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Part of our mission to help you reach your financial goals is providing you with tools and resources to protect your financial life. Review the resources below to learn about steps you can take to protect your finances, account information, and your identity.

FraudIdentity Theft security TipsMoney Matters

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eMail Scams

Protect yourself from internet and email scams by keeping your personal and private information secure.

At First Women's Bank, your privacy is very important to us. That's why we want to provide you with information regarding a technique fraudsters use to lure online consumers to fake corporate websites through links sent via email. This scam is called "phishing" (pronounced fishing).

The message in the email often includes a warning that an account will be closed if personal information is not updated or "verified". The links within the email are often pointed to web forms that ask for bank account information, such as routing numbers, account numbers, PIN numbers, passwords and Social Security numbers. It is First Women's Bank's policy to not send or request confidential account information through email because it is not a secure form of communication. You should never enter private, personal information in a form that was sent to you by email.

  • Never click on links in unexpected emails that request confidential information. If updates to information are needed, always type the address for the institution's website into your browser.
  • Before submitting confidential information through forms, make sure you are using a secure Internet connection. There are two ways of determining if your connection to a website is secure:
  1. Look at the address bar at the top of your browser:
    1. If the Web site address begins with https://, then you have an established secure connection. 
    2. If the Website address begins with http://, then the connection is NOT secure.
  2. Look for a "lock" icon in your browser's status bar at the bottom right hand corner of your browser. The lock verifies your connection to the Website is secure.
  • Make sure you have installed and run updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software which will help protect your computer from malicious software that might have installed itself on your computer. Both viruses and spyware can leave your computer vulnerable to attack and intrusion.
  • Install a firewall, either software or hardware. A firewall will prevent attacks on your computer through the Internet by determining if a requested connection is malicious or not. A firewall is especially important if you are using a broadband Internet connection like DSL, cable, or satellite.
  • Keep your Internet browser, anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall up to date by visiting the manufacturer's website and checking regularly for software and security updates.
  • Review and monitor your checking account, debit card, credit card statements and your credit report regularly to be sure all transactions are legitimate.
  • Watch for misspelling or grammatical errors on forms requesting confidential information. Hackers often make errors while rushing to get bogus website in place. If something doesn't look right, there is a good chance that it's not.
  • If you should ever receive an email or phone call requesting your personal, confidential information that appears to be from First Women's Bank, DO NOT respond and contact CustomerCare (800) 371-6082.

Lottery Scams

In what's called a Lottery Scam, you receive an email claiming you have won a lottery and in order to claim your winnings, you must contact the claim's agent, typically by an email address  from a free provider such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. The agent then sends you a form that asks for personal details and even copies of your passport and/or driver's license to "verify your true identity". The fraudsters now have enough information to duplicate your identity. In addition, in order to claim winnings, you may be asked to wire funds to the fraudsters to cover the transaction, insurance, tax and legal fees associated with the winnings.  The fraudsters now have possession of the funds you transferred as well as your personal identity to continue to commit fraudulent activity.

Check Scams

There are many variations of check scams. It could start with someone offering to buy something you advertised, pay you to do work at home, give you an "advance" on a sweepstakes you've supposedly won, or pay the first installment on the millions that you'll receive for agreeing to have money in a foreign country transferred to your bank account for safekeeping. Whatever the pitch, the person may sound quite believable.

Things to look out for:
  • Fake check scammers hunt for victims. They scan newspaper and online advertisements for people listing items for sale, and check postings on online job sites from people seeking employment. They place their own ads for people to contact them. They also call or send emails to people randomly, knowing that some will take the bait.
  • They often claim to be in another country. The scammers say it's too difficult and complicated to send you the money directly from their country, so they will arrange for someone in the U. S. to send you a check.
  • The check could be very believable and look real. They tell you to wire money to them after you've deposited the check. 
  • You are responsible for the checks you deposit.
  • There is NO legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back.
What can you do?
  • If you receive a check in the mail that you are not expecting, DO NOT CASH IT. You should call the issuing bank directly to verify that the account is valid and the check is real.
  • If you are a victim of a counterfeit check cashing scam, email the FDIC's Special Activities Section at:
  • If you believe you may have fallen victim to this type of scam and wish to report it, please file a complaint with the U. S. Government Internet Crime Complaint Center at:
  • Or contact them at:
    FDIC's Cyber Fraud and Financial Crimes Section
    550 17th Street, NW, Room F-4040
    Washington, DC 20429

Identity Theft

Identity Theft is one of today's fastest growing crimes. It occurs when someone steals your personal information and identification. They may open credit card accounts, apply for loans, rent apartments and purchase phone services, all in your name. In many cases, they request address changes so you never see the bills for their activity. These impersonators spend your money as quickly as possible. Most victims never know it until they apply for credit or receive a call from a collection agency. Clearing your name and erasing the effects of identity theft can be a nightmare and take a great deal of time. You can spend months or even years re-establishing your credit worthiness.

