Protect Your Personal Account Information
UPDATED: Economic Impact Payments and COVID-19 Scams
Protect yourself and your loved ones from these recent scams.
Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Fraud
- Look for the term "Economic Impact Payment:" Scammers may emphasize the words "stimulus check" or "stimulus payment." The official term is Economic Impact Payment (EIP).
- Do not provide personal information to unknown/unsolicited sources. Ask for verification before submitting anything. Scammers may tell you to sign over your EIP check to them. Apple Bank will never ask you to do that.
- Reject offers to help process your EIP: Avoid any offer – on social media, in person or otherwise – from anyone who claims that they can help you get your EIP faster.
- Beware of odd check amounts: Scammers may mail bogus checks in odd amounts with instructions to cash it by calling a number or verifying personal information online. Report these checks immediately to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
- Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately. Medicare will not call to offer COVID-19 related products, services, or benefit review.
- Ignore social media offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments.
- Beware of fraudsters pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number, financial information, or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test.
Get more resources and tips from our informative presentation.
Trending Issue: Post-Holiday Scams
Your holiday shopping may be finished, but criminals continue to find ways to try to steal your money and personal information.
- Suspicious websites, emails, social media posts or other advertisements with offers that seem too good to be true
- False charities set up by criminals who steal money from donors
- Online retailers with inadequate information on privacy, terms and dispute resolution, or contact details
- Overseas sellers that force you to use your debit card (instead of secure payment services like PayPal or credit cards)
Don’t let it happen to you! Protect yourself with these tips:
- Regularly check your bank statements and credit/ debit card activity. Set up auto alerts for credit and debit card transactions to monitor activity.
- Ensure the websites you use are secure before providing personal information.
- Do not click on links from unsolicited emails.
- Update all the devices you use for online shopping with current software to ensure you have the latest security protections.
Suspect fraudulent activity on your accounts?
Notify law enforcement and contact Apple Bank immediately by calling CustomerLine at 914-902-2775. Our TDD number is 800-824-0710. Click here for current CustomerLine hours.
Trending Issue: Credential Stuffing
Credential stuffing is when cybercriminals use stolen or easily-guessed usernames and passwords in an attempt to break into other people’s accounts. They use an automated process to make it easier for them to quickly guess and try to hack into lots of accounts at the same time.
Even if fraudsters are unsuccessful in guessing the correct username, their repeated attempts could lock you out of your account.
Tip: Make Your Usernames Hard to Guess
Do you use your first initial + last name for your usernames? That combination can easily be guessed by fraudsters.
Best practice: Include numbers and/or special characters (like dashes or periods) in your usernames to make them more difficult for scammers to guess.
Here are other best practices to keep your information out of the reach of fraudsters:
- DO choose different usernames and passwords for your online accounts.
- DO create strong passwords and change them regularly.
- DO turn on two-factor authentication when offered. (That’s when you get a code texted to your phone number on record to verify it’s you.)
- DON’T use your email address as your username.
- DON’T use the same password for your online and social media accounts.
- Think someone has been trying to access your account(s)? Call CustomerLine at 914-902-2775 so we can investigate and safeguard your accounts. Our TDD number is 800-824-0710. Visit applebank.com/hours for current CustomerLine hours.
Trending Issue: Phishing Scams
Account numbers. Passwords. Social Security numbers. We’ll never contact you to ask for this information. But scammers might.
Phishing is when cybercriminals use calls, emails, texts and fake websites that may look like companies you may know, but are really attempts to get your personal information. They’ll often use threats to close your account or impose a penalty if you do not quickly provide the information they want. Once scammers get what they need, they’ll attempt to gain access to your account(s).
3 Common Ways People Get Phished
- Text Protect yourself: Don’t send any personal information via text. Apple Bank will never ask you to sign in or read a code from a text message.
- Phone Calls Protect yourself: Fraudsters can make it look like they’re calling from Apple Bank. If you get a suspicious call, don’t provide any information. When in doubt, hang up and call CustomerLine at 914-902-2775 to make sure you’re really speaking with Apple Bank.
- Email Protect yourself: Be wary of unsolicited emails seeking personal information. Visit applebank.com directly -- outside the email -- if you're suspicious.
Think You Were Phished? Follow These Steps
- If you:
- Clicked a link
- Downloaded an attachment
- Gave personal information via phone, text or email
Contact CustomerLine immediately at 914-902-2775 so we can safeguard your account(s).
- If you received an email and/or link to a website claiming to be from Apple Bank, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can investigate.
Please do NOT include your account numbers or other sensitive information in the email.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Phishing Attempts
- Remember: Apple Bank will never ask for personal or banking information via email.
- Never click on links, download files, or open attachments in suspicious emails.
- Always navigate directly to applebank.com to ensure you are on the Apple Bank website.
- Once on Apple Bank’s website, check for the security indicators https:// and a security “lock” icon in the browser’s address bar.
