The FDIC Offers Tips on Choosing and Using the Right Bank Account
Having a bank account brings important benefits, including deposit insurance and access to a variety of financial services. The latest FDIC Consumer News features simple tips on how to choose and manage a checking or savings account wisely. The Summer 2016 edition also has articles on depositing a check using a smartphone or tablet, avoiding credit and debit card frauds, and preparing financially for a flood, fire or other disaster. Here is an overview of what is in this issue.
Choosing and Using the Right Bank Account: With so many options for checking and savings accounts, FDIC Consumer News encourages people to think about how they want to handle their money on a daily basis and what they consider to be their longer-term financial goals. For instance, before deciding on a particular bank account, consumers may want to reflect on how they pay for purchases and how often they make deposits. Comparison shopping can save consumers money because fees and interest rates will vary from institution to institution.
Precautions to Take When Depositing a Check with Your Smartphone or Tablet: More consumers are starting to use a banking service often called "remote deposit capture" (RDC), which enables them to deposit a check into their account from anywhere they can access their account remotely. FDIC Consumer News describes how to understand a bank's RDC policies and fees, monitor a bank account to confirm when funds from deposited checks will be available, and take other steps to avoid potential problems.
When Small Charges Can Signal a Big Crime: Most people looking at their bank statements would probably notice if their credit or debit card were used without their approval to buy a big ticket item. But consumers are less likely to be suspicious of very small charges, including those less than a dollar. That's why thieves who fraudulently create counterfeit cards might conduct small transactions as a test to see if the purchases go through and are unnoticed by the true account holders ... before they start conducting big transactions. FDIC Consumer News offers tips for consumers on how to protect themselves.
How to Prepare Financially for a Disaster: Without warning, a flood, fire or other disaster could leave individuals with a severely damaged home, destroyed belongings and barriers to managing their finances. FDIC Consumer News recommends having a disaster plan that includes periodically reviewing property insurance coverage, building and maintaining an emergency savings fund, setting up direct deposit of paychecks or government benefits, and gathering and protecting important financial documents. These precautions can have a major effect on access to cash and financial services immediately following a disaster.
FDIC Encourages Consumers to Develop a Plan to Save Toward Their Goals
FDIC Encourages Consumers to Develop a Plan to Save Toward Their Goals
America Saves Week is February 22—February 27, 2016
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) encourages consumers to use America Saves Week as a time to begin or continue saving toward financial goals.
FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg said: "Making regular savings deposits – even small ones – into a federally insured financial institution is a safe way to work toward your financial goals. During America Saves Week, I encourage consumers to set up automatic, recurring deposits into savings accounts to help meet savings goals. And, parents can help their children explore opportunities for youth savings accounts to build stronger financial futures together."
America Saves Week, which runs between February 22 and February 27, is an annual opportunity for organizations to encourage consumers to make a savings commitment and to provide helpful resources. The FDIC has educational resources, such as Money Smart, which has a "Pay Yourself First" module on saving.
To learn more about America Saves Week and savings-related resources from the FDIC, visit www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/savings.html.
Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's banks and savings associations, 6,270 as of September 30, 2015. It promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars—insured financial institutions fund its operations.
Situational Awareness and Personal Security
Personal Safety Tips:
- Remove your home address from your GPS in your
- Install security pins in your windows.
- Lock the door from your living space to the
- Do not leave personal items near doors or
entryways at home.
- Always lock your car doors immediately upon
entering the vehicle.
- If you are forced off the road, bring
attention to yourself by continuously blowing
- Never get into a car even if you have a weapon
pointed at you.
- Use caution when leaving a mall or store with
- Be aware of other cars parked near yours,
- Make sure to gas up at a well- lit station and
keep car doors locked.
- If alone, use the pumps nearest to the
business so that you are visible to station
- Never post your travel plans on social
- Remove your address from luggage tags.
- Set your home security system while away from
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Never give out personal information on the
internet or social media sites.
- The bank will never contact you and ask for
your account information.
- Put a rubber band around your wallet if you
put it in your back pocket or carry in your
- Shred confidential papers or mailed credit
- Drop paid bills into a USPS mailbox rather
than in your mailbox at home.
- Create passwords that are not common
information about you, i.e. pet/children’s
Did You Know?
- There are countries that the United States
Government does not allow us to do business
with? Check with your local branch to find
out if the foreign country you do business with
is on the list!
- You can still buy savings bonds? Go to www.treasurydirect.gov
for more information.
- Your credit score can vary greatly from one
credit agency to another? Below is the
contact information the three major consumer
credit reporting agencies.
- You can find information or search for a
company registered in Georgia? Go to the Georgia
Secretary of State website www.sos.georgia.gov
to find information.
