Internet Fraud


Identity Fraud
What is Identity Fraud?
It's the fastest-growing crime in the U.S., costing its victims over $475 million a year according to the Federal Trade Commision. Yet, it happens so quietly, most people don't realize they've been victimized until months later. Identity theft - or fraud - occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to make illegal purchases, withdrawals, or open accounts. This can damage your credit rating and reputation.
What are we doing to prevent fraud?
After September 11, legislation was passed to help prevent fraud. Evidence shows that credit card, debit card, and similar fraud is a major source of funding for terrorists. To safeguard our nation against terrorists - and to help prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud - all financial institutions are required to more carefully verify the identity of our account owners, loan applicants, trusts, and individuals who purchase investment products.
This means we may ask you additional questions at the time of your transaction. We may also ask you to provide one or more types of identification (ID), such as a driver's license, U.S. taxpayer ID number, or other government-issued document that verifies your nationality or residence. By answering these questions and providing the required forms of identification, you can help us meet the requirements and better protect you against identity theft.
What happens to the information you provide us?
The new regulations require us to verify the information you provide us using one or more methods. For instance, we may compare your information against public databases of information to verify that it is current and accurate. Any information we obtain is safeguarded according to our Privacy Policy and information-sharing practices-which were provided to you. That way, you can be confident that your personal information remains secure as we work toward preventing all forms of fraud.
What else can you do to prevent fraud?
  • Keep your credit cards, debit cards, personal identification numbers (PINs), checks, social security number, drivers license number, and other personal information in a safe place.
  • Keep deposit and withdrawal slips where they will be safe, and always shred them first before they're disposed.
  • Before disposing of credit card solicitations, credit card statements, financial institution statements, utility bills, insurance information, medical bills, and investment updates, shred them first.
  • Don't put your trash out until shortly before it will be picked up.
  • Don't put mail in your curb side mailbox until shortly before it will be picked up.
  • Take your mail out of your curb side mailbox as soon as possible after it's delivered. And, if you're traveling, have the U.S. Postal Service hold your mail or have someone you trust pick it up daily.
  • Limit the information on your checks, and don't carry around any more credit or debit cards than necessary.
  • Don't give any of your personal information to anyone in person, over the telephone, or over the Internet, unless you have a very good reason to trust them.
  • Don't give any of your personal information to any web sites that don't use encryption or other secure methods to protect it.
  • Use a firewall if you have a high-speed Internet connection. This software can be purchased on-line or from most software retailers.
  • Don't use PINs or other passwords that are easy to guess (such as family birth dates or your pet's name).
  • Examine your credit card, debit card, and bank statements immediately when you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized transactions. Report any that you find immediately to the financial institution.
  • Make a prompt inquiry if bills or statements are not received in a timely manner - this could mean they are being diverted by an identity thief.
  • Obtain copies of your credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (shown under item 2) to make sure they'r accurate.
  • You may also wish to do the following:

- Request to not receive any further preapproved offers of credit by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT.

- Ask to be removed from national direct mail lists by writing to the DMA Mail Preference Service at PO Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008. Include your name and address.

- Ask to not receive telephone solicitations from national marketers by writing to the DMA Telephone Preference Service at PO Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014. Include your name, address, and telephone number.

- Contact your credit card companies and place additional passwords on all of your accounts.
What if you discover you're a victim of fraud?

1. Contact the Federal Trade Commision at: or

1-877-438-4338, or

Consumer Response Center, F.T.C.,

600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20580

2. Contact the following three major credit reporting agencies to put yourself on Fraud Alert and request a copy of your credit report:

Equifax Experian TransUnion
PO Box 740250 PO Box 1017 PO Box 6790
Atlanta, GA 30374-0250 Allen, TX 75013 Fullerton, CA 92634
or call 1-800-525-6285 or call 1-888-397-3742 or call 1-800-680-7289


3. Cancel all accounts that have fraudulent activity or are at risk.

4. Contact your local law enforcement agency.

5. Contact the U.S. Postal Service if you know or suspect your mail has been stolen.

6. Keep detailed records of any theft of your identity and of your activities to resolve the theft, including logs of the following:

- The date, time, and amount of any unauthorized activity on your accounts;

- The date, time, duration, and cost of any phone calls; and

- The date and cost of any mailings.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a type of deception designed to steal your identity. In phishing scams, scam artitsts try to get you to disclose valuable personal data - like credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information - by convincing you to provide it under false pretenses. Phishing schemes can be carried out in person or over the phone and are delivered online through spam e-mail or pop-up windows.
How does phishing work?
A phishing scam sent by e-mail may start with con artists who send millions of e-mail messages that appear to come from popular Web Sites or sites that you trust, like your bank or credit card company. The e-mail messages, pop-up windows, and the Web Site they link to appear official enought that they deceive many people into believing that they are legitimate. Unsuspecting people too often respond to these requests for their credit card numbers, passwords, account information, or other personal data.
How do you protect yourself and your information?
The Exchange State Bank will never solicit information from you through e-mail. If you would receive such an e-mail please contact us immediately and we will look into the matter. If you ever do purchase items online through Paypal or other online clearing sites do not follow the links provided on the site where you purchased from. Instead login in to your Paypal account or other clearing site and pay for your purchase from the Paypal site so you will be assured that you are indeed paying through the Paypal site and not a phony Paypal site.
Lost or Stolen Debit Card Procedures
  1. Report the theft or loss of your card to your Financial Institution immediately. Please call 507-962-3250 for the Hills office or 507-967-2570 for the Ellsworth office or 507-669-2150 or 507-449-6000 for the Luverne office.
  2. If the Financial Institution is closed please contact Shazam at 800-383-8000 to report the loss. Option 3, then Option 3, then Option 1. When the Financial Institution opens please contact them to inform them that you have reported the loss to Shazam.
  3. The Financial Institution will then issue you a new debit card account and card if desired.