Security Tips

Common Cyber Frauds and How to Protect Yourself

Digital banking services are being used more now than ever before. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift in banking trends, online and mobile banking have increased in popularity. As these methods of banking become more popular, the threat of cyber attacks becomes a real concern.

Scams and Phishing attempts are everywhere. It’s important to stay alert to potential attempts in your day-to-day life. These are a few scams happening in our current area:

  • Subscription Service Alerts If you get an email or text about an issue with payment for a streaming service, information update on a credit card or other request to “click here” – take a second look at the message. Phishing attempts such as this may redirect to a website that looks like the company but will be used to collect your log information or personal information. Be wary of misspelled words, random letter capitalization or font changes etc.
  • Fraudulent Transaction Alerts – Scammers will call or text to notify of a possible fraudulent transaction. Most often, they will ask you to provide information such as your 16 digit Debit Card Number, your Online Banking Username and/or Password. If it’s truly from Washington Trust or our Debit Card servicer, we won’t ask for this information. Always feel free to hang up and call us at a published Washington Trust phone number (800-475-2265 or 401-348-1200) to verify any suspicious transactions.
  • Lottery Winnings – You must play to win! If you haven’t played the specific lottery that you’ve supposedly won, it’s best to just hang up the call.
  • Government Agencies/Warrants – These calls may vary in the story provided, but generally there is a threat of a warrant being issued, a levy or hold on your account or Social Security payments being cancelled etc. For the most part, government agencies will provide physical documentation such as a letter to notify you of legal action in advance of holding your social security or a levy on your account. If you have questions, always reach out to the government agency or police directly.
  • Auto Warranty – We have all gotten the auto warranty calls! Best to ignore or block these calls. Check your mobile device’s settings to determine if you can block calls that are not from someone in your contact list. If you enable this feature - don’t forget to add Washington Trust (401-348-1200) so you can receive calls from us!

If you do fall victim to a scam, please contact Washington Trust or visit one of our branch locations as soon as possible. Our priority is ensuring the safety and security of your personal and banking information.

How to Protect Yourself from Potential Scams

Username & Password Security Tips:

We often hear about the importance of Unique Username, Password Security, and making sure our personal information is safe. Washington Trust requires a password change within the Personal Online Banking service once per calendar year (365 days). We will notify you when it’s time – whether you’re logging in on a browser or through our Mobile App.

When we talk about Unique Usernames and Passwords, it’s a critical part of online security. Washington Trust recommends the following:

  • Choose a Unique Username: Something different any other login you currently use on another site and does not include your name (part or whole), your email address etc. Consider a word or phrase with special characters and numbers.
  • Avoid using the same username and password for multiple services, especially financial or services that include personal information.
  • Don’t use your email address or your name: This prevents confusion with other users trying to login as well as malicious attacks with common usernames.

How we make sure your information stays safe:

  • When you call Washington Trust, we verify it’s you before sharing any specific information.
  • When you stop by to see us in person, we may ask for a driver’s license or government issue identification before moving forward with your request.
  • Logging into Personal Online Banking requires your Username and Password combination as well as either a previously registered phone or computer; OR we ask you to confirm it’s truly you by verifying a six digit code.

Need Help or have additional questions?

Call our Customer Solutions Center at (800) 475-2265 or email us today!

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