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Financial Security Awareness

Financial Security Awareness

Community Bank of Missouri knows how hard you have worked for your money
and we want to help you protect it.

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information such as your Social Security number, account number, or other personal information without your permission, to commit fraud. The following tips can help protect your personal information from fraudsters:

  • Report lost or stolen debit cards immediately at 816-776-6669 or 816-637-6669 during business hours. For after-hours call 1-800-500-1044 to report your card lost or stolen.
  • Never provide personal information to untrusted sources on your phone, through the mail or over the Internet. Avoiding disclosing personal financial information when using public computers and wireless connections.
  • Review all financial account and billing statements for unauthorized charges – report any fraudulent transactions to us right away.
  • Shred all documentation that contains confidential information – Bank and credit card statements, bills and invoices, expired credit cards, etc.
  • Check your credit report annually – check for inquiries from companies you have never contacted, check for accounts or loans you did not open and other information that may seem out of place. Verify your personal information is up to date.
  • Don’t ignore bills from companies you do not know – bills could be a red flag for accounts opened in your name.
  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails – Use firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software to protect your home computer and other devices.
  • Use complex passwords for online banking and other sites containing confidential information.

Checking your Credit Report

Any consumer can request one free copy of your credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Trans Union). Reviewing your credit report can help you find out if someone has opened unauthorized financial accounts or taken out unauthorized loans in your name.

Visit or call 1-877-322-8228 to request a copy of your credit report.

You may also request a copy by mail:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-528

Password Best Practices

  • Strong passwords have at least 8 characters that include a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Change your passwords often and use different passwords for each login.
  • Avoid your internet browser's automatic login feature – utilize an encrypted password manager.
  • Never share your username and passwords with family, friends or any other third-party.
  • Do not use personal information when creating your username and passwords.

Online Banking Best Practices

  • Do not use a public computer for Online Banking or other sensitive websites.
  • Always sign out before leaving the computer or device unattended.
  • Use only one computer or device for all financial transactions.
  • Review account balances and transfers daily. Immediately report any suspicious transactions to Community Bank of Missouri at 816-637-6669 or 816-776-6669.
  • Using Bill Pay and automatic payments will help reduce account number exposure.
  • Enroll in balance, transfer and other types of alerts using Online Banking to email or text alerts in real-time.
  • Community Bank of Missouri will never contact you for your online banking credentials such as your username or password.

Tips for using Peer-to-Peer Payments and Securing Online Shopping

If you’d like more information on safely using peer-to-peer payments, check out these articles from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).


Fraud and Scams

Spoofing is when someone disguises an email address, sender name, phone number, or website URL—often just by changing one letter, symbol, or number—to convince you that you are interacting with a trusted source.

