Protecting Your Finances: A Guide to Safeguarding Against Bank Fraud and Scams


As technology advances, so do the tactics employed by fraudsters and scammers seeking to exploit unsuspecting individuals. It's crucial for bank customers to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to protect their account information. In this article, Bank of Columbia will explore common bank fraud and scams and provide valuable tips on safeguarding your finances.

Recognizing Common Bank Fraud and Scams

  • Phishing Emails: Fraudsters send deceptive emails, impersonating legitimate financial institutions, to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information.
  • Phone Scams: Scammers make unsolicited calls, posing as bank representatives, and attempt to extract personal or financial details.
  • Skimming Devices: Criminals attach skimming devices to ATMs or payment terminals to capture credit or debit card information.
  • Fake Websites: Fraudulent websites resembling legitimate banking platforms trick users into entering login credentials or personal information.

Protecting Your Account Information

  • Strong Passwords: Create unique, strong passwords for your online banking accounts and other accounts that use your debit card or bank account information. Avoid using passwords that are generic or easy to guess and consider using a password manager.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Bank of Columbia customers are protected with SecureNow which adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification step, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device.
  • Secure Network: Avoid accessing your online banking account on public Wi-Fi networks, as they may be vulnerable to hackers. Use a secure and private network for banking transactions.
  • Regular Account Monitoring: Keep a close eye on your account activity. Report any suspicious transactions or unauthorized access to your bank immediately. With Bank of Columbia’s online platform and mobile app you can easily identify transactions immediately.
  • Debit Card Monitoring: Bank of Columbia mobile app users also have access to My Cards, a debit card management tool. With My Cards you can control when and where your debit card can be used, you can shut your card off if it is lost, stolen or misplaced and you can quickly see where your card was used by the name of the business and its location. You can also set alerts so you will receive a popup notification anytime your debit card is used.
  • Alerts: Bank of Columbia uses Notifi, an alert system, to text or call customers when your debit card is used outside of your usual transaction area and/or location. This fraud alert system allows you to respond if the charge is fraudulent or legitimate when the transaction is attempted.
  • Verify Emails and Calls: Be cautious of unsolicited emails or phone calls requesting personal or financial information. If you have concerns about the validity of a call, text or email contact your bank at the official contact number. Bank of Columbia can be reached at 270-384-6433.
  • Protect Personal Documents: Safeguard physical documents containing sensitive information, such as bank statements or credit card bills. Shred them before disposal.

Stay Informed and Educated

  • Financial Institution Updates: Regularly check your bank's official website or social media channels for any security alerts or updates regarding fraud prevention measures.
  • Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest scams and fraud techniques. Be aware of common red flags and warning signs.
  • Help Your Loved Ones: As the elderly are often targeted by scams, talk openly with your loved ones about the potential for fraud via social media apps, spam calls and email.
  • Consumer Protection Resources: Utilize resources provided by consumer protection agencies and financial institutions to learn more about protecting yourself from fraud.

Report Suspicious Activity

  • Contact Your Bank: If you suspect any fraudulent activity or unauthorized access to your account, contact your bank's fraud department immediately. Bank of Columbia can be reached at 270-384-6433.
  • Law Enforcement Authorities: Report incidents of bank fraud or scams to your local law enforcement agency and provide them with all relevant information.

Protecting your account information and staying vigilant against bank fraud and scams is crucial in today's digital age. By being proactive and following the tips shared in this article, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to fraudulent activities. Remember, staying informed, implementing strong security practices, and promptly reporting any suspicious activity are key to safeguarding your finances.

Together, we can combat bank fraud and scams, ensuring a secure and trustworthy banking experience for all.

*Information contained in this article are the opinions and products offered by Bank of Columbia, 144 Public Square, Columbia, KY 42728. 

Bank of Columbia is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC.

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