Protect Yourself and Your Personal Information!

At Royal Banks of Missouri, our top priority is the security of your vital account and personal information. Read below to learn more about the steps we encourage you to take in order to keep your information safe and protect you and your family against financial scams.

Knowledge and Tips for Remaining Vigilant Against Financial Fraud and Scams

Debit Card Alerts

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You can elect to receive text or e-mail alerts on all your debit card transactions via the electronic device of your choice. If you wish to opt out, we will reduce your daily transaction availability to $500.00 at both the ATM and point of sale.

Credit and debit cards are easy targets for fraud. Alerts will provide a method to keep our clients from becoming victims of fraud and help you monitor your account and transactions in a personalized, real-time manner. At Royal Banks of Missouri, our top priority is the security of your vital account and personal information. This product enhancement features an easier way for you to track and monitor online, point of sale and recurring monthly transactions associated with your Royal Banks of Missouri Debit Card.

If you would like to receive text alerts, please call us at (314) 212-1500. You can also visit us at any of our Royal Banks of Missouri locations and our team will assist you in setting up text message alerts.

Best Practices for Safe and Secure Online Banking

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Please know that nobody from Royal Banks of Missouri will EVER ask you for your Internet banking passcode, your full Social Security Number, your Royal Banks account number, or any other such information. You should regard these requests as fraudulent, including phone calls, letters, e-mails or text messages.

Below are some – “best practices” you can observe right now to help protect your information. By following these, you will greatly lessen your chance of becoming a victim of the many fraud schemes commonly employed by criminals. If you have questions about keeping your bank accounts secure, please contact your Royal Banks personal banker, visit one of our branches, or contact us at (314)212-1500 or 1(800) 811-8157.

  • Do not share Internet Banking access IDs, passcodes or security questions/answers with anyone.
  • Royal Banks may sometimes contact you about your account via e-mail, online banking message, U.S. postal service letter, or phone call. But we will not solicit personal information from you that we already have in our records.
  • Periodically, we may post messages on Internet Banking about possible fraud attempts. You’ll receive an e-mail when these messages are sent. Please read them!
  • Whenever you perform the following transactions through Internet banking, we will send you an e-mail confirming the transaction, it’s very important to read these to be sure you authorized the transaction. If you didn’t, contact us immediately:
    • External transfer of funds to another institution
    • Bill payment
    • Change to your Access ID, Passcode, or Security Questions/Answers
    • Change to your e-mail address (we’ll send an e-mail to your old and new address for security reasons)
    • ACH Origination or Wire Transfer Payee added or changed (commercial accounts only)
  • If you receive a communication claiming to be from Royal Banks and you have any question about the validity of the communication, please call or visit one of our offices and we will be glad to help you. You also may call our Royal Line at 1-800-811-8157 during banking hours.
  • We strongly encourage you to use some or all of the “Notify Me” message options after you sign on to Internet banking. You can have the system automatically alert you by e-mail whenever your balance goes below or above a certain amount, if there’s an overdraft in your account, or if certain transactions are posted.
  • When setting up passcodes or challenge questions and answers in online banking, choose ones that are difficult to guess. Don’t use family names, birthdates, your SSN, addresses, or your job.
  • Safeguard your Internet Banking passcode, access ID, security questions and answers. Also, your name, address, social security number. Do not place such personal information on multi-media devices such as computers, mp3 players, and cell phones. Shred all paperwork with personal information on it.
How to Stay Safe Against the Threat of Financial Scams

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  • We strongly recommend you obtain, and keep current, good quality industry-approved anti-virus software on your PC.
  • Do not use public wi-fi hot spots to access your Royal Banks account information or other sensitive information from a PC or device. These sites often do not have adequate security controls in place.
  • Be cautious about information you share on online communities, especially social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Do not be taken in by schemes to persuade you to transfer funds to persons or places you aren’t very familiar with. These often take the guise of someone sending you an unsolicited letter or e-mail promising you a large amount of money if you first send a lesser amount from your account to a location they specify. These are ALWAYS fraud!
  • Do not open e-mails from persons you don’t know, and do not open any links or attachments in the e-mail. Immediately delete such e-mails and delete them from your “trash” folder as well.
  • Even if you DO know the person sending you the e-mail, be suspicious if it contains a message you wouldn’t expect to get from that person (for example: “how I got rich quick”), or if it’s just an e-mail with no message and only a link or attachment. Call the individual whose name is on the e-mail and confirm they sent it to you before doing anything.
  • Password protect your PC, laptop, notebook or smart phone to further ensure security of your private information.
  • When you shop online, make sure you’re using a secure web site, like ones with a URL address that begins with “https” and/or businesses that have had their website certificate verified by a company like Verisign.
  • Use your e-mail provider’s spam mail filters in order to block viruses on your computer.
  • Examine account statements you receive from Royal Banks of Missouri and immediately report to us any discrepancies or errors. This will minimize your chance of a loss.
  • Don’t send e-mails to the bank containing personal or account information, such as your name/address, Social Security Number, account number, passcodes, etc. E-mail is not secure and can easily be accessed by criminals. If you need to send information to us, use the “Contact Us” feature in online banking, fax it, or use our secure, encrypted service. Please speak with your Royal Banks banker for further information about
  • And finally: REPORT any crime including harassment to the authorities right away! There may be laws in your state that can protect you and your family.
Information about Financial Fraud

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What is Fraud?