Ways to Identify a Phishing Email or Fake Website
- Look for obvious errors, threats and/or urgent deadlines, and words in all capital letters.
- Watch for grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors, and overuse of exclamation marks.
- Review the email address to see that it matches the sender name and be on alert if you receive an impersonal greeting.
- Review the content to ensure that it makes sense coming from a financial institution.
Phone Call Scams
Apple Bank has learned that a fraudster has contacted several of its customers alleging to be from “Apple Bank's Fraud Department.” The associated telephone number does not belong to Apple Bank. Apple Bank will NEVER contact you and ask for your account number, debit card number, Social Security number or Password/PIN (Personal Identification Number).
This scam and other types of spoofing scams are designed to target customers through phone calls, fake emails and bogus text messages. Never answer any questions related to your personal or financial identifying information from a random caller, email or text message. In most cases, this is a scam designed to defraud you and obtain access to your financial information.
What to do if you receive a call like this: If you do receive a call from someone claiming to be from Apple Bank, the best way to protect yourself is to hang up and call Apple Bank’s CustomerLine telephone number yourself at 914-902-2775. A legitimate Apple Bank representative will never have a problem with you hanging up and calling this number which can also be found on the back of your debit card and on your Apple Bank Account Statement.
Here are some other tips to avoid being scammed:
- Don’t respond. If you do not know the source of a call, email or text, hang up the phone, do not call back that number, do not click on any links in the email and do not reply to the text message.
- Do not trust caller ID or answer phone calls from unknown numbers. If you recognize the caller ID but the call seems suspicious, hang up the phone. Phone numbers can be easily spoofed to appear like they’re from a legitimate caller.
- Do not give out your information. Never provide any personally identifiable information unless you’re absolutely certain that the person requesting the information and reason for the request are legitimate. Remember: Apple Bank will never contact you and ask for your account number, debit card number, your Social Security number or Password/PIN (Personal Identification Number).
Unemployment Benefit Scam
Please be alert to an extensive fraud scheme involving imposters who file claims for unemployment benefits using the stolen personal information of others.
Has someone filed for unemployment benefits in your name? Here’s how to check.
- If you collect unemployment benefits, check your statements. Review your accounts to ensure you received your payments.
- Keep an eye on your mail. If someone files claims in your name, you will get a notice from your employer or state unemployment benefits office.
- Review your credit reports. Checking often can help you spot any new fraud. Learn more by reading our “Be Proactive to Protect Your Identity” guidelines below.
- Check your bank accounts. Scammers usually send payments to their own accounts, but sometimes the money is sent to the real person’s account instead. Check your Apple Bank accounts and your accounts at other financial institutions for unusual payment activity.
What to do if it happens to you:
- Report the fraud to your employer. Keep a record of whom you spoke with and when.
- Report the fraud to your state unemployment benefits agency. Keep any confirmation or case number you receive. If you speak with anyone, keep a record of whom you spoke with and when.
- Report the fraud to the FTC. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to inform the Federal Trade Commission and get help with important next steps.
- Be cautious. Never respond to calls, emails or text messages telling you to wire money, send cash or put money on gift cards to assist a friend or relative, without contacting the person alleged to be in need directly.
Read more about the unemployment benefit scam on the FTC website.
Be Proactive to Protect Your Identity
Identity theft can happen to anyone. Below are five steps you can take to protect yourself on a daily basis.
If you suspect identity theft, take these steps immediately to protect yourself.
- Monitor all of your credit and bank statements and review them for accuracy.
- Never share your financial information, user names or passwords with an unexpected phone caller, email, or text message.
- Shred or destroy all documents that contain your personal financial information before you dispose of them.
- Know all the due dates for your bills. Verify if one is missing or contains erroneous charges.
- Check your credit report annually with all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and review for accuracy. Visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ to obtain free credit reports or call (877) 322-8228.
- Alert your financial institution.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to place fraud alerts on your credit files.
- Monitor your credit files and account statements closely.
- Report suspicious emails, calls or other activity to the Federal Trade Commission online at https://www.identitytheft.gov or call 877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).
Help Us Protect You from Fraud
Safeguarding your personal account information is a priority at Apple Bank. But we need your help. Apple Bank wants to make certain that it has the most current and up-to-date mailing address, phone number(s), and email address in your account file. We ask that you please take a moment to verify that all of your personal information shown on your bank statement(s) and Online Banking account is correct. If your personal information is incorrect, please let Apple Bank know the correct information in writing.
Ways to inform Apple Bank that your information has changed:
- Login to Online Banking, go to Messages and send a secure message to CustomerLine with your correct updated personal information. You must also upload a letter through Online Banking that contains your original signature.
- If applicable, visit one of our branch locations and complete the Change of Address form.
- Mail a letter to CustomerLine that provides your correct updated personal information along with your original signature. The signature should match the one that is on file with Apple Bank.
- Mail to: CustomerLine, 1395 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset, New York 11030.
- When we receive updated personal account information in the mail, we may verify the information with you by telephone.