VIEWING: Personal

Fraudulent Activity

Know how to look for and spot fraudulent activity. Learn to protect yourself with these tips.

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Protect Yourself
  • Create Passwords Using Uncommon Information: Your birth date, Social Security Number and phone number, as well as your mother’s maiden name are all examples of readily available information that should not be used as a password. Be sure to avoid any sort of personal password that can be traced to you. Additionally, avoid using the same password for all of your personal or professional business; change them as much as possible.

  • Securely Store Your Personal Information: Your personal information should be stored in a secure location whether at home or at work. Items such as checks, Social Security Numbers, bills, etc., should be kept under lock and key. At work, be sure to keep your personal belongings locked in a secure place as well. Information stored on mobile devices should be password protected.

  • Guard Your Mail and Trash: Deposit outgoing mail in secure post office collection boxes or at your local post office rather than in your mailbox where anyone walking by can access that information. If you go on vacation, put a hold on your mail delivery through the U.S. Postal Service. Always tear, cut or shred any personal information (e.g., financial statements, expired credit cards, pre-approved credit offers, physician statements, insurance forms, receipts, etc.) prior to throwing it in the trash can.

  • Carry a Limited Number of Credit Cards and Never Other Unnecessary Identification: Carry a limited amount of credit cards, bringing only those that you will need during the day. Additionally, do not carry your passport or birth certificate in your wallet unless you are required to do so, and you should never carry your Social Security Number (SSN).

  • Pay Attention to Billing Cycles and Statements: Be aware of your billing cycles for all credit cards and other financial bills. Follow up with your creditors if bills do not get to you on time. Also, pay attention to your financial statements and balance your checking accounts on a regular basis.

  • Review Your Credit Report: Review your credit report on an annual basis.

Types of Fraud
  • Phishing: Phishing is an attempt to steal sensitive information such as passwords, usernames, credit card numbers, etc. by claiming to be someone you trust via electronic communication.

  • Vishing: Telephone version of phishing where the scammer relies on techniques to trick you into providing information that others can use to access and use your personal and sensitive information.

  • SMiShing (SMS Phishing): SMiShing uses text messages to lure consumers in. It usually will require “immediate attention” through a URL or phone number.

  • Pharming: Scam where a hacker installs dangerous and/or malicious code on a personal computer or server. After the code is in, it redirects the clicks you make on a website to another fraudulent webpage without your knowledge or consent.

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