The First Horizon Family of Companies (First Tennessee, FTB Advisors, and First Horizon), is committed to protecting the financial information of both our personal and business customers. Whether you're Digital Banking or in one of our financial centers, you can be assured that we are taking the utmost precautions to ensure that your information is protected and secure.
There are also many things you can do to protect your identity and fight fraud. Click on the links below to learn more about securing your personal or business information.
Avoid Credit Card Skimmers at Gas Pumps
Being able to use your debit card at the gas pump is convenient; however, be cautious of skimming devices embedded onto the card readers at gas pumps. These skimming devices are used to copy account data as well as PINs if used during the transaction. Once the information is captured, your card information can be used to make counterfeit cards to withdraw cash from your account at ATMs or make card purchases.
An example of a gas pump skimmer can be seen below (the regular card terminal is on the left, the skimming device is attached on the right):
To minimize your chance of being compromised by debit and credit card skimmers at gas pumps, use the following tips:
- If you see anything suspicious on the pump (e.g., damage to the card reader or a potential skimming device) do not use your card at the pump. Make your purchase inside the gas station and inform the clerk of the damage or your suspicions.
- If you use a debit card, a way to protect your PIN is to select the “credit” option for the payment.
- Monitor your bank and credit card accounts regularly. If you notice unauthorized charges or cash withdrawals, report them immediately.
If you need to report fraud on your card, call customer service at (877) 242-9895 (seven days a week, 8 am - 9 pm Eastern) or talk to a representative at a financial center near you. If you need to report fraud after hours, please call (800) 382-5465.
Protecting Seniors from Financial Exploitation
Elder fraud and financial exploitation is forecasted to become the fastest growing crime in the next 10 years. Sadly, the people exploiting older adults are often family members, caregivers, or other trusted individuals who are handling the financial affairs of a parent, relative, caretaker, or friend.
You can help protect seniors from fraud and exploitation by preventing the abuse and intervene early when the threat is from trusted persons handling financial affairs, fraudsters, and theft by staff or intruders.
A variety of things you observe or detect may signal that a senior is a victim of fraud or financial exploitation. Here are a few of the many red flags you may see:
- Senior, regardless of cognitive impairment, complains or reports that someone is misusing or stealing his/her money or property
- Senior is unaware of transactions or missing funds
- Senior is being encouraged to withdraw a large sum of money
- Sudden transfer of assets or changes in a will
- Unexplained names on a senior’s accounts
- Senior lacks basics (e.g., underwear, deodorant) but personal needs account is depleted
- Observing/hearing a senior being threatened by a family member, caregiver, or other trusted individual
- Checks or other documents signed/dated when the senior is no longer able to write
- Senior becomes secretive and suddenly starts hiding possessions or hoarding papers
- Senior is agitated or distraught prior to or after a family member, caregiver, or other trusted individual visits
- Senior is refused needed care and medical services in order to keep the senior’s assets available for the abuser
- Senior who appears to lack decision-making capacity signs new power of attorney document
Your top priority should be early recognition, documentation, and reporting. If you feel a senior is being financially abused, report the situation to your nearest financial center. All First Tennessee financial centers have an Elder Fraud and Financial Exploitation brochure available for additional resources and information.
You can also visit https://ncea.acl.gov/ or http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ for additional information regarding prevention, documentation, reporting and “scam alerts”.
Fraudulent Salary Review Scheme
Please be aware of a scheme involving fraudulent e-mails sent to a company’s tax reporting employee(s) purporting to be from the company’s CEO requesting that a “salary review” be conducted on 2015 W-2s.
These e-mail requests have been determined to be fraudulent and should be deleted. Some companies have already provided Social Security numbers of their employees, which would then be used by cyber thieves for identity theft.
Tips to Protect Your Personal Data
With the heightened attention regarding the theft of personal data, we remind our customers to be aware of fraudulent correspondence. Do not provide any sensitive personal information requested through email, text or phone call. Here are some tips we recommend to protect your identity:
- Be alert to any unexpected e-mail, calls, instant message, voicemail, or text that claims to be from a bank, credit card, or online company with whom you have an account. In the event that you do receive such a message, it is a good idea to first call the customer service number on your bank, credit card, or online statement (but not any number listed in the message) and verify whether the message is legitimate.
- Do not respond to any e-mail, phone, text, or fax instructions that prompt you to divulge your personal information.
