What is fraud, and how can we prevent it?

“A knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment.”

This is the definition for fraud used by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). To put it a little more simply, fraud can include any crime for gain that uses deception as its principal modus operandus. This means any intentional or deliberate act to deprive another entity of property or money by guile, deception, or other unfair means.

Bryant Bank fraud preventionFraud is a very serious matter that we work hard to prevent every day at Bryant Bank. We are happy to participate in International Fraud Awareness Week, which is November 17-23, 2019. This week-long campaign to raise awareness for fraud was established by the ACFE in 2000. 

The safety and security of our customer accounts and the personal information of our customers is something we want to protect in every way we can. To do this, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the security of our banking products and services, whether it’s through our text fraud alerts, Card Management, Mobile Wallets, and more.

But it’s also important for you, as our customer, to be educated on the best ways to protect yourself against fraud, identify theft, and scams. We are here to help if these situations arise, but in this blog post, we want to share helpful security awareness tips to educate you on the many ways to maintain a smart and safe banking experience with the hope of never having to deal with fraud. 

Types of fraud

Fraud can happen against a company, and can be committed internally by employees, managers, officers, or owners of the company. It can also be committed externally by customers, vendors, and other parties. Another type of fraud can affect individuals, rather than organizations. Here’s a little more information about the three types of fraud:

  1. Internal fraud — This is defined by the ACFE as: “The use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the organization’s resources or assets.” Basically this means an employee, manager, or executive commits fraud against his or her employer. 
  2. External fraud — This can include a wide variety of schemes possibly involving dishonest vendors or dishonest customers. Organizations also face threats of security breaches and thefts of intellectual property committed by unknown third parties. Other examples of external fraud include hacking, theft of proprietary information, tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud, insurance fraud, healthcare fraud, and loan fraud.
  3. Fraud against individuals — People aiming to commit fraud have many ways in which they can defraud an individual. Identity theft, Ponzi schemes, phishing schemes, and advanced-fee frauds are a few ways criminals have found to steal money from victims.

Preventing fraud at Bryant Bank 

Card Management (formerly known as MyCardRules) is an option we rolled out at Bryant Bank in early 2019 to allow customers to manage card spending from mobile devices. It is an easy-to-use function of our digital banking that allows you to set card controls, add restrictions, and receive transaction alerts. It gives you complete control of how, when, where, and who uses your cards.

Managing your cards with Card Management is safe and secure, especially since it is integrated into your digital banking. Knowing that you’ve set rules, restrictions, and alerts that are specific to you adds another layer of fraud detection and prevention. Card Management was made for Bryant Bank customers for their convenience and peace of mind, and it’s a free service to all of our customers. 

Mobile Wallets allow you to pay confidently with your Bryant Bank Visa® Debit Card using a variety of payment options. With a mobile wallet, your transaction is extremely secure because your actual card number is never used. If a merchant where you have shopped is hacked, the number that was used in your transaction cannot be used again. Another advantage is that your personal information or card number won’t be exposed to anyone around you at the checkout counter like it would be if using a physical debit or credit card. To learn how to add your card to a mobile wallet, find more information here.

We will never contact you via email or text message requesting that you verify your Bryant Bank online user ID and password, social security number, debit card, credit card, PINs, or other confidential personal account information, but we do send fraud text alerts or call you directly if we suspect anything is amiss with your account. Be sure you utilize this “Alert” feature available with Bryant Bank’s online banking. We stay on top of what’s going on to make sure there is no suspicious activity, but if you believe you are a victim of fraud or the recipient of suspicious communication, please call us immediately at 1-855-4BRYANT (1-855-427-9268).

General tips for fraud prevention

  • Do not leave an internet or mobile banking session unattended for any period of time. Be sure you always sign out or log-off.
  • All computers and networks should be equipped with updated and reliable antivirus, malware, and spyware detection software. Make sure this software automatically updates to the newest version so its list of viruses stays current. Also, it’s a good idea to use antivirus, malware, and spyware software to scan emails.
  • Keep your computer operating system (OS) current.
  • Keep login credentials, such as user ids and passwords confidential and in a safe place. Do not store these credentials on your mobile device, and don’t keep them written down in any place where others can view or access. 
  • Do not use “easy” passwords. Instead choose complex ones, using unique combinations of numbers, letters, uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and information only you would know. Change your password periodically.
  • Treat mobile devices the same way you do a desktop or laptop computer. Since they allow the same access to the internet, they can also expose your information if not treated correctly. We recommend that you enable an automatic screen lock after a period of inactivity, such as one minute.
  • Beware of suspicious emails from unknown addresses or a person or entity that is unlikely to contact you directly, such as the IRS. If you accidentally open a suspicious email, do not click on any of the links or attachments. If you do open a suspicious email and/or any links are clicked, immediately contact an information technology professional to check your device.
  • Remember that no business or bank should ever ask you to provide user credentials or personal information in response to an email. 
  • Review bank and credit card statements promptly and carefully. When they are no longer needed, shred all documents containing personal information. Periodically check your credit report for any unusual changes.

Your privacy and security are very important to all of us at Bryant Bank.  Through these security measures and others listed above, we hope to do our part in fighting fraud and raising awareness for our customers about how to prevent it.

Our Bankers in Alabama Would Love to Work With You! 

At Bryant Bank, family is at that heart of what matters most.  And for us, Alabama is that family. Our vision is to see Alabamians experience a financially stable future and live in a thriving community.  To accomplish this, Bryant Bankers put care into action each day to help others invest in their full potential. We are proud to offer Personal, Business, and Mortgage Banking services.  Click here to locate your closest Bryant Bank or to open an account with us today.