Helpful Tips

  • Store personal information in a safe place.
  • Shred financial statements, bank checks, credit card offers, charge receipts and credit applications before discarding them.
  • Don't release personal information.
  • Never disclose account numbers, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers over the phone or email unless you know the person or organization you are dealing with.
  • Guard against mail theft. Promptly remove incoming mail after it has been delivered.
  • Deposit outgoing mail into a secure, official U.S. Postal Service collection box.
  • Be suspicious of any offer made by telephone, on a website or in an email that seems too good to be true.

When you became a client of First Women’s Bank, you joined a community of resources, support and inspiration….and protection. We take fraud protection for every member of our community very seriously. If you suspect your First Women’s Bank account has been the target of a phishing scheme or other fraudulent activity, please contact us immediately.

Forward suspected phishing emails that appear to be from First Women’s Bank to FraudProtection@FirstWomens.Bank

General Security Tips


The American Bankers Association created a fun, interactive website to educate consumers on how to safeguard themselves from fraud.

sign up for ftc alerts

The Federal Trade Commission website offers information about the latest scams and ways to help protect yourself, your kids and your family from becoming victim to fraudulent activity

Reduce Access to Your Personal Information

  • Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This will limit the number of pre-approved offers of credit that you receive. Any pre-approvals you do receive that are tossed into the garbage without being shredded are a potential target of identity thieves who use them to order credit cards in your name.
  • Sign up for the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service and the Telephone Preference Service. Your name will be included on computerized name deletion lists used by nationwide marketers.
  • Have your name and address removed from the phone book and reverse directories.
  • Never give out credit card or personal information over the telephone unless you have a trusted business relationship with the company and you have initiated the call. Identity thieves have been known to call their victims with a fake story that goes something like this: "Today is your lucky day! You have been chosen by the Publishers Consolidated Sweepstakes to receive a free trip to the Bahamas. All we need is your credit card number and expiration date to verify you as the lucky winner." Do not give information to a stranger; even one claiming to be from your bank.
  • Keep all personal information secured.
  • Do not carry extra credit cards, social security card, passport or a birth certificate in your wallet or purse, except when needed.
  • Verify credit reports annually.

Social Security Number

  • Protect your Social Security number (SSN). Release it only when necessary (like tax forms, employment records, most banking, stock and property transactions). The SSN is the key to your credit and banking accounts and is the prime target of criminals.
  • If a business requests your SSN, ask if it has an alternative number which can be used instead.
  • Do not let merchants hand-write your SSN onto your checks.
  • When you receive your annual Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement, take time to read it and check for fraud.

Bank Accounts

  • Do not print your SSN, driver's license number, credit card number or telephone number on your checks.
  • Store your canceled checks or images in a safe place. In the wrong hands, they could reveal a lot of information about you, including the account number, your telephone number and driver's license number.
  • Report lost or stolen checks immediately. 
  • Balance account statements promptly.
  • Set up alerts on your online or mobile banking account to notify you of large transactions.
  • Keep a list of your bank account numbers with telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments in a safe place.
  • Notify your banker of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize."

Passwords and PINS

  • Memorize your passwords. Do not record them on anything in your wallet, purse, or electronic organizer. Keep your passwords safe and secure.
  • When creating passwords and PINs (personal identification number) do not use the last four digits of your social security number, your birthdate, middle name, pet's name, consecutive numbers or anything else that could easily be discovered by thieves.
  • Avoid anyone looking over your shoulder during an ATM transaction.

Credit Cards

  • Keep a list or photocopy of all your credit cards, the account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers of the customer service and fraud departments in a secure place (not your wallet or purse) so you can quickly contact your financial institutions in case your cards have been stolen.
  • Always take credit card receipts with you; do not leave them on the table - be sure your server picks up the original. Never toss them in a public trash container.
  • Do not toss pre-approved credit offers in your trash or recycling bin without first tearing them into small pieces or shredding them. They can be used by "dumpster divers" to order credit cards in your name and mail them to their address. Do the same with other sensitive information like credit card receipts, unused bank deposit tickets, bank statements, phone bills and so on. Home shredders can be purchased in most office supply stores.
  • Reduce the number of credit cards you actively use to a bare minimum. Carry only one or two of them in your wallet.
  • Cancel all unused accounts. Although you do not use them, their account numbers are recorded in your credit report that is full of data that can be used by identity thieves.
  • Watch the mail when you expect a new or reissued card to arrive. Contact the issuer if the card does not arrive.
  • Carefully review your statements for unauthorized use.

Mail Solicitations

  • Install a locked mailbox at your residence to reduce mail theft, or use a post office box.
  • Shred all received mail containing sensitive information: bank statements, canceled checks, credit card applications, credit card checks, and credit card statements.
  • When you pay bills, do not leave the envelopes containing your checks at your mailbox for the postal carrier to pick up. If stolen, your checks can be altered and then cashed by the imposter. It is best to mail bills and other sensitive items at the post office rather than neighborhood drop boxes. Also, pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if bills do not arrive on their normal billing cycle.

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