Identity Theft Protection
The safety and security of your accounts and the soundness of our bank remain as our highest priorities. The professionals at Congressional Bank are well-trained in safety and security, and they work hard to protect you and your personal or business information from fraud, ID theft and other crimes. We are diligent in our efforts to continuously improve our procedures, operations and systems to ensure the most stringent internet security practices to protect your information are in place. The paragraphs below contain information and resources regarding safety and security you can use to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Customer Service Team at 240-380-1235240-380-1235.
Preventing Business-related Check Fraud
Businesses are primary targets of check fraud professionals, especially by organized rings of criminals, and payroll checks appear to be a favorite. Use a combination of precautions to greatly reduce the likelihood of check fraud.
- Order checks and deposit slips wisely. Use an established, respectable source to ensure your checks will process easily through the bank's clearing system. Notify your check supplier (and financial institution, if necessary) if a new check order has not been received within a reasonable time frame.
- Maintain adequate physical security of your checks, deposit slips, etc.: Secure all reserve supplies of checks, deposit slips and other banking documents in a locked facility and limit the number of people with access. Change the locks on your facility when an employee leaves. Never leave checks or bank records unattended.
- Reconcile your account promptly and regularly. Quick fraud detection increases the likelihood of recovery.
- Issuing checks: Limit the number of official signers. Require more than one signature on large dollar check amounts.
- Assign accounts-payable functions. Divide these functions to more than one person and make each person responsible for different payment areas. This division of responsibility makes it more difficult for employees to tamper with checks and payments. Immediately notify the bank of any change to your accounts payable process and personnel.
- Use Positive Pay, which records pertinent information about each check (the amount, check number, bank information and date) and transmits it to the bank to be verified before the check can be paid.
Preventing Customer-related Check Fraud
- In General: Reconcile your bank statement within 30 days of receipt in order to detect any irregularities. Never give your account number to people you do not know, especially over the telephone (be particularly wary ofunsolicited phone sales). Unless needed for tax purposes, destroy old canceled checks, account statements,deposit tickets, and ATM receipts.
- Ordering Checks: When you receive your check order, make sure all checks are included. Report any missing checks to your bank immediately. Make sure your checks are endorsed by your financial institution and incorporate security features that help combat counterfeiting and alteration. Store your checks, deposit slips, bank statements and canceled checks in a secure and locked location.
- Writing Checks: Limit the amount of personal information on your check - do not include your Social Security Number, driver's license number, telephone number or credit card number. Don't leave blank spaces on the payee and amount lines. Don't make a check payable to cash – if it's lost or stolen, the check can be cashed by anyone.
- Accepting and Depositing Check Payments: If someone pays you with a cashier's check, have them accompany you to the bank to cash it. Make sure you obtain identification information from the individual. Use the pre-printed deposit slips affiliated with your account, and be sure the account number on your slip is correct. Criminals can alter deposit slips, hoping you won't notice and the money goes into their account. Never endorse a check until you are ready to cash or deposit it. The information can be altered if it is lost or stolen.
ATM/Debit Card Safety
- Select an ATM with which you are familiar and choose well-lit, well-placed ATMs where you feel comfortable. Be wary of suspicious looking individuals nearby. Have your card ready in your hand before you approach the ATM. Take notice of any hidden cameras, unusual attachments to the card slot or key pad, unusual instructions on the display screen, and suspicious blank screens. If you suspect that the ATM has been interfered with, do not use it.
- When using the ATM, stand close and shield the keypad with your hand when entering the PIN. Do not allow anyone to distract you.
- Protect your PIN by memorizing it. Avoid obvious and guessable numbers for your PIN like your date of birth. Change your PIN periodically, and if you think it may have been compromised, change it immediately. Never disclose your PIN to anyone.
- In general, treat your cards as if they were cash. Do not leave them unattended. Make a list of your card account numbers and telephone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards and keep the list in a safe place. And, report all suspicious activity immediately.