First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Central Illinois S.B.

Protect what matters

Check Fraud Prevention

We use a number of techniques to detect forged checks and to prevent payment. These include reviewing signatures and screening new accounts. Our tellers are trained to watch for telltale signs of criminal activity. But, consumers play an important role in preventing use of their accounts for criminal purposes.

Some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Do not give your checking account number to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and are certain that the number you dialed is legitimate.
  • Only give checking account information to vendors that you know are reputable.
  • Keep track of your checkbook. Report lost or stolen checks immediately.
  • Read your checking account statments carefully and report any fraudulent usage.
  • Properly store or dispose of canceled checks.
  • Report any suspicious phone calls or emails requesting checking account information to us. We will take measures to protect your account and notify authorities.

ATM and Debit Fraud Prevention

Some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • If an ATM looks suspicious – for instance, if it has a discolored card reader or an unresponsive keypad – use a different machine.
  • Carefully check your monthly statement for strange withdrawals, and contact us immediately if you find anything suspicious.
  • Never give your PIN number to anyone who does not share your account. And, memorize your PIN number; NEVER keep your PIN number written down in your wallet.

Identity Theft Prevention

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing types of fraud. Identity theft, also called "account takeover fraud" or "true name fraud," involves criminals' stealing personal information about individuals and assuming their identities by applying for credit in their name, running up huge bills, stiffing creditors, and generally wrecking victims' credit histories. Criminals steal personal information from mailboxes and dumpsters, through telemarketing scams, computer hacking, and paying workers in retail establishments or financial institutions to copy down information about customers.

Some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Don't give your Social Security number or other personal credit information about yourself to anyone who contacts you.
  • Tear up receipts, bank statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
  • Keep an eye out for any missing mail.
  • Don't mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.
  • Review your monthly accounts regularly for any unauthorized charges.
  • Order copies of your credit report to ensure accuracy.
  • Choose to do business with companies you know are reputable, particularly online.
  • When conducting business online, make sure your browser's padlock or key icon is active.
  • Don't open email from unknown sources, and use virus detection software.
  • Protect your PINs (don't carry them in your wallet!) and passwords; use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically.
  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank and to the fraud units of the three credit reporting agencies immediately. The fraud unit numbers are: ◦Trans Union: (800) 680-7289
    • Experian: (888) 397-3742
    • Equifax: (800) 525-6285

Phishing Scams

Phishing attacks use "spoofed" emails and fraudulent web sites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card number, account usernames and passwords, Social Security numbers, etc. By hijacking the trusted brands of well-known banks, online retailers, and credit card companies, phishers are able to convince up to 5% of recipients to respond to them.

Some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax, or email, no matter how official it may seem.
  • Do not respond to email that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately. contact the company to confirm the email's validity using a telephone number or web address you know to be genuine.
  • Check your credit card and bank account statements regularly and look for unauthorized transactions, even small ones. Some thieves hope small transactions will go unnoticed. Report discrepancies immediately.
  • When submitting financial information to a website, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your browser, and make sure the internet address begins with "https." this signals that your information is secure during transmission.
  • If you have responded to an email, contact your bank immediately so they can protect your account and your identity.

Predatory Lending

Some tips to avoid becoming a victim when shopping for a loan:

  • Shop around for credit to compare rates and terms.
  • Never let a salesperson pressure you into agreeing to a loan before you've had time to shop around. You can even cancel your contract up to three days after a loan is signed if you feel you've made a bad decision.
  • Never sign any paper that does not agree with what a lending salesperson says. Ask for – and read – terms in writing. When in doubt, talk to a trusted advisor before signing.

Thanks to the American Bankers Association for providing these useful tips.

Contact Us
To contact First Federal, please fill out the form below. Or, if you would like to contact one of our branches directly, go to our locations page for details.

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