Cyber Tip

NEVER give out your PIN number. It is your first line of defense against fraud!

Deter — Personal

Don't Let Yourself Be an Easy Target –
Take Steps to Reduce Risk on Your Personal Accounts:

There are many things you can do to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud, identity theft or other illicit activities. When it comes to protecting your identity and personal information, you can never be too careful.

Fortunately, even simple, basic precautions can dramatically reduce the odds that you'll be a victim. Saratoga National Bank provides the following safety tips to help you protect yourself against today's personal security threats:

Safeguard Your Information

Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. It can cost you time and money, destroy your credit and ruin your good name. Below are some practical tips that can go a long way to protecting your identity.

  • Shred financial documents and paperwork containing personal information before you discard them.
  • Protect your Social Security number. Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
  • Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you know with whom you are dealing. We will never call or email you seeking personal information. However, there may be instances where you have contacted us about your account, and we need to confirm your identity. In these cases, we may ask for identifying information to ensure you are who you say you are.
  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails. Instead, stick with web addresses you know and trust. Use firewall, antispyware and antivirus software to protect your home computer (and keep this software updated). Visit for more information.
  • Don't use an obvious password, such as your birth date, your mother's maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having work done in your house.

Update Your Contact Information for New Fraud Protection Measures for Debit Cards

  • To help minimize your exposure to fraud and the impact it may have on your account, we have instituted new fraud detection measures for debit cards. Saratoga National Bank now monitors your debit card and ATM transactions for unusual activity.
  • Help us protect your account. Speak with your local Saratoga National Banker about updating your contact information, including your:        
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Mobile phone number
    • Email address
  • If we suspect fraudulent debit card or ATM use, fraud detection specialists calling will contact you on our behalf to validate the legitimacy of your transactions (this may be from a person or an automated-calling system). Your timely response to this call is critical in preventing potential risks and avoiding restrictions we may place on the use of your card.
  • If unusual activity is detected, our fraud detection specialists will first ask if you are the cardholder. They will verify they have the correct card by referencing the last four digits of your debit card number. You will also be asked to verify:
    • The last four digits of your Social Security number
    • Recent transactions
  • If you confirm that recent transactions are not authorized, your card will be deactivated and a new card issued.
  • If you are not at home when the call takes place, you will be provided with a case number for reference and asked to contact our fraud detection specialists.
  • Please be diligent in monitoring transaction activity on your accounts and contact us immediately if you identify any fraudulent transactions.  Be sure to let us know about upcoming trips to locations not in your normal travel pattern.
  • To learn more, contact any of our local Saratoga National Bank Offices or call us toll free at: 1-800-246-2415. You may even wish to consider taking advantage of our new Mobile Alert service; it will provide you with real-time information on transactions affecting your account(s) through your mobile device.

Tips When Using Your Saratoga National Bank Visa® Debit Card

  • Avoid giving out personal information.  Remember that your personal identification number (PIN) is private, so never share it.
  • Unless required for a legitimate business purpose, avoid providing your:
    • Address and ZIP code
    • Phone number
    • Date of birth
    • Social Security number
    • Card or account number
    • Card expiration date
  • When using your card in a store or at an ATM, make sure you:
    • Take your card to the cash register; do not let cashiers take your card out of your sight
    • Conceal your card and PIN
    • Try to prevent anyone near you from seeing your transactions
    • Watch for mobile phone cameras, mirrors or other devices used to view cards and PINs
    • Go to another ATM if you notice any unusual activity at the one you are using
  • Be cautious online. You should never respond to unsolicited emails that:
    • Ask you to verify your card or account number (such emails are not sent by legitimate businesses)
    • Ask you to click on links to websites (such sites look legitimate, but they may collect your personal data or put spyware on your computer)
  • If you have any questions about your ATM or debit card, please contact any of our local Branch Offices or our Call Center at 518-583-3114.

* SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission. To learn more about identity theft, visit  Or request copies of identity theft resources by writing to: Consumer Response Center Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, H-130 Washington, DC 20580.

Other Valuable Tips for Protecting Yourself Online:

Don’t Fall Prey to Imposters

Phishing is a type of criminal activity that uses techniques to fraudulently obtain sensitive personal information (such as passwords, account numbers, PINs, Social Security numbers and other account information). By pretending to be a trustworthy person or business in a seemingly official electronic communication like an email, criminals use sophisticated lures to "fish" for users' passwords and personal or account information.

