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Fraud Prevention

Northway Bank works hard to protect you.

We employ the latest technology to protect your privacy, secure your personal information, authenticate your transactions, and detect potentially fraudulent activity on your accounts.

When you bank with Northway, you can bank with confidence.

For more information, please visit our Privacy and Security page.

Email, Text and Online Banking Login Alerts

Northway Bank gives you an extra layer of security with automatic online banking alerts that help you spot suspicious activity on your accounts. You can choose to receive alerts via email, text, or upon login to online banking. Get immediate notification of transfers, ACH transactions, non-sufficient funds, or attempts to change your contact information. Alerts can even notify you if your balance drops below a certain amount or a specific check has cleared.

Card Skimmer Alerts

Skimming devices have been around for years, however, detecting them is getting harder as the technology for these devices improves and it becomes easier to purchase the equipment online. The skimming devices and cameras used to capture card data and PIN numbers are often designed to fit a specific ATM or gas pump. They can be installed in minutes and if undetected, can remain there for a week or more.

A skimmer is a device that is inserted into, or sits on top of, a card reader. This device captures the magnetic strip data from debit and credit cards. In many instances, a camera is also attached to the card reader, such as on the top of an ATM machine or a gas pump, which allows the fraudsters to record your PIN number. Once your magnetic strip data has been captured, it is sold on the black market where a duplicate “white card” can be created and unauthorized purchases may be made. If your PIN number is also compromised, these cards can be used to make cash withdrawals at an ATM.

EMV chips have minimized the risk of skimming, but most gas stations have not yet adopted the EMV technology and only about half of all merchants are using chip readers. If you have a chip card, your magnetic strip data can still be compromised if you are not using a chip reader to process your transactions.

How can you protect yourself? Before inserting your card, look carefully for something that doesn’t look right. If your card sticks, catches or feels harder than it should to insert, that is a warning sign. Report it immediately to the ATM owner or gas station attendant. When using your card at a gas pump, either use the “credit” option or shield your hand when you enter your PIN. Also, using online banking to diligently check your account activity can minimize any losses. Don’t wait for your monthly statement to see your account activity.

Read more about card skimming on our Debit Card page.

Elder Abuse: How to avoid common pitfalls.

Older adults lose more than $36 billion every year to scams, fraud, and exploitation. More alarming, is the fact that half of that is lost due to tactics that, while deceptive, are technically legal.

Anyone can be a victim of financial abuse, but seniors can be particularly vulnerable due to their wealth, their more trusting nature, or age-related cognitive decline.

Nearly two-thirds of financial crimes against the elderly are carried out by family, friends, or other trusted individuals, like caretakers, neighbors, even healthcare providers and lawyers.

  • Impersonators (i.e. charity, home repair, or law enforcement)
  • Email phishing and identity theft
  • Grandchildren
  • Predatory lenders
  • Investments

  • Avoid joint bank accounts to prevent access to your funds
  • Invoke a power of attorney
  • Set up a revocable trust
  • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Protecting Yourself Online

With the added convenience of online and mobile banking comes the need for vigilance in order to keep your personal information safe. There are several ways hackers can gain access to your personal information. Here are some of the most common ways.

Pharming is when a website’s visitors are redirected to a fake lookalike site, where either malicious software will be installed or the site will gather (or pharm) personal data such as online banking passwords, personal data, or financial details.

When you log in to online banking, make sure to check the following:
  • The web address should always be
  • Ensure the web address begins with https. The “s” in https stands for secure and signals that you are on a safe website.
  • If you have reached our web site through an email, website banner or pop-up that you believe may be fraudulent, close out of your browser immediately. You can always open a new browser window and type into your address bar to reach our web site.
  • Your pre-selected image should always appear upon submitting your username for online account access. If you do not recognize the image, do not enter your password. Contact customer service for assistance.

Studies show that sophisticated hackers can make about one billion guessing attempts in one second, but a friend, family member, or acquaintance could likely guess your password using what they know about you (anniversary, birth date, pets’ names, etc.). Creating a strong, random password made of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and symbols can be the first step in preventing your password from being stolen.

Be leery of any phone call or voicemail from a caller claiming to be a representative of a financial institution stating that they have important information about your account. These callers are looking for you to trust their false authority and provide your account information, which they then use to access your funds illegally.

Remember that Northway Bank will never ask you for your account number or password over the phone. Northway Bank representatives will, however, ask a few verifying questions to ensure that they are speaking with the correct person, like your date of birth, last four numbers of your social security number, and/or address.

Avoid accessing your online banking on a public computer (i.e. library, hotel, etc.). Hackers install software on theses computer which record keystrokes entered on the computer. If you were to enter sensitive information, the hacker would immediately have access to your accounts.

Public WIFI at coffee shops, restaurants, and airports are incredibly convenient. However, these networks are very vulnerable to hacks, including interference, hijacking, eavesdropping, and other similar wireless attacks. Avoid accessing online banking on shared public networks out of abundance of caution

There are common ways thieves obtain your banking information that begins when a user clicks a link from an email, popup window, or fraudulent website to update software. The download is in fact a malware or trojan horse that copies data from your computer and sends data to hackers. The data may be used to gain access to bank accounts or other sensitive information.

Remember: Northway Bank will never ask you for personal details, such as account number or social security number, through emails, pop-up windows, or website banners. If you receive an email or other electronic communication asking for account information, personal data, or online banking login credentials, please reach out to us immediately.

If you suspect your personal information may have been compromised, Contact Northway Bank customer service right away.
Consider temporarily freezing your credit to prevent lines of credit from being opened in your name. Place a fraud alert by contacting one of the three major credit bureau agencies; they must notify the other two:

Common Scams: Fake Checks and the IRS

In a fake check scam, someone will ask you to deposit a check – typically for more than the agreed-upon amount. When you tell them that they gave you too much money, they will insist that you wire transfer the difference to them. By the time the funds have been wired, the bank has realized that the original check was bad, and you are out the wired amount.

Another common scam involves a scammer posing as an IRS representative. The scammer will call claiming that you either owe or are owed money from the IRS, and requests bank information in order to wire the funds. The caller typically makes threats of imprisonment, or large fines to get you to act quickly. Remember: the IRS will never call you, they will always send a letter.

Always be suspicious. Talk to someone you trust if something doesn’t seem right and contact your bank if presented with a request for your personal banking information.

When selling items online, request payment for items in cash, or use an online payment service to protect your personal banking information. Be wary of taking a check.

Never wire money back to someone who sent you a check, even if they wrote a check to you for more than the agreed amount.

Contact Northway Bank customer service right away.

You can also report scams to the Federal Trade Commission.