loitering nearby, those who might engage you in conversation, closely observe you or remain in parked cars while approaching or using the ATM; protect your PIN from view.
  • Remember to take your receipt at any ATM location, because it could potentially contain account information.
  • Avoid counting or needlessly exposing cash at the ATM. It should be counted in a secure place away from the machine. You want to spend as little time at the ATM facility as possible.

American Bank & Trust Company realizes you are not always able to utilize one of our ATM locations. Therefore, please keep the following in mind:

  • When possible, try to choose a facility that has limited foliage or vision obstructions and is well trafficked.
  • If an ATM facility must be used at night, try to select one in a well lighted area or have another person accompany you.

Check Security

How to Protect Your Checks

American Bank & Trust Company wants to insure your privacy and the safety of your account information. The following is a brief list of checking account protection tips:

  • Guard your checkbook and extra (new) checks.
  • Never give your account and routing numbers to people you do not know, especially to anyone over the telephone.
  • Never use your deposit slip for "scrap" paper or notes and then give it to someone. Guard your deposit slips.
  • Properly store or dispose of canceled checks.
  • If you checkbook is lost or stolen, immediately inform us – notify 337-948-3056 immediately.
  • When traveling for a period of time, it is wise to leave your checkbook at home and locked away. Use your ATM – Debit Card – Credit Card while traveling.
  • Always write checks using non-erasable ink pens, typewriters or printers - never pencil.
  • Write the dollar amount in both numbers and letters, as far to the left in the allotted space as possible and draw a line through the unused space to the right of the letters and numbers to prevent additions.
  • When writing the payee name on the "Pay to the Order of" line, make sure the name is spelled out completely (do not use abbreviations) so it cannot be altered.
  • Balance or reconcile your checkbook register when you receive your monthly bank statements.

Identity Theft - What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft: Identity theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to impersonate someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services in the name of the victim, or to provide the thief with false credentials. In addition to running up debt, an imposter might provide false identification to police, creating a criminal record or leaving outstanding arrest warrants for the person whose identity has been stolen.

Common Types of Computer Identity Theft Schemes

  • Phishing: When internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information, it is called phishing. Don't reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information. Don't click on links within them either – even if the message seems to be from an organization you trust. It isn't. Legitimate businesses don't ask you to send sensitive information through unsecure channels.
  • Pharming: This can happen when a hacker tampers with a website host file or domain name system so that URL address requests are rerouted to a fake or spoofed website created by the hacker to capture personal identifying information from victims. The victim then thinks that they are on a trusted website, and are more willing to enter their personal information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and addresses. The hacker then uses that information to commit identity theft.
  • Vishing: A technique, much like phishing, that allows criminals to maliciously gain access to your personal information for the purposes of identity theft. Vishing scams use a combination social engineering and phishing to find victims that can be tricked into providing credit card or personally identifying information. Typically, the criminal sends the victim some kind of notice or leaves a message, requesting that the victim returns a call to verify an account or some similar ploy. When the victim returns the call, they are asked to provide account and identifying information under the guises of "updating" the account.
    Once the criminal has access to that information, it is used for credit card or banking fraud, or as the first step in a stolen identity. Vishing also allows criminals to spoof caller-id, making a vishing scam hard to detect because everything appears to be legitimate.
  • ATM Tampering: Thieves steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device attached to ATM machines. The device reads the magnetic strip on your card which thieves use to commit fraud.

Other Common Ways Thieves Steal Your Information

  • Dumpster Diving: Thieves will go through your trash looking for bills, credit cards and other information.
  • Information retrieval: Thieves desire your hard drive with personal information on it. Have your hard drive professionally erased before disposing of it.
  • Victim research: Thieves access government registers, internet search engines, and public records to gain pieces of your personal information.
  • Shoulder surfing: The thief simply eavesdrops on transactions you make in public and pick up whatever useful information you disclose.
  • Employment scams: These scams advertise a bogus job and request personal information. Never give out personal identification information without knowing whom you are dealing with.
  • Social networking: Thieves regularly troll social networking sites to steal personal information so they can use to commit fraud.
  • Changing Your Address: Thieves divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.