- Do not click on links in a suspicious email or text.
Beware of Recent Texts Purporting to be from First Tennessee
A phishing scheme targeting First Tennessee is being sent through text messages and social media platforms. This scheme is an attempt to get the username, password, Social Security number, or other sensitive information from customers.
If you receive a text message regarding this scheme, do not click on the link. If you have clicked on the link and provided sensitive information, we strongly encourage you to change your username and password immediately, using the actual First Tennessee Bank website and to call Customer Service at (800) 382-5465.
Payday Loan Scheme
Be aware of a recent payday loan scheme that involves operators fraudulently soliciting money from consumers. The operators of this payday loan fraud scheme are using threatening tactics (e.g., lawsuits, asset seizure, arrest) to force consumers into immediately paying debt on loans they never authorized or paid off several years ago. Those perpetrating this scam have obtained identifying information about consumers (e.g., Social Security numbers, addresses, banking information) and will use this in order to appear as a legitimate collection agency.
Numerous consumers also reported their place of employment has been contacted in an attempt to collect “past due” funds.
To avoid becoming a victim or if you believe you are a victim of this scheme, follow these tips:
- If you are unsure whether you are delinquent on a payday loan, contact your lender directly using your loan paperwork to find a legitimate contact number.
- If your place of employment has been contacted and you know you have a loan that you paid in full, inform them you believe you are a victim of a fraud scheme.
- Never provide personal information to a third party unless you initiated the contact.
- If you receive a phone call regarding this scam, or have fallen victim, contact local law enforcement and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at www.consumerfinance.gov.
- If you believe someone stole your personal information and used it to obtain a fraudulent loan, contact Customer Service at (800) 382-5465, contact the credit bureau and visit www.identitytheft.gov for tips on what you can do to protect your identity.
Trending in 2016 – ACH Fraud
ACH (Automated Clearing House) is used by First Tennessee to process direct deposits, checks, bill payments and cash transfers between businesses and individuals. It can also be a popular way for fraudsters to steal money from unsuspecting consumers. ACH fraud is a scheme that is expected to continue to trend upwards.
To avoid becoming a victim, follow these tips:
- Never give out any personal information to a third party unless you initiated the contact
- Monitor your accounts and statements thoroughly, ensuring that all account activity is yours and correct
- Always log off from online banking sessions
- Never click on links or open attachments sent from an un-trusted email
- Store new and cancelled checks in a safe place
- Use a secure connection when paying online – look for “https” and a green security lock in the address bar of your browser
If you believe you are a victim of ACH fraud, contact Customer Service at (800) 382-5465.
Important Notice: Beware of Social Engineering Schemes
Recently there has been an increase in fraud schemes where customers are being contacted by phone or email to obtain personal information, such as account information (account numbers) and/or indentifying information (e.g., social security number, date of birth). Some tactics used include advising you that there is a problem or missing information related to your account and additional information is needed to correct the issue. In some cases, threatening tactics may be used (e.g., criminal pursuit, collection agency referral) to obtain this information.
To avoid becoming a victim, follow these tips:
- Do not provide any personal information to an unsolicited caller.
- Never respond to a phone call or voicemail asking you to verify account information or reactivate a service.
- Never provide personal or account information over the phone or via email/text, even if it appears legitimate. Contact the organization directly using information listed on their website or other trusted source.
- First Tennessee has the necessary information to conduct business with you and we would not ask you to supply your full account number or card number during a phone call.
If you have received a phone call purporting to be from First Tennessee, believe you are a victim of fraud or notice suspicious activity on your account, contact Customer Service at (800) 382-5465.
How to Avoid a Card Cracking Scam
Card cracking is a form of fraud where consumers respond to an online solicitation for "easy money" and provide a debit card for withdrawal of fake check deposits. Click here to learn more.
For Your Safety: Online Security Precautions
First Tennessee works hard to keep your account and personal information secure. However, as you do business online there are important precautions you can take to help safeguard your personal information:
- If you are a Digital Banking user, check your contact information to ensure it is up to date. This information is vital for receiving important security alerts and notifications about your account. It is also used when verifying changes to your account such as login information updates.
- Keep IDs and passwords confidential.
- Use passwords that include letters and numbers that are not easily discernable (do not use birthdays, child's name, etc.). Security experts recommend passwords should contain a minimum of 14 characters.
