Information Security

Protecting your personal information is of the utmost importance to us and is something we take very seriously. Every associate works hard to keep your banking experience easy and convenient while taking the necessary precautions to protect your personal information. However, protecting you and your information requires both the bank and our customers working together.

This page is designed to share how we protect you as well as ways you can protect yourself. We value the trust you've placed in us to meet your financial needs and protect you, your information, and your identity.

Types of bank fraud

Phishing

Peoples Bank of Alabama will never contact you for information via email, telephone, or any other method. Be aware of suspicious email and other communications; If you receive an email claiming to be from Peoples Bank asking for account information, please do not reply or follow any links contained in the email. This is a technique called "phishing".

Phishing is an attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and account details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business in an apparently official electronic communication, such as an email or instant message.

Phishing emails can have a variety of appearances, but the below graphic provides some key things to help you spot a phishing email.

screenshot of phishing email

For more information on Phishing and other security protections, visit the FTC’s Privacy, Identity & Online Security page.

Malware

Malware is shorthand for malicious software. It is software developed by cyber attackers with the intention of gaining access or causing damage to a computer or network, often while the victim remains oblivious to the fact there's been a compromise. Today these attacks usually occur by the victim clicking a link in an email or opening an attachment from an unknown sender.

To protect yourself from these types of attacks, some of the most basic cyber security practices can go a long way.

  • Keep your Operating Systems and software patches up to date
  • Use a security software and keep it updated
  • NEVER click on links or open attachments in emails from unknown sources
  • Only download content from trusted websites
  • Use strong passwords and log out of websites after you're done
  • Never use any unknown data storage device (USB flash drive, DVD/CD, external hard drive, etc.)

Malware is an increasingly dangerous threat. To learn more visit the FTC’s Malware page.

Scams

Scams come in many different forms. A Phishing email is a common way, but not the only one. The best method for detecting a scam is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some common types of scams include: Charity Scams, Money Transfer Scams, Phone Scams, Prize or Sweepstakes Scams, and Debt Relief Scams.

While types of scams can change, taking the below precautions can help you avoid becoming a victim.

  • Don’t accept checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, or electronic fund transfers sent to you with requests for you to wire back part of the money
  • Avoid unsolicited offers that require you to act fast
  • If someone demands secrecy, it’s most likely a scam
  • Exercise extra caution when donating money after a disaster - only donate to legitimate charitable organizations that you contact first
  • If you didn’t register for a sweepstakes or prize drawing, chances are you didn’t win one
  • Legitimate debt relief companies won’t make you pay up front; doing so is illegal

For more information on cybersecurity, visit the FDIC’s A Bank Customer’s Guide to Cybersecurity.

Stay up to date on the latest Scams by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s Scams page.


Person 2 Person Fraud

More and more people are turning to services called Person 2 Person (P2P) to send money to friends and family. This convenient service allows users to send money almost instantly to just about anyone. As these services become more and more popular, fraudsters are working hard to scam users. By following the safety tips below, users can be better protected from scams and fraud.

  • Only transfer to someone you know. The best way to protect yourself from fraud is to only send money to friends, family or people you personally know. Additionally, only send when the people you know personally gave you their user ID and information.
  • Enable extra safety settings. Utilize features such as multi-factor authentication and bio-metric recognition. Both of these take extra steps to verify your identity, making it harder for scammers to compromise your P2P account.
  • Keep personal information confidential. This is a best practice for everything, not just P2P. Never disclose your login credentials, Personal Identification Numbers, passwords, etc. to anyone. No credible service will ever ask you for this information.

If you feel that you have been scammed, report it! First, to the P2P service then to the FTC. With the information provided, the FTC can work to build a case against the scammers. Report scams to the FTC

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information - to take over your credit accounts, to open new ones, to take out a loan, to access bank accounts, or to commit many other crimes using your identity.

Lost or Stolen Cards

Whether you've misplaced, lost, or had your debit/credit card stolen, we are here to help. Learn more about steps you can take to prevent fraud by reading the Fraud Prevention Article below or visit our Report Lost Card page by clicking Learn More.

Elder Abuse

Exploiting our elderly citizens is an unfortunate but rampant form of theft occurring today.

To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Alabama:

  • 800-458-7214 (for suspected elder mistreatment in the home and in long-term care facilities)
  • 800-356-9596 (for suspected abuse in nursing home settings)

You may also contact your local Alabama Department of Human Resources county office. Click below to find your local office.


Pass it On

The Federal Trade Commission works hard to provide resources for individuals on recognizing, preventing and reporting identity theft and other scams. They have developed a special campaign called ... Pass it ON. This campaign empowers individuals to leverage their current relationships to share important information that could help someone they know.

Resources include:

  • Articles
  • Presentations
  • Videos
  • Activities