Scammers may also use other contact methods to obtain your personal or account information, such as text messages (also known as short message phishing or "smishing") and phone calls (also known as voice phishing or "vishing"). With these methods, you could receive a text message, phone call or voice mail directing you to a fake website or phone number that appears to be legitimate, where you would be asked to provide your personal or account information.

For example, you could receive a text message from an unusual number that says your bank account will be closed, frozen or terminated unless you call a telephone number or go to a website. Often, these messages will imply or state there will be negative consequences if you don't respond. This is an attempt to scare you and convince you to provide your personal or account information.

You should never respond or reply to an email, phone call or text message that:

  • Requires you to supply personal or account information directly into the email.
  • Threatens to close or suspend your account if you do not take immediate action and provide personal or account information.
  • Solicits your participation in a survey where you are asked to enter personal or account information.
  • States your account has been compromised or there has been third-party activity on your account and requests you to enter or confirm your personal or account information.
  • States there are unauthorized charges on your account and requests your personal or account information.
  • Asks you to enter your User ID, password, account numbers, PIN or card expiration dates into an email, non-secure webpage or text message.
  • Asks you to confirm, verify or refresh your account, credit card or billing information.
Always use extreme caution when clicking on a link in an email, even if it appears to be from a known and trusted sender; this is a common source for potential viruses that can adversely affect your computer.

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If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

It's almost always a scam when an email or website:

  • Asks you to provide your account information because someone wants to transfer money to you.
  • Claims you are owed a refund.
  • Informs you that you have won a contest.

Email scams often try to create a feeling of urgency so you'll respond before you have time to think. These messages typically include a threat, such as cutting off a service or closing your account, if you don't "update" or "verify" your personal or account information. Or the scams may pretend to be helpful, like offering a security update, but require you to enter your personal or account information first. These are red flags, and such tactics should alert you that the request may not be legitimate.

Another, more recent example is a scam involving an email that appears to come from one of your friends urgently asking you to transfer them money because they've lost their wallet or they are stuck in a foreign country. Never respond without first calling your friend to verify!

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Don’t Adopt Passwords That Can Be Easily Cracked

It's absolutely critical that you use a highly secure password for all of your financial accounts. Never use your pet's name, your child's name or anything else that a fraudster could easily find out. The most secure passwords are a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, not simply an address, phone number or birth date. For added security, remember to change your password on a regular basis and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. We also strongly urge you to consider using different passwords for financial sites and social media sites.

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Don’t Delay

If you think you've given out personal information about your Saratoga National Bank accounts such as your Saratoga National Bank account number, password or PIN, or typed it into a website that may not be legitimate, you should immediately call the toll-free number on the back of your credit/debit card or the toll-free number printed on your account statement. We will take steps to help you secure your account. If you receive an email from Saratoga National Bank that doesn't appear to be legitimate, don't reply. Instead, call us and we will determine the legitimacy of the email.

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Make It Difficult for Fraudsters

You should always have up-to-date antivirus software and a personal firewall installed on your computer. Make sure you have antivirus software that scans incoming communications and files for viruses that may cause you trouble. Be cautious about offers for "free" antivirus software and make sure you get your software from a highly reputable company. Also look for antivirus software that removes or quarantines viruses and updates automatically on a regular basis.

A firewall is software or hardware designed to block unauthorized access to your computer. It's especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection (such as from a cable modem) because your connection is always open. Most common operating system software (including Windows® XP, Vista and Windows 7) often come with built-in firewall functionality, but you may have to enable it.

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Just Like the Concept of Buyer Beware, Open with Care

Be careful about opening any attachments or downloading any files from email that you receive. Don't open attachments, even if they appear to have come from a friend or a co-worker, unless you're expecting it or are absolutely sure you know what it contains. One red flag is any email from a friend that doesn't contain a personalized message, and instead contains generic messages such as "check this out" or "thought you'd be interested in this." Don't let curiosity wreak havoc with your computer. Call your friend to make sure the email is legitimate before you open the attachment or click on any links within the email.

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