Fraudulent Scams to watch for
- Phishing Scam is usually an
attempt to deceive you into thinking a
legitimate organization is requesting
information from you. These requests may
look innocent at first glance or seem to come
from a legitimate source, but they are
not. This is a scam where Internet
fraudsters send spam or a pop-up message to lure
personal and financial information from
- Pharming Scam is a cyber-
attack intended to redirect a website’s traffic
to another, bogus site. Pharming may cause users
to find themselves on an illegitimate website
without realizing they have been redirected to
an impostor site, which may look exactly like
the real site.
- Spear Phishing, a form of
phishing, is an email that appears to come from
an employer or another legitimate source and it
usually includes a link leading to a fake web
site that requests personal information.
The link that is clicked on contains malware and
once downloaded to your computer, it collects
your personal information and transmits it to
- Smishing is another variation
of phishing. In this scam, the fraudster
uses cell phone text messages to lure you to a
website. The smishing text message
typically urges your immediate attention.
For example it might say it is confirming an
order for a large TV purchase and you need to
follow the scammer’s directions in order not to
be charged for the item. Once you click on
the URL or call the phone number, you are asked
to provide card numbers, account numbers, PIN
- Vishing is the name for
phishing attacks using the telephone. It
is typically used to steal credit card number,
bank account numbers and passwords. You may get
a call advising you that your credit card has
been used illegally. You can protect
yourself by not giving out the information and
make contact with a personal banker at The
Piedmont Bank or contact your credit card
company directly to verify the validity of the
- Skimming – Debit & Credit
Card Skimming attempts to hijack your personal
information and your identity by tampering with
machines where you swipe or insert your Debit or
ATM card. Fraudsters set up a device that is
capable of capturing the cards magnetic strip
and keypad information. They will attach
skimming devices to the front of ATM’s or Gas
Station swiping machines. They
capture the information and sell it to criminals
who use it to create new cards with your account
number. Avoid using machines that are in less
traveled areas or appear to be tampered
How can you protect yourself?
- Be suspect of email messages that come from an
unknown source or messages from contacts which
contain only a link.
- Do not click on suspicious links or pop-up
messages unless you are certain that these are
- Verify that the URL displayed in your browser
address window matches the website.
Identity theft happens when someone steals your
personal information and uses it without your
Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of
someone’s identification, such as a name, address,
date of birth or social security number to commit
fraud. With this information a thief could
take over the victims financial accounts, open
bank accounts, purchase automobiles and apply for
loans, credit cards and social security
If you suspect that someone has stolen your
identity, acting quickly is the best way to limit
the damage. Take the following four steps as
soon as possible and keep a record with the
details of your conversations and copies of all
- Place a fraud
alert on your credit reports and review your
credit reports. Contact any one of the
three consumer reporting companies below to
place a fraud alert on your credit report.
Placing a fraud alert is free and the initial
fraud alert will stay on your credit report for
90 days. You can renew it after 90
Once you place the fraud alert in your file,
you’re entitled to order one free copy of your
credit report from each of the three consumer
reporting companies. Once you get your
credit report, review them carefully.
- Close the accounts
that you know or believe have been tampered with
or opened fraudulently. Call or speak with
someone in the security or fraud department of
each company. Follow up in writing and
include copies of supporting documents.
It’s important to notify credit card companies
and banks in writing. Send your letters
certified mail with return receipt requested, so
you can document what the company received and
If the identity thief has made charges or debits
on your account or has fraudulently opened an
account, ask the company for forms to dispute
- Create an Identity
Theft Report by filing a complaint with the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Use
one of the following ways to file a complaint
- Use the online complaint form at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
Complete the complaint form with as many
details as you know, click submit and save
the complaint reference number. Then click
to complete a FTC Identity Theft
Affidavit. Before you leave that
screen be sure to save and print your
- Or you can call the FTC’s Identity Theft
hotline at 1-877-438-4338. Be sure to call
the Hotline to update your complaint if you
have any additional information or problems
to report to them.
By sharing this information with the FTC,
you will provide important details that can
help law enforcement officials across the
nation track down and stop identity
- File a report with
your local police or the police in the community
where the identity theft took place. Bring
a copy of the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit and
any other proof of the theft to the police
department. Visit www.naag.org to see what
your state law requires to file a police
report. If the police won’t take a report
about the identity theft, ask if you can file a
“miscellaneous incidents” report or go to a
different police station, state police or
In the event of fraudulent or suspicious activity
on your account with The Piedmont Bank, please
contact your branch of account below.
| Main Office
5100 Peachtree Pkwy
Norcross, GA 30092
| Old Peachtree Rd
1035 Old Peachtree Rd NW
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
185 Gwinnett Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
5496 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338