  • Fraud is defined as an act of intentional deception designed to exploit a victim with the motive of securing unfair or unlawful gain.

What is a Security Breach?

  • A security breach is defined as any incident that results in unauthorized access to computer data, applications, networks or devices. It results in information being accessed without authorization. Typically, when an intruder can bypass security mechanisms.

What is social engineering?

  • Social Engineering is the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes. All social engineering techniques are based on specific attributes of human decision-making known as cognitive biases. A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgement that occurs in particular situations. These biases, sometimes referred to as “bugs in the human hardware,” are exploited in different combinations to initiate and complete various attack techniques.What are some types of social engineering?
  • Pretexting – the act of creating and using an invented scenario (the pretext) to persuade a target to release information or perform an action and is typically done over the phone. It’s more than a simple lie as it most often involves some prior research or set up and the use of pieces of known information (e.g., for impersonation- Date of birth, Social Security number, last bill amount, etc.) to establish the legitimacy in the mind of the target.
    • This technique is often used to trick a business into disclosing customer information, and is used by fraudsters to obtain phone records, utility records, banking records and other information directly from junior company service representatives. The information can then be used to establish even greater legitimacy under tougher questioning with a manager (e.g., to make account changes, get specific balances, reset passwords and/or login lockouts, etc.)
  • Phishing – a technique of fraudulently obtaining private information. Typically, the phisher sends an e-mail that appears to come from a legitimate business – a bank, or credit card company – requesting “verification” of information and warning of some dire consequence if it is not done. The e-mail usually contains a link to a fraudulent web page that looks legitimate – with company logos and content – and has a form requesting everything from a home address to the victim’s personal financial information. There are various ways to recognize a phishing e-mail:
    • Spelling and bad grammar: Cybercriminals are not known for their good grammar and spelling. If an e-mail contains typos or other mistakes, more than likely, it’s a scam.
    • Links contained in the e-mail: Be careful not to click the link, but a consumer may hover over the link to attempt to match the address to that listed within the link. If it doesn’t match, it’s probably a scam. If in doubt, delete the e-mail and contact the requestor through legitimate means of contact.
  • Spear Phishing– the fraudulent practice of making phone calls or sending e-mails ostensibly from a known or trusted individual or sender to encourage the targeting victim to reveal confidential information. The call or e-mail is designed to impersonate a legitimate company, government agency, organization, or group such as a colleague or head of a department. The fraudster may request usernames, passwords, etc. Or they could invoke a malicious software attack like a “Trojan Horse”, “Road Apple” or other virus to extract sensitive information from the victim’s computer, and/or extort the victim for money if the request is made via e-mail.A Trojan Horse takes advantage of the victims’ curiosity or greed to deliver malware. An example may be an e-mail attachment promising a cool screen saver, and important anti-virus or system upgrade, or event the latest gossip about an employee. Victims succumb to temptation and open the attachment which then allows the virus to activate.A Road Apple is a real-world variation of the trojan horse that also relies on curiosity. In a road apple attack, the fraudster leaves an infected flash drive or other device in a public place to be found, gives it a label invoking curiosity, and waits to be plugged into a device to activate its attack.
  • Tailgating– a physical social engineering attack in which the fraudster follows an authorized person into a restricted area. The fraudster bypasses proper authentication and gains access to a password-protected or otherwise, off-limits location with hopes of obtaining sensitive, classified information. Below are ways that a fraudster may perpetrate a tailgating attack.
    • Walk behind employees as they open doors: Employees opening doors to restricted areas are sometimes monitored by fraudsters. Since holding the door for people behind us is typical common courtesy, a fraudster will take advantage of this scenario to gain unauthorized access.
    • Pose as a courier, vendor, or delivery driver: By impersonating as couriers, vendors, or delivery drivers, fraudsters may breach a building and circulate multiple areas within them, gaining access to unauthorized information. It’s important for employees to verify the requests of all non-employee individuals.
    • Pretend their hands are full to open doors: A fraudster may again take advantage of the kindness of an employee that allows access to the fraudster as they notice that the fraudster’s hands are full, seemingly preventing the fraudster from using assumed permitted entry through a company badge, key or other means.
    • Claim to have forgotten their key or ID: It is possible for a fraudster to identify themselves as an employee claiming that they have lost or left their key and/or access ID at home, hoping that a kind individual will open the door for them and allow entry.
    • Tailgating using Thermal Imaging: This type is uncommon but allows the fraudster to access restricted areas by viewing numbers used on keypads that grant entry to a specific area. While the fraudster may not know the exact number sequence, this option narrows the scope so that they can get to work with hopes of using the correct number sequence for access.
Common Financial Scams to Watch For

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Debit Card Fraud

Debit card fraud occurs when your card information is stolen and transactions are made on the card without your knowledge or consent.

