10/30/2019: Online Security Tips

How to Protect Your Financial Information

At Seneca Savings we take safeguarding your personal and financial information very seriously.  Additionally, you should also remain vigilant against potential threats of “identity theft.” Identity theft affects millions of people each year.

Thieves can get your personal information by many means including, but not limited to:

  • Stealing your purse or wallet
  • Stealing information from your mailbox such as bank statements and preapproved credit card applications
  • Obtaining your driver’s license number or Social Security number if imprinted on your personal checks
  • Observing your transactions at ATMs or store checkout terminals to capture your personal identification number (PIN)
  • Going through trash for credit card receipts or loan applications

The FBI maintains a current listing of schemes and scams. https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety.


Monitoring Your Accounts

  • Report lost or stolen checks or bank cards immediately
  • Never ignore suspicious charges on your statements – report them immediately
  • Ensure that each of your computers has up-to-date software installed, including operating system, personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and current browser. Use reputable Internet tools to scan your browser for known vulnerabilities


Managing Passcodes and PINs

Change your passcode at least every 90 days.

Select and memorize a PIN that never uses information readily found in your wallet or purse (e.g., your house number or date of birth).


Protecting Personal Information

Never disclose personal information to anyone without authorization to access your accounts Do not print your driver’s license number or Social Security number on personal checks Never provide your financial information to an unfamiliar website.

Never leave your laptop and mobile devices unattended in public areas Create multiple backups of your data.


Social Media Security Tips

Using social media can be fun, informative and useful, but it’s important to consider the security of your personal information when using popular networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln and YouTube.


How You Can Help Protect Your Personal Information

Consider your software.

Consistently validate that each of your computers has up-to-date software installed – including operating system, personal firewall, antivirus, anti-spyware and current browser

Ensure your antivirus and antispyware- software is enabled and performing scans on a regular basis

Use reputable Internet tools to scan your browser for known vulnerabilities.


Review privacy settings regularly.

Set the privacy and security settings on your social network accounts to a level that you are comfortable with for information sharing.

Be aware of how much personal information you post on social networking sites.


Do not share confidential information.

Confidential information, including date of birth and Social Security number, should never be shared –  a hacker could use this information to steal your identity or access your data   Do not announce that you are on vacation or away for an extended period of time.

Use strong passwords.

Use strong passwords combining capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, and change your password frequently.

Use different passwords for different accounts, and never use the same password for business and personal accounts.

Be careful what you click on and what you say.

Never click on a hyperlink within a post or text message if it appears suspicious, even if it appears to come from a friend – your friend’s account may have been hacked or infected and could now be spreading malware

Remember, once you post information online, it stays online – help protect your reputation by assuming everything you post online is permanent.


Debit Card Fraud Prevention Tips

Keep your financial information secure by following these important tips on preventing fraud. If you think you are a victim of fraud, call us immediately at 315-638-0233.


Think you are a victim of fraud?

If you believe you are a victim of fraud related to your Seneca Savings debit card, notify us immediately at 315-638-0233. If you think you are a victim of identity theft, please visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/ to also report the theft and start a plan.

Follow  these tips  to keep your  financial information secure.

  • You are in the best position to identify suspicious activity in your account. Monitor your account closely and contact us if you don’t recognize a transaction.
  • Review your monthly statement and closely monitor your account through www,senecasavings.com.  Or thru our mobile banking app.


Covering the Basics

Never lend your credit or debit card to anyone.

If you move, notify Seneca Savings in advance of your change of address  Sign your credit and debit cards as soon as you receive them.


Keeping Your PIN Safe

Don’t write your PIN on your card or anywhere near your card in case your wallet is stolen.


Using Your Card at ATMs/Retail Stores

Do keep an eye on your credit or debit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible.

Do shield your card number so that others around you can’t copy or photograph it  Carbon paper is rarely used these days, but if used in a credit card transaction, destroy it immediately.


Online Fraud Prevention

Never provide your credit or debit card information on a website that is not secure (a secure connection will display “https:” in the website address and the lock in the bottom right corner of the browser window).

Stick to online merchants that have a trustworthy reputation. Read their privacy policy (if you can’t find it, that may be a red flag) and find out what security features are in place.

Make sure your computer has a firewall installed and keep your browser software and anti-virus program updated.


Email Fraud Prevention

Never respond to emails that request your credit or debit card information  via email or verification of your personal (and debit card) information via  a website. These scams are called “phishing.” Learn more about different scams here https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scams


  • Seneca Savings does NOT initiate emails seeking personal information such as account numbers, card PINs and Social Security numbers. If you receive a suspicious email from Seneca Savings or about your Seneca Savings account please contact the bank directly at 315-638-0233


Telephone Fraud Prevention

At Seneca Savings, we want you to know that the only reason we would contact you seeking any type of personal or financial information would be if you were in the process of applying for a loan or opening an account with us, or if we were attempting to validate an extraordinary transaction on one of your accounts. If you ever question the legitimacy of a request for your personal or financial information made by an individual claiming to represent Seneca Savings, please contact us immediately  at 315-638-0233.

Don’t provide your card number over the phone unless you initiate the call, and you know the company is reputable. Legitimate companies do not call to ask for card numbers over the phone (e.g., you are told there has been a “computer problem” and the caller needs you to verify information – don’t provide it).