Criminals count on being able to manipulate you into believing that these spoofed communications are real, which can lead you to download malicious software, send money, or disclose personal, financial, or other sensitive information.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Companies will not contact you and ask for your login credentials.
  • Do not click on any link or file in an unsolicited email or text. Research and contact the merchant yourself.
  • Confirm the email address, URL – check for spelling or grammar errors.
  • Set up two-factor authentication for all logins
Phishing schemes often use spoofing techniques to lure you in and get you to take the bait. These scams are designed to trick you into giving information to criminals that they shouldn’t have access to. In a phishing scam, you might receive an email that appears to be from a legitimate business and is asking you to update or verify your personal information by replying to the email or visiting a website. The web address might look similar to one you’ve used before. The email may be convincing enough to get you to take the action requested. But once you click on that link, you’re sent to a spoofed website that might look nearly identical to the real thing—like your bank or credit card site—and asked to enter sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, banking PINs, etc. These fake websites are used solely to steal your information.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Companies will not contact you and ask for your login credentials.
  • Do not click on any link or file in an unsolicited email or text. Research and contact the merchant yourself.
  • Confirm the email address, URL – check for spelling or grammar errors.
  • Set up two-factor authentication when possible
Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that prevents you from accessing your computer files, systems, or networks and demands you pay a ransom for their return. Ransomware attacks can cause costly disruptions to operations and the loss of critical information and data. You can unknowingly download ransomware onto a computer by opening an email attachment, clicking an ad, following a link, or even visiting a website that's embedded with malware. Once the code is loaded on a computer, it will lock access to the computer itself or data and files stored there. More menacing versions can encrypt files and folders on local drives, attached drives, and even networked computers. Most of the time, you don’t know your computer has been infected. You usually discover it when you can no longer access your data or you see computer messages letting you know about the attack and demanding ransom payments.
Visit StopRansomware,gov for additional information and resources
Tips to protect yourself
  • Verify your operating systems, software, and applications have the most recent update installed
  • Have an active anti-virus and anti-malware product with scheduled scans.
  • Back up data in either a cloud storage or a physical data storage product.
Romance scams occur when a criminal adopts a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust. The scammer then uses the illusion of a romantic or close relationship to manipulate and/or steal from the victim. The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do and will seem genuine, caring, and believable. Con artists are present on most dating and social media sites. The scammer’s intention is to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, endear himself to the victim, and gain trust. Scammers may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen. Eventually, they will ask for money. Scam artists often say they are in the building and construction industry and are engaged in projects outside the U.S. That makes it easier to avoid meeting in person—and more plausible when they ask for money for a medical emergency or unexpected legal fee. If someone you meet online needs your bank account information to deposit money, they are most likely using your account to carry out other theft and fraud schemes.

Tips to protect yourself
  • Avoid posting too much personal information online and on social media. Fraudsters utilize information from social media to target their victims.
  • Research the individual’s photo – Look for the image being used for multiple profiles.
  • Never send money or provide banking information to someone you have only communicated with online, text or phone call.
Elder financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property, or assets.  The perpetrators can be strangers who gain the trust of older adults, but they can also be family members or friends.

Tips to protect yourself
  • Research company contact information and call the company directly and inquire about the phone call you received.
  • Try not to act under pressure – fraudsters make their victims feel they must act quickly or face consequences. If you feel as if you are in danger, contact the police immediately. 
  • Do not send money, gift cards, bank information, or other gifts to someone you have only communicated with by phone or text.
  • Do not click on any link or file in an unsolicited email or text. Research and contact the merchant yourself.

Scammers use people as “money mules” to receive or move money obtained from victims of fraudulent activities. Scammers proactively recruit people to be part of fraudulent activity without their knowing it. If a stranger asks you to open a bank account, or asks for access to your bank account or debit card, be extremely guarded. A scammer may ask you to move money and direct you to deposit funds into your bank account, or ask you to purchase virtual currency or gift cards for someone else’s benefit. In these scenarios, you may be unknowingly hiding someone else’s money for them. Be very cautious if a stranger asks you to receive or forward packages containing money or goods, which may also be part of a similar fraudulent scheme.

If you believe you have engaged in, or contributed to, money mule activities, stop transferring money or merchandise, and stop communicating with the person giving you direction. Then, immediately report your concern to your bank. Your banker can assist you with the appropriate steps toward protecting your bank account and money. You should also report the suspected activity to law enforcement

                                                     - FDIC, Avoiding Scams and Scammers

Additional Resources

If you are looking for additional financial security information topics, visit the following websites.

Consumer Resources

Federal Trade Commission - Disputing Errors on Credit Report
Federal Trade Commission – Identity Theft
Federal Trade Commission – Consumer Information
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Identity Theft
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Consumer Overview
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Consumer Protection
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – Home and Business Cybersecurity
Consumer Action: Complaints

Business Resources

Federal Trade Commission – Cybersecurity for small businesses
Federal Trade Commission – Start with Security: A guide for Business
Federal Trade Commission – Cyber planner for Small Business

The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice. Community Bank of Missouri updates this information periodically.

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