There is a type of fraud called “phishing”. The term “phishing” as in fishing for confidential information refers to a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual’s information. This is how it works:
A consumer receives an e-mail which appears to originate from a financial institution, government agency or other well-known/reputable entity.
The provided link appears to be the web site of the above, but in “phishing” scams, the web site belongs to the fraudster/scammer.
Once inside the fraudulent web site, the consumer may be asked to provide Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information used to identify the consumer, such as the maiden name of the consumer’s mother or the consumer’s place of birth.
When the consumer provides the information, those perpetrating the fraud can begin to access consumer accounts or assume the person’s identity.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft, perhaps because you submitted personal information in response to a suspicious, unsolicited e-mail or you see unauthorized charges on your credit card, immediately contact your financial institution and if necessary close existing accounts and open new ones. Also contact the police and request a copy of any police report or case number for later reference.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:
- Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request.
- If you believe the contact may be legitimate, contact the financial institution yourself.
- Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited internet request.
- Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct.
- Never provide personal financial information.
- Never click on the link provided in an e-mail.
Listed below are some of the new “key words” and their meanings to help you avoid identity theft.
Phishing refers to criminal activity that attempts to fraudulently obtain sensitive information.
Pharming is another scam where a hacker installs malicious code on a personal computer or server. This code then redirects clicks you make on a web site to another fraudulent web site without your consent or knowledge.
Criminals also use the phone to solicit your personal information. This telephone version of phishing is sometimes called vishing.
Just like phishing, smishing uses cell phone text messages to lure consumers in. In many cases, the smishing message will come from a “5000” number instead of displaying an actual phone number. DO NOT RESPOND TO SMISHING MESSAGES.
ANOTHER RECOGNITION FOR WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA BANK
West Central Georgia Bank is ranked in the 2012 top 15th percentile of Community Banks.
Seifried & Brew LLC, a community bank risk management firm, named West Central Georgia Bank in its 2012 Top 15th Percentile of Community Banks. To gain entry into this distinguished ranking, the bank demonstrated exemplary performance of balancing risk and reward based on the Bank’s S&B Total Risk/Return Composite Ranking. This is no small feat considering that the Bank not only survived the Financial Crisis but actually thrived. This supports Seifried & Brew’s belief that conservative, traditional community banking is the strength of our financial system.
In S&B’s book, The Art of Capital Planning – the “How-To” Guide, the authors clearly demonstrate that the difference between the banks that failed and those that survived the Financial Crisis, or even those that prospered, was each bank’s ability to optimize risk. While the word “optimize” sounds incongruous with the threats of risk, the truth is that community banks make money from managed risk. Those banks ranking in the 2012 S&B Top 15th Percentile of Community Banks epitomize such optimization of managed risk.
COMMUNITY BANK ADVANTAGES
• Community banks focus attention on the needs of local families, businesses and farmers.
Conversely, many of the nation’s megabanks are structured to place a priority on serving large
• Unlike many larger banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in others, community
banks channel most of their loans to the neighborhoods where their depositors live and work,
helping to keep local communities vibrant and growing.
• Community bank officers are generally accessible to their customers on-site. CEOs at
megabanks are often headquartered in office suites, away from daily customers dealings.
• Community bank officers are typically deeply involved in local community affairs, while
large-bank officers are likely to be detached physically and emotionally from the communities
where their branches are located.
• Many community banks are willing to consider character, family history and discretionary
spending in making loans. Megabanks, on the other hand, often apply impersonal qualification
criteria, such as credit scoring, to all loan decisions without regard to individual circumstances.
• Community banks offer nimble decision-making on business loans because decisions are made
locally. Megabanks must often convene loan-approval committees in another state.
• Because community banks are themselves small businesses, they understand the needs of
small-business owners. Their core concern is lending to small businesses and farms. The core
concern of the mega banks is corporate America.
FDIC DEPOSIT INSURANCE
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform
and Consumer Protection Act, which, in part, permanently raises the current
standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000. The standard maximum
insurance amount of $100,000 had been temporarily raised to $250,000 until
December 31, 2013. The FDIC insurance coverage limit applies per depositor,
per insured depository institution for each account ownership category.
