On Our Minds

Don’t neglect your financial information during hurricane season

If you’ve lived in Florida for any length of time, you know what happens every summer: Hurricane season. Longtime residents know the drill – protect yourself and your loved ones in terms of shelter, safety and supplies.

For a refresher, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the National Hurricane Center have posted some important operational guidelines.

More

Don’t Fall Prey to Tax Time Fraud

Scammers routinely use the anxiety of tax season to prey on the unsuspecting, and this year, they’re also using the pandemic and the government’s Economic Impact Payments to steal money and identities from taxpayers.

More

Watch Out for Fake Currency

You may think counterfeiting is not the problem it once was, but according to the United States Department of Treasury, an estimated $70 million in counterfeit bills are in circulation, or approximately one counterfeit note for every 10,000 in genuine currency.

More

Avoid Corporate Account Takeover

Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. “Corporate account takeover” is a form of identity theft of a business. Criminals phony emails pretending to be someone you know to trick you into clicking on links or attachments that can lead to malicious software being installed on your computer. Once this happens, they will ask you to enter credentials where they will gain access to your email account. At that point, they will send emails to the bank appearing to be from you to initiate ACH and wire transactions.

More

6 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM BUSINESS EMAIL COMPROMISE SCAMS

Companies of all sizes are being targeted by criminals through business email compromise scams. In these scams, cybercriminals gain access to an employee’s legitimate business email through social engineering or computer intrusion. The criminal then impersonates the employee often a senior executive or someone who can authorize payments and instructs others to transfer funds on their behalf. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, over $10 billion has been lost by victims in the U.S. due to these scams.

“Any business that conducts transactions overseas or regularly performs wire transfers should stay alert for these scams,” said Certified Information Security Manager Margo Leiter. “Companies can protect themselves and their employees by using alternative communication channels to verify any large transaction requests and by educating their employees on potential red flags of fraud.”

More

Why should I use my debit card?

One reason is our new “Use It. Love It. Win It.” Sweepstakes.* You can earn $500 just by using your Wauchula State Bank Visa® Debit Card for everyday purchases. Sound good? Check out the official rules and details.

The sweepstakes is not the only reason to use your debit card. You may already be using it for dining and entertainment, groceries, gas, shopping online, and monthly bills like utilities, cell phone plans, gym membership, auto insurance, and much more.

What are some of the other advantages of using a debit card?

  • Convenience. Regular debit card users appreciate how fast and easy transactions are made.
  • Reduced dependency on cash and checks. Writing checks is time consuming and antiquated. Many vendors no longer accept personal checks, and even if they do, you have to be careful and monitor your account balance to avoid overdraft fees. It only takes a moment to complete a purchase with a debit card.
  • No debt. With a credit card, it's easy to purchase anything you want, even if you don't have the funds, which can lead to enormous credit card debt. WalletHub.com reports that Americans began 2020 owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt.
A debit card draws on money you already have. Retailers know people usually spend more when using plastic than if they were paying cash. By using debit cards, impulsive spenders can avoid the temptation of credit and the interest, late fees, and other charges paid by those who do not pay off their credit card balances each month. With debit cards, you don't have to remember to pay the credit card bill every month.

  • No approval necessary. If you have poor credit, it can be difficult to be approved for a credit card and the interest rate will likely be sky high. Debit cards require no application or minimum credit score, and most just require you to have a checking account.
  • Fraud protection. Insert your card rather than swiping it. The introduction of chip card technology for debit and credit cards has stopped a lot of point-of-sale fraud.
Downloading the bank’s MobiMoney app allows you to manage your Visa® Debit Card from the palm of your hand. You can receive instant card usage alerts, turn your card on or off, limit the use of your card based on location or merchant, and place spending limits. Learn more and download the app.

Why choose a Wauchula State Bank Visa® Debit Card? Visa’s industry leadership is your assurance of capability and quality at the highest level. Here’s what sets Visa apart:

  • The Visa Network – widely accepted around the world, with over 46 million merchant locations globally.
  • A commitment to uncovering debit potential and increasing usage.
  • Sophisticated risk and fraud detection techniques to safeguard transactions.
All this, PLUS the chance to win $500! That’s a real win-win for everybody.

*No Purchase Necessary | See Official Rules at http://www.uselovewin.com.

Click here to see some recent winners.

More

Stop Ransomware Before It Stops You!


Stop Ransomware Before It Stops You!

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files, preventing access until a demanded sum of money is paid in exchange to unlock files. Individuals and businesses have become targets in this growing online fraud.
While monetary losses to individuals and businesses can be excessive, businesses have more to lose, since cybercriminals can gain access to clients’ personal information and extort money from them as well as the business. Fraudsters can buy a kit on the dark net for about $175 and charge a business a ransom of approximately $84,000 per attack.
Certified Information Security Manager Margo Leiter offers nine tips for consumers and businesses to help prevent ransomware attacks.

Tips for consumers:
• Don’t click. Visiting unsafe, suspicious or fake websites can lead to the intrusion of malware. Be cautious when opening any email with attachments or links you are not expecting, even when you recognize the sender. When in doubt, throw it out!
• Always back up your files. By maintaining offline copies of your personal information, ransomware scams will have a limited impact on you. If targeted, you will be less inclined to heed threats posed by cybercriminals.
• Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you’ll receive the newest fixes as they become available.
• Enable popup blockers. To prevent popups, turn on popup blockers to avert unwanted ads, popups or browser malware from constantly appearing on your computer screen.
Tips for businesses:
• Educate your employees. Employees can serve as a first line of defense to combat online threats if properly trained to recognize malicious emails, websites and online ads. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses aid tremendously in preventing these threats.
• Manage the use of privileged accounts. In an effort to limit your network’s exposure to malware, restrict users’ ability to install and run software applications on network devices.
• Have a plan. Determine how you will keep the business running in the event of an attack. Teach employees what to do, such as unplug from the internet immediately. Law enforcement doesn’t recommend paying the ransom as this encourages criminals to continue. Routinely back up and store the data on a separate device or offline in order to access it in the event of a ransomware attack.
• Protect your systems. Keep antivirus, anti-malware, and firewalls up to date and patched. Conduct regular scans. Hire a security professional.
• Report ransomware. Contact your local FBI field office immediately to report a ransomware event and request assistance. Visit https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field to locate the office nearest you.

More

8 Ways to Avoid Online Fraud

Cyberattacks are becoming more and more sophisticated and common. According to the 2019 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, 152 million U.S. consumers were victims of cybercrime – more than half of the country’s adult online population – with losses totaling nearly $11.3 billion. Wauchula State Bank is highlighting ways to help consumers protect themselves against online fraud.

“The internet is home to some of the most notorious fraudsters,” said Certified Information Security Manager Margo Leiter. “As consumers become more and more active online, they must take steps to protect their information from cyber thieves, including establishing strong network passwords and making sure to connect to secure websites.”

Leiter recommends the following tips to help keep your information safe online:

More

A Dozen Ways to Protect Your Mobile Device from Hackers

As of January 2020, there were approximately 246.3 million mobile internet users in the United States, accounting for 87 percent of the population, according Statista, a provider of market and consumer data. Review 42  reports that the average user will tap, swipe, and click their phone 2,617 times a day and spend 171 minutes a day on a device.

More

8 Tips to Protect Your Identity

According to a recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research, identity fraud reached $16.9 billion in 2019. As identity fraud continues to be a major threat, Wauchula State Bank is offering tips to help consumers proactively protect their information from identity thieves.

More