At Maple Bank, we want to help you protect your identity and avoid fraudulent activity.
Please review the information in this portion of our website to protect yourself and your family. We invite you to share it with friends, family and co-workers, too. Let's work together for increased safety. CLICK HERE to watch an educational video regarding Identity Theft Prevention.
Below you will find articles on the following topics. You may click on the title to go directly or read through all the articles:
Identify theft is one of the fastest growing white-collar crimes. It occurs when an identity thief gains access to and uses an individual's personal identifying information without his or her knowledge in order to commit fraud or theft. To protect your privacy and minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft you can take the following steps:
Personal Identifying Information
- Protect personal identifying information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords.
- Do not give any of your personal identifying information to any person who is not permitted to have access to your accounts.
- Do not give any of your personal identifying information over the telephone, through the mail or online unless you have initiated the contact or know and trust the person or company to whom it is given.
Credit, Debit and ATM Cards
- Carry in your wallet or purse only the credit cards, debit cards or personal information that you actually need.
- Keep a list of all your cards and bank accounts along with the account numbers, expiration dates, credit limits, and the telephone numbers of all customer service or fraud departments of the providers. Store the list in a safe place.
- Cancel cards that you do not use.
- Retain receipts from card transactions.
- Sign new cards as soon as you receive them.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Shield the keypad when using ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, or placing credit card calls.
- Store personal information in a safe place and shred or tear up documents you don't need.
- NEVER dispose of ATM/debit card or credit card receipts in public receptacles. Tear them up or shred them at home.
- Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.
- Upon receipt, carefully review your monthly accounts, credit card statements and utility bills (including cellular telephone bills) for unauthorized charges. If you spot any suspect activity, contact the provider immediately.
- Deposit outgoing mail in a post office collection box, hand it to a postal carrier, or take it to a post office instead of leaving it in your doorway or home mailbox, where it can be stolen.
Be very cautious about printing your Social Security Number (SSN) on any notice or other advice you receive from anyone from whom you receive goods or services (unless it is required by federal law). If you discover that your SSN is being printed on a notice or advice, contact the provider immediately.
- On a yearly basis, order a copy of your credit report and review it for accuracy.
- Review your credit report for unauthorized purchases, bank accounts and credit cards.
- Examine your credit report for anything suspicious in the section that lists who has received a copy of your credit history.
You can obtain your free credit reports as follows:
By phone: 877.322.8228
Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Bank Account and Credit Card Statements
- Know your billing cycles and watch for any missing mail. Follow up, immediately, with your financial institution if a bank account or credit card statement does not arrive on time.
- Review your bank account and credit card statements promptly and immediately report any discrepancy or unauthorized transactions.
- When you order new checks, ask when you can expect delivery. If your mailbox is not secure, ask to have the checks mailed to the bank and pick them up here rather than having them delivered to your home or business.
Telephone and Internet Solicitations
- Be suspicious when receiving any offer made by telephone, on a website or in an email that sounds too good to be true.
- Always make sure that the person or business making the offer is legitimate before responding to a telephone or Internet offer.
- An unsolicited email that promises some benefit but requests personal identifying information should NOT be responded to.
- If at any time you receive an email requesting personal identity information that appears to be from Maple Bank, do not respond to the email and contact us immediately. Maple Bank never requests a customer's bank card number, account number, Social Security number, Personal Identification Number (PIN) or password through email.
- Store extra checks, credit cards, documents that list your Social Security number, and similar items in a safe place.
- Shred all credit card receipts and solicitations, ATM receipts, bank account and credit card statements, canceled checks, and other financial documents before you throw them away.
PINs and Passwords
- Store passwords in a safe place if you can't memorize them and never take them with you.
- Never write your PIN on the back of your ATM, Debit Card, or Credit Card.
- Frequently change your passwords.
- Use a combination of numbers and letters for passwords, and never use easy-to-guess passwords or any series of consecutive numbers. .Avoid selecting PINs and passwords that will be easy for an identity thief to figure out. (i.e. Never use any part of your Social Security Number, birth date, middle name, spouse's name, child's name, pet's name, mother's maiden name, your address, consecutive numbers, or anything a thief could easily deduce or discover.)
- Do not carry PINs and passwords in your wallet or purse or keep them near your checkbook, credit cards, debit cards or ATM cards.
- You may change the PIN on your Maple Bank ATM or Debit Card at our office in Champlin, MN. Call us if you have questions.
Wallets and Purses
- Do not carry more checks, credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards and other bank items in your wallet or purse than you really expect to need.
- Do not carry your Social Security number in your wallet or purse.
- Never leave your purse or wallet unattended, even for a minute. (Airport security lines create new challenges. Attempt to minimize the time your purse or wallet is out of sight.)
- Use common sense and be suspicious when things do not seem right.
- Be suspicious of any proposed transaction that requires you to send an advance payment or deposit by wire transfer.