PROTECT YOUR MONEY AND IDENTITY WITH DIRECT DEPOSIT
If you apply for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you
must start receiving you payments electronically. If you did not sign up for
electronic payments when you applied for benefits, now would be a good time to
change. You must switch to electronic payments by March 2, 2013. When you use
Direct Deposit, you can rest assured that your money is safe. Since your money
goes directly into the bank in the form of an electronic transfer, there is no
risk of a check being lost or stolen You can sign for Direct Deposit with a
simple phone call to the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or you
can come in and we will be happy to make the call for you.
We are always looking for ways to make
banking with us as easy and convenient as possible for our customers. Overdraft Privilege is now
available for our qualified individual and small business checking account customers.
With Overdraft Privilege, if
you overdraw your checking account, West Central Georgia Bank may cover your shortfall up
to $500.00 instead of returning items unpaid*. Overdraft Privilege will be available to
qualified customers for checks, in-person withdrawals, ACH and Internet Bill Pay
We will, however need your consent
to authorize Overdraft Privilege for ATM and everyday debit card transactions. If you do not
consent for this coverage, the transaction would be declined.
You must complete a ATM/Debit Card
Consent Form if you would like this additional service. Just stop by any of our offices to sign
a consent form.
* Subject to $25.00 overdraft fee per item. Whether your overdrafts will be paid is discretionary
and we reserve the right not to pay. For example, we typically do not pay overdrafts if your account
is not in good standing, or you are not making regular deposits, or you have too many overdrafts.
You must bring your account to a positive balance within 30 days of becoming overdrawn.
ONLINE BANKING / "REAL TIME"
West Central Georgia Bank has improved our Online Banking to enable you to view “Real Time”
balances and transactions on your account. What will this mean for you, our customer? Your balances
will be up to the minute and as transactions clear your account, they will be available for viewing
immediately. The new Internet Banking will include all of what you have today plus a few extras.
You will have access to balances and history, one time and recurring funds transfers, check image
viewing and downloads, self directed research, loan payments, placing and monitoring
of stop payments, password changes and downloads of account information into financial management solutions, Quicken and
QuickBooks, which will make it easier than ever for you to track your finances. We are very excited, because
once implemented, all of our products will now be real time! West Central Georgia Bank strives to always
offer our customers quality, up-to-date products and services and we feel you will love this new Internet
Banking product as much as we do. We will soon be notifying you of the implementation date and how we will
transition you to the new product. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us.
BILLPAY UPGRADE / “REAL TIME”
BILLPAY has been upgraded as of Wednesday, May 16, 2012. We have set up all of your payees that were available
for upgrade. Please ensure that all of your payees are present and correct. None of your "old" scheduled payments
were converted. All scheduled payments in the "old" Bill Pay were cancelled on May 15, 2012 and will have to be
scheduled by you in the "new" Real Time Bill Pay system. Some of the improvements with your "new" Bill Pay Account are,
your account will not be debited until your check has cleared, once you have logged into Online Banking
you have access to your Bill Pay without a separate signon, and you will have the ability to pay anyone
If you have any questions or concerns please call
706-647-8951 and ask for Bookkeeping.
Effective 1/31/2011, West Central
Georgia Bank began processing all ATM/Debit Card transactions through SHAZAM. With
this, we began processing real time which means all cash and on us check deposits
will immediately post to your card balance, as well as all withdrawals will be debited
from your balance. SHAZAM also features state of the art fraud prevention tools and
services to help protect you from fraud and identity theft pertaining to your card.
We did not reissue cards
with this change, but you will receive a newly designed card when your current card
expires. Please do not hesitate to call with any questions or problems.
The Banking Buddies are a special group of customers that enjoy special
get togethers, travels and meetings with special speakers.
Could you be a victim of identity theft?
No matter how careful you are, you can still become a victim of
identity theft. Each day, criminals find new ways to steal personal
information, so they can take over existing accounts and open
fraudulent new accounts. Victims may be left with permanent damage
to their credit rating – or worse yet, an undeserved criminal
That’s why you need Deluxe ID TheftBlock !
Wouldn’t you like help protecting your money and your good name?
Learn more about the Deluxe ID TheftBlock by clicking the link
Visa/Mastercard Merchant Certification
To report a lost or stolen ATM or Debit Card, please contact SHAZAM at 800-383-8000.