Security

Online Banking Security Policy

At Bell State Bank & Trust, your online information is secure, and you can be confident that no one else has access to it. Signing on to view your accounts from the Bell State Bank & Trust home page is safe. When you click the Login button, your username and password are encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to keep your information secure.

Remember, we welcome your questions, suggestions, complaints or compliments – just click on Contact Us! However, you should never put personal data such as account numbers, Social Security numbers or other information in an email to us. In fact, Bell State Bank & Trust will never ask you for your confidential personal or account information via email.

If you receive an email that appears to be from Bell State Bank & Trust and asks for that information, you may be encountering a “phishing” scam, in which someone is trying to trick you into revealing confidential information.

Identifying Online Fraud

While it can be difficult to tell fraudulent emails and Web sites from legitimate ones, here are some common characteristics of “phishing” scams:

  • They often have a sense of urgency telling customers that if they fail to update or confirm their personal or account information, access to their accounts will be suspended.
  • They typically ask for personal information such as:
    • Account numbers
    • Credit card and check card numbers
    • Social Security numbers
    • Internet banking sign-on IDs or passwords
    • Mother’s maiden name
    • Date of birth
    • Other sensitive information
  • They often include links or email addresses that include a legitimate company’s name or website.
  • The emails and pop-up websites may include misspelled words and improper grammar.

5 Ways to Foil Internet Thieves

Don’t make it easy for Internet thieves. Learn from the FDIC’s video how you can safeguard against electronic scams so you Don’t Become an Online Victim. And take these precautions:

  • Never reply to unsolicited e-mails or pop-up Web sites that ask for sensitive personal or account information.
  • Type Web addresses into browsers instead of clicking on links in emails.
  • Change your passwords and PINs every 30 to 60 days.
  • Keep your anti-virus and anti-spam filtering software up to date.
  • Monitor your accounts and credit reports regularly.

If you believe you have provided information about your Bell State Bank & Trust accounts to a fraudulent email or website, contact us immediately by calling 701-298-1550 or toll-free 800-450-8949.

Preventing Theft of Your Personal Information

  • You get a phone call from someone who says he is a police officer or bank employee, requesting your bank account numbers in order to prevent fraudulent activity.
    Do you give out your bank account numbers?
  • You receive an email from someone you don’t know, asking to confirm your Social Security number for charitable purposes.
    Do you give out your Social Security number?
  • You open an email from an Internet sales site you have previously used, asking you to update your personal account information, including your personal identification number (PIN) for your debit card.
    Do you give out your PIN?
  • You receive a letter, phone call or email identifying you as the lucky winner of a lottery or sweepstakes. All you have to do is pay taxes or fees on your winnings in advance by wiring the money. They are even sending you a check to cover the taxes or fees!
    Do you wire the money?
  • You open an email asking you to help someone in another country by cashing a money order. For your troubles, the sender says, you will receive $2,000.
    Do you send the money?
  • You are selling your car, and the buyer sends you an “official check” for thousands more than your asking price. They tell you this was an error and ask you to wire the excess funds back to them.
    Do you wire the money?

The answer to all of these questions, of course, should be “No.” But the reality is that bank customers fall victim to these and other real-life scams every week. Most of us are trusting people, and we assume that others are as law-abiding as we are.

Unfortunately, others are not all as law-abiding. Criminals want your personal bank account information, PIN or Social Security number so they can make huge profits at your expense.

Don’t Give Out Your PIN

Never send money or personal information, for any reason, to people you do not know, unless you have a very good reason to trust them. If you receive an e-mail, Internet pop-up, phone call or letter asking for your personal information—bank account or bank routing number, PINs, Social Security number or credit card information—do not give out that information.

Unless you have initiated the phone call, never give out personal information. You must know who you are talking to.

Remember, you are responsible for any check, money order or other item you deposit that turns out to be counterfeit, even if the bank has already made the funds available for you to use. Funds may be charged back against your account if the item doesn’t clear.

Keep an Eye on Your Accounts

We suggest you monitor your bank, credit card and other accounts regularly to ensure that all transactions are your own. Remember, Bell State Bank & Trust will never call or email you to ask for your account numbers, Social Security number, or other personal information. We already have all your account information, right here at the bank. Nor will any other financial institution, business or government agency call requesting that you provide personal information.

We also recommend that you monitor your credit report for unauthorized activity. You are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. Request a report by visiting the official government site, annualcreditreport.com, or by calling 877-322-8228.

What If It Happens to You?

If you are a Bell State Bank & Trust personal checking customer, and you believe you have fallen victim to fraud or identity theft, contact any Bell State Bank & Trust location. You are automatically covered with our FREE Identity Theft Recovery Program! This program covers any identity theft, such as fraudulent use of your name, Social Security number, bank account, any credit/debit card, or other identifying information—even of non-Bell State Bank accounts and credit cards—with up to $10,000 ID theft expense reimbursement insurance. Plus, a FREE Personal Recovery Advocate assigned to you will manage your recovery plan and contact banks, credit card companies and agencies such as the DMV, Social Security and the U.S. Post Office for you, working on your behalf for as long as it takes to recover your good name.

For more tips on how you can avoid identity theft and fraud, look for the Federal Trade Commission’s online guide, “Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft.”

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