- Shred documents containing Social Security Numbers, account numbers, or debit/credit card numbers.
- Choose to do business with companies that are reputable. Of particular concern are those with whom you deal online.
- Never use public computers at libraries, internet cafes etc, to view financial information or to conduct financial transactions.
If you become the victim of identity theft:
- Notify law enforcement immediately
- Contact us
- Carefully review your accounts – initially and on a regular basis
- Notify us if you see any discrepancies on your account
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website to learn how to detect identify theft and how to recover from identity theft
- Free assistance is available at www.idtheftcenter.org
Please contact us immediately if you believe that you are a victim of identity theft involving one of your Maple Bank accounts.
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Maple Bank will never ask for sensitive financial or personal information, such as account numbers, passwords and Social Security numbers, via e-mail.
Protect yourself from Internet and email scams by keeping your private information secure. At Maple Bank, your privacy is very important to us. That's why we want to let you know about an email scam on the Internet called "phishing" (pronounced "fishing") a technique fraudsters use to lure online consumers to fake corporate websites through links sent via email.
In Phishing scams, the message in the email often warns consumers that their account will be closed if their 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 Maple 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.
Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from Internet and email fraud (phishing):
- 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 that you are using a secure Internet connection. There are two ways of determining if your connection to a website is secure. First, look at the address bar at the top of your browser. If the website address begins with "https://", then you have established a secure connection, but if it begins with "http://", then the connection is NOT secure. Second, look for a "lock" icon in your browser's status bar at the bottom right hand corner of your browser. The lock verifies that your connection to the website is secure.
- Make sure that you have installed and run updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Both viruses and spyware can leave your computer vulnerable to attack and intrusion. Anti-virus and anti-spyware software will keep your computer safe from malicious software that might have installed itself or may try to install itself on your computer. Anti-virus & anti-spyware software is especially important if you are using a broadband Internet connection like DSL, cable or satellite.
- 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 upgrades.
- 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 websites in place. If something doesn't look right, there is a good chance that it's not.
Maple Bank will NEVER request a customer's personal information (bank card number, account number, social security number, personal identification number or password) via email. If you should ever receive an email or phone call from a source that claims to be Maple Bank, requesting your personal, confidential information, DO NOT respond and contact the Bank immediately.
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In the lottery scam, you receive an email notification claiming that you have won an international lottery (Jamaican Lottery, Spanish Lottery, etc). In order to claim your winnings, you must contact the claims agent, typically via an email address that is most often from a free provider (e.g., Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.). The agent then sends you a claim form to verify your identity. You must then return the form with your personal details, along with 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 the winnings, you are required to wire funds to the fraudsters to cover the transaction, insurance, tax and legal fees associated with receiving their winnings. The victims are required to transfer the money requested via Western Union. You are now out the funds that you have wired to the fraudsters, and the fraudsters have your personal identification to continue to commit fraud.
The Nigerian Purchase Scam is another form of fraud that is becoming widespread in auction sites and on business' ecommerce web sites. A buyer will bid on or seek to purchase big-ticket goods (e.g., cars, boats, etc.) from the web site. The buyer will "accidentally" overpay the seller, stating they "wanted to make sure there were enough funds for shipping." The buyer will then ask the seller to deposit the check and refund the amount of the overpayment. The seller will deposit the counterfeit check and send the overpayment to the buyer prior to the check clearing through the international banking system. The seller is out the funds equal to the overpayment. In addition, the seller could be down the value of the shipped goods if those are sent at the same time. To protect yourself, always be careful when transacting with unknown parties. If you question the legitimacy of a buyer, talk with your branch representative to determine the best way to validate the check and funds prior to shipping any goods or providing a refund for the overpayment.
You get an email or a letter in the mail from a "mystery shopping company" often times the name of the company sounds official. Usually there is a check included or a promise to send a check. They tell you to cash the check and complete an assignment at a major retail store. Then they tell you to take the rest of the money that you didn't spend and send it to another mystery shopper via Western Union. The only problem is that's not a mystery shopper, that's the scammer! The check sent to you was not legitimate, but the bank won't realize it for at least a week. When the check is returned as fraudulent, you become responsible for the charges. Meanwhile, you just sent money to the scammer via Western Union and you're left holding the bag.
If you receive an email or letter in the mail saying you won a lottery and they send you a check or if you sell something on EBay and the buyer pays with a check, you may think you can just take the check to your bank and cash it. Unfortunately, you can't. What's worse, if you cash it in most states, you may be assisting a criminal in passing a counterfeit check, money laundering or worse. Blank checks are stolen every day from individual mail boxes, homes, businesses and even banks. Counterfeiters and scammers use these checks to create scams and frauds.
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 the victim of a counterfeit check cashing scam, email the FDIC's Special Activities Section at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 St., NW, Room F-4040,
Washington, D.C. 20429
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