What To Do if You Suspect Debit Card Fraud

  • Review expenses to your checking account and match any receipts with the totals on your statement. If you spot unusual activity, call or visit your bank promptly.
  • Check for account alerts that signal illegal or outside activity.
  • If your card is stolen, report it to your bank immediately. A banker can help stop all transactions on your card.

Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams

Lottery scams promise large lottery winnings in return for an initial processing fee from the victim.

What To Do if You Suspect a Lottery Scam

  • Review the communication regarding the prize – discard the message if it is a contest that you did not enter yourself.
  • Show any suspicious communication to your banker.
  • If you are asked to act quickly to deposit the check, contact your bank to ensure the check is legitimate.

Gift Card Scams

Scammers pose as a trusted individual and make false claims that may appear urgent. They will then ask to be sent money via gift cards to pay the nonexistent debt.

Tips for Avoiding Gift Card Scams

  • Do not trust an individual who you are not familiar with that claims there is an urgent expense to be paid.
  • Do not share gift card codes with individuals over the phone or online, especially those who claim to be representatives from the government or a Bank.
  • If you are asked to make a gift card payment, hang up the phone and delete the email or text message.

Employment Scams

A fraudster poses as a potential employer that conducts false interviews with unsuspecting applicants, to convince them to forward information, funds, or to process other financial transactions.

What To Do if You Suspect Employment Scams

  • Research the company that has reached out to you. Check their website to confirm the company is legitimate and consider contacting current employees to verify.
  • Ask to speak to a hiring manager and request a legitimate offer letter detailing employment and payment terms.

Investment Scams

A scammer promises low or zero-risk investments and guaranteed returns to lure victims into sending payments. Scammers work to gain trust of victims and then defraud them, leaving them with no returns.

How To Avoid Investment Scams

  • Resist any pressure to make a quick decision on the investment opportunity. Don’t agree to any deal you have not researched or reviewed at your bank.
  • Verify any investment opportunities with your banker.
  • Search the company or offer you’ve received online to see if it has been labeled as a scam.

Financial Grooming (Pig Butchering)

A scammer convinces a victim to purchase a fake cryptocurrency investment by promising a high return that will not be delivered. After establishing rapport with a victim, the fraudster pitches a fake investment opportunity involving cryptocurrency.

Tips for avoiding Financial Grooming Schemes

• Never disclose sensitive or banking information to unusual sources or anyone you have recently met online or via phone call.
• Review the investment opportunity with your banker to confirm whether this is a trustworthy source.
• Do not trust or engage in financial opportunities with individuals you have just met or begun communication with.

Charity Scams

A fraudster poses as a charity representative and exploits tragedy or financial need to defraud their victims. Scammers will request funds for a fake charity that will be difficult for the victim to recover.

How To Remain Vigilant Against Charity Scams

• If approached to financially support a charitable cause, do your research and confirm the charity online, or check with local law enforcement or a nonprofit search company.
• Ask the company or person requesting funds where exactly the money will be going and have them clarify how the money will benefit the cause.

Online & Payday Loan Scams

These scams target vulnerable individuals with the promise of a loan in exchange for a fee. Fraudsters will contact victims and promise loans regardless of credit history or employment status.

How To Avoid Online & Payday Loan Scams

• Review the opportunity with your banker before committing to a loan opportunity.
• Request a contract or agreement in writing before committing to a loan or payday offer.
• If a loan was agreed upon, keep close eye on unusual payments from your account such as ACH or mobile deposits, and alert any suspicious activity to your bank.

Romance Scams

A criminal adopts a fake persona to gain a victim’s trust and uses the illusion of a romantic relationship to manipulate the victim into sending them funds.
A fraudster will initiate requests for money and may seek access to the victim’s bank accounts.

What To Do if You Suspect A Romance Scam

• When communicating with someone online or on a dating app, ask plenty of questions and check if their profile is verified.
• Never send money or disclose personal information to anybody you do not trust or have not met in person.
• Cut contact immediately if you feel pressured to send money or share personal information with someone online or over the phone.

Advanced Fee Scams

A fraudster promises something valuable in exchange for a small upfront fee, which they steal. After receiving the funds, the scammer disappears or requests more funds.

What To Do if You Suspect Advance Fee Scams
• Check to see if the company is registered with your home state.
• Request a contract laying out the details of the arrangement.
• Review any letters or communication with the company with your banker or local law enforcement before making any payments

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