Avoid offers informing you that you’ve won a prize. Respondents are often asked to pay “shipping” or a “deposit” for a prize that never existed in the first place.

Be wary of calls soliciting contributions to charitable causes, particularly those regarding disaster relief. Many times, these solicitors are not legitimate. Contact a worthy organization yourself rather than responding to a telemarketing donation request.


Keeping Financial Information Secure at Home

Common Scams

It’s important to stay educated about the types of fraud so that you can recognize threats to your financial information. There are three common scams that you should be on the lookout for:

Phishing leverages email

Vishing leverages phone calls

SMiShing leverages text messages

These fraud techniques are designed to mislead you into providing personal information such as: Account numbers, PINs, Social Security numbers, Login credentials (username and password), Answers to security questions (your mother’s maiden name, for example).

Recognizing Official Seneca Savings Communications

If you ever receive an email that appears to come from Seneca Savings and contains our logo but requests personal information or provides a link to a page to enter personal information, do not respond. It is a policy that Seneca Savings does NOT initiate a request for personal information via email.

Unless you initiate the contact or we are completing an application for you, Seneca will NOT request personal information. If you are being asked for any of the information listed above, it may be a scam.


Recognizing a Scam

NEVER give out your personal information in response to an unsolicited email, phone call or text message.

You should never supply any account or login credentials to suspicious emails, but if you’re concerned that the request may be legitimate, contact us directly rather than through the communication you received. A representative will be able to help you.



Never respond to any phone calls, emails or text messages requesting personal information Check and monitor your credit report regularly.



Always look for “https://” and a padlock icon on legitimate websites that require the input of personal information.

Keep software updated (operating systems and web browsers) Keep your computer clean from Spyware.



Use a SPAM filter, anti-virus software and a personal firewall.

Delete emails before opening them if received from anyone you do not recognize.

Never click on hyperlinks within emails, tweets, posts or text messages if you believe they may be fraudulent (hyperlinks may contain a virus). Instead, retype the company name into your browser.



Ignore emails or text messages that threaten termination of service if you do not follow the instructions contained in the message. If the email or text message appears to come from a company that you do business with, contact them directly to discuss/report the message.


Help Protect Yourself from  Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals are after your money. To gain access to bank accounts and credits card, Cybercriminals are using clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine new technology with old tricks to coerce people into sending money and providing sensitive personal information.

You can take steps to protect yourself from Cybercriminals seeking your money and personal information.


Spot imposters. Cybercriminals pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official or a company you do business with like your bank or internet service provider. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request -whether it comes as a text, a phone call or an email. If you believe it may be a legitimate request, contact the requester directly to confirm the request.


Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review”, “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams. 


Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for Cybercriminals to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, do not respond. Instead, if you believe it may be a legitimate request, contact the requester directly to confirm the request.


Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.  Never say the word YES in any fashion.


Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. Seneca Savings is required to make funds available from check deposits within days; however, the availability of funds does not guarantee a check’s authenticity. Therefore, be cautious of any demands requesting urgent or immediate action and always wait an extended period of time before accessing funds from unfamiliar check deposits.


Identity Theft

If you need to report identity theft on your Seneca Savings account, please call 1-318-638-0233 or stop by your Seneca Savings branch.

Report Identity Theft to https://www.identitytheft.gov/


How to Detect Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when personal information such as your name, Social Security number or date of birth is stolen and used to commit fraud. Using your personal information, identity thieves can open new checking or credit card accounts in your name or take out new loans in your name. Identity thieves can also run up charges on your existing credit cards or drain your bank account using stolen credit and debit card information.

Signs indicating that you may be a victim of identity theft include:

  • Your bank account or credit card statement has transactions that you don’t recognize Your credit report contains unfamiliar accounts or addresses
  • You don’t receive your bills or other mail
  • You are contacted by debt collectors about debts that aren’t yours
  • You receive a letter from the IRS stating that more than one tax return was filed in your name
  • You receive a notification from a company that your information was compromised by a data breach

Criminals also target businesses and use the stolen identities of business owners and other key executives to acquire credit in the company’s name. Criminals then use the credit to purchase items that can be converted to cash quickly. This type of identity theft can have a devastating impact on the business and its owners.


How to Report Identity Theft

If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, you must take action quickly to limit the damage and repair your identity. To report identity theft on your Seneca Savings account, please call us immediately at 315-638-0233 or stop by your local Seneca Savings branch.

In addition to contacting Seneca, it is important that you take the following immediate steps:

Place a fraud alert on your credit file by contacting one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. The company that you contact is required to notify the other two companies. An initial fraud alert lasts for 90 days and requires businesses to verify your identity before it issues credit. Make sure that your contact information on file with each credit reporting company is correct.

For more information about placing fraud alerts on your credit report, contact:

Equifax: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-fraud-alerts/



Experian: https://www.experian.com/help/



TransUnion: https://www.transunion.com/fraud-alerts

1-800-680- 7289


Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and print an FTC Identity Theft Affidavit. You can start the process as follows: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2002/02/federal-trade-commission-announces-id-theft-affidavit or by phone: 1-877-438-4338, TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

File a report with local law enforcement. Make sure to bring a copy of the identity theft affidavit, a government-issued ID with a photo, and proof of your address (rental agreement, pay stub or utilities bill) when filing your report.