Protect Yourself From Online Account Takeover

This article provided by Beavercreek Marketing, a division of Beavercreek Inc. Find more articles by Beavercreek in the Learning Center at our website.

Criminals have their eye on your financial accounts. They want access.
Call it a takeover attempt – a HOSTILE takeover.

Account takeovers happen when the wrong people dig up enough of the right private information about you to gain access to your checking or savings accounts. Then they strike – either moving big chunks of your money at once, or small amounts a bit at a time … hoping you don’t notice.

What’s happening is a form of identity theft … because the more that bad people know about you, the easier it is for them to access your money.

We’re used to sharing a lot of information about ourselves these days –experts say we share too much – and that makes us easier targets for takeovers.

Here are some things you can do to protect personal information to help battle takeover attempts:

  • Don’t fall for fake information requests. Financial institutions will never call, email or text you out of the blue asking for online banking information such as user names, passwords or pin numbers.
  • Use safe passwords – the kind that mix numbers and upper and lowercase letters – and don’t write them down in places people can easily find them. Experts recommend that you don’t use the same user name and password for everything – because if someone figures one out, they have access to other types of accounts you use. It’s a smart idea to have different passwords for different types of accounts.
  • Think twice about what you share on social media. Posting things like your telephone number, address, birth date and year can be used in the wrong ways to find out more about you. And don’t publicly share other information – such as your mother’s maiden name – that you might be using as answers to the ‘secret’ questions sites ask you for account verification. The less some people know about you, the better.
  • Be careful when banking or making purchases from public computers – and make sure you always sign out of any account you’re using.

You also need to stay alert … and check your financial statements regularly to make sure your money is safe.

Here are some things you can do to spot a possible takeover:

  • Watch for transactions you don’t expect – such as purchases or withdrawals you didn’t make. Contact your financial institution immediately if you spot this when checking either your online or paper statements. If you have online statements, it’s wise to check them frequently.
  •  If a merchant says your debit card has been turned down, call the number on the back of the card to report the problem and explain what happened. This could be a sign that someone else has access to your account.
  • Check your credit report regularly to look for things like unexpected loans or missed payments. You can do this for free by going to and reading about what you can do.

Think smart and stay alert … both are great defenses against account takeovers.

Protect Yourself From Scammers

Most people will be approached by a scammer at some time in their life. We warn children about “stranger danger” and to not take candy from or go with someone they don’t know. Yet many adults are quick to trust a stranger who contacts them with claims that a debit card has been compromised or that a small investment will earn them great returns.

At VCNB we will never contact you by phone, email or text and ask for personal financial information. If someone claiming to be from VCNB asks for your PIN, social security number or other personal information, do not give it to them.

And remember –

–  If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.

–  Get rich schemes only make the scammers rich. You will pay dearly. Never send money to someone you don’t know. If you are contacted electronically by a person you do know and they ask for money, verify that it is really your friend before reaching out to them electronically.

–  Check your bank and credit card statements for transactions you don’t recognize and notify the bank if there is something out of place.

–  Most of all, protect your personal information like it is your child. Never provide your account information, PIN, social security number or other personal data to an unknown source. Keep your cards in a safe place and don’t keep a written copy of your PIN or your account passwords with the card.

There are people out there who work hard at taking advantage of others. Be careful not to fall victim to their schemes. For more information click here for tips from







Shred Days Set For Spring

Some of our banking centers will offer Shred Days this Spring. This free service is meant to help our customers safely dispose of important documents that shouldn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Many people don’t realize that throwing a piece of paper into the trash could jeopardize their identity and their future. That is because there is no way of knowing what happens to a bag of trash once it leaves the home and documents with personal information could make them a prime candidate for identity theft.

One way to safeguard yourprivacy is to shred paper and plastic documents with information you don’t want someone else to access. That is why we offer Shred Days!

Documents you definitely want to shred include anything with a signature, account number, social security number, legal information or medical information.

Examples might include:

– Credit card offersStack of Files and Papers

– Tax information

– Old photo Ids

– ATM and credit card receipts

– Statements and bills for credit cards, utilities and medical treatments.

– Bank statements and cancelled checks.

– Check stubs

– Investment statements

– Other important personal documents


2014 Spring Shred Days will be held:

April 26   –   Salt Creek Banking Center   –    9 a.m. to noon

May 3   –   Canal Banking Center    –   10 a.m. to noon

June 7   –    Bremen Banking Center – Lancaster West Fair   –   10 a.m. to noon.


Shred Days for other offices will be planned for fall. We will gladly take up to five boxes per customer at each event. The box limit exists to prevent long lines and to ensure that we do not exceed truck limitations. We look forward to seeing you at Shred Days this year!