- Change your passwords frequently.
- Use different passwords for each online service. More passwords make it difficult for a thief to hack multiple accounts if one password is stolen.
- Keep your security software up to date which reduces the chance of your personal computer getting compromised.
They may seem like simple things, but these precautions and your vigilance in monitoring your accounts and credit report for fraudulent activity can go a long way in reducing your exposure to online identity theft.
If, at any time, you feel that your accounts have been compromised, visit the What to do if you become a victim section of our website for information on reporting suspicious activity.
Incidents of Identity Theft
Identity theft is affecting more consumers and causing higher losses than the nation has seen in three years. In 2012, almost 5% of the U.S was affected, which is approximately 13 million individuals, or about one victim every three seconds.
To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:
- Keep your personal data private - Store new and canceled checks in a safe place, shred sensitive documents, keep your antivirus software updated, and do not share passwords or PINs with anyone.
- Only carry what is necessary - Don't carry your Social Security card, passport, or birth certificate in your wallet/purse unless you need it that day, and don't carry checks or debit/credit cards that you don't use.
- Use a secure connection when paying online - Look for "https" or a green security lock in the address bar of your browser, which indicate a secure connection.
- Be careful of who is asking you for information - Unless you initiated the request or know the person on the other end, never provide personal or card information over the phone or in response to an email, even if it appears to be from a bank or other trusted institution. Instead, contact the organization directly using information listed on their website or other official source.
- Stay vigilant - Monitor your accounts and monthly statements thoroughly, and review your credit report at least once a year.
For more information about identity theft or to file a report, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/.
If you notice suspicious activity on your account, contact First Link at (800) 382-5465.
Beware: New Social Media Fraud Scheme
In a recent social media scheme (primarily Facebook), users are being enticed into opening new accounts or using their existing First Tennessee accounts in exchange for merchandise or “fast cash.” The proposal is typically made via a post with pictures of cash or other items encouraging anyone interested to comment for more information. The accounts are ultimately used to conduct transactions involving the deposit of fraudulent checks and subsequent fraudulent card purchases/ATM withdrawals.
Consumers should be aware that participation in this type of scheme is illegal and that you may be held responsible for purchases or cash withdrawals made from the proceeds of a fraudulent check deposit. Such activity could result in account closure and possible criminal prosecution.
If you have any questions or see any posts like this on Facebook or other social media sites, please contact Corporate Security at (901) 523-5336.
Beware of Unsolicited Offers
If you receive an unsolicited offer that promises you something in exchange for money or account information, you should not respond unless you are sure the offer is legitimate. Common scenarios include offers that require an upfront fee, requests to wire funds, a notice that you won a lottery/contest, or a person on a social website who asks for money (e.g., travel money to meet you, emergency cash, medical bills, etc.).
If you receive an offer or request and are unsure if it is legitimate, contact First Link at (800) 382-5465. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If Your Business Accepts Wires, Beware
If your business accepts wires and/or sends outgoing wires to or on behalf of customers, beware of a scheme in which hackers can take over a legitimate email address and initiate fraudulent wire requests. (See article "Important Notice: Beware of Recent Email Scheme" below.)
Ensure that your business has procedures in place to verify any wire that is received via email or fax. For example, calling your customer directly using a phone number on file before proceeding with a wire can determine if the customer actually sent the request.
If you become aware that your customer's email has been compromised, advise the customer to contact their email and virus software providers, as their password/account information could have been compromised by a third party.
Important Notice: Beware of Recent Email Scheme
The First Horizon Family of Companies takes your account security very seriously. Sometimes fraudsters have the ability to take over a customer's email accounts and send requests to bank employees asking for wire transfers or account information. Please be assured that we will never disclose your personal account information or initiate a wire transfer via e-mail.
There are steps you can take to help protect yourself against this scheme, such as:
- Do not provide confidential information via email (i.e., account number, balances, Social Security number, PINs, etc.). If you must provide an account number, use only the last 4-6 digits.
- Note that we already have the information necessary to do business with you; you will not be asked to supply personal information via email.
- Whenever possible, discuss sensitive banking information via telephone or in person.
- Use a strong password on your email account.
- Make sure your computer is free of malware.
- Ensure your anti-virus software is up-to-date.
If you become aware of sensitive information that has been compromised through your email, contact your email and virus software providers, as your password/account information could have been compromised by a third party.