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Security & Fraud

We're Committed to Safeguarding Your Personal Information

Working hand-in-hand with our customers is the best line of defense against fraudsters. Therefore our website contains “tips to protect” as well as references to other sources in an attempt to educate and assist our customers from becoming victims of fraud.

Types of Fraud

Internet Official Check Scam

Someone will contact you via phone, email or chat room regarding the purchase of an item you have for sale or wanting to make an investment in your business. They will tell you they are sending you a check that you should deposit right away. After the check arrives and is deposited, the person will change his/her mind regarding the purchase or investment and ask you to send the money back to them via a wire. Later when the check has made it through the banking system, it is returned as a counterfeit.

Online Fraud

Phishing is the process of collecting, through fraudulent e-mails or websites claiming to be legitimate, your personal information. This information can include usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. Often times the e-mail directs you to a website where you can update your personal information and because they often look “official”, they hope you’ll be tricked into disclosing valuable information that you normally would not reveal, often times, resulting in identity theft and financial losses.

Spyware and Viruses

Malicious programs that are loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. The purpose of these programs may be to capture or destroy information, to ruin computer performance or to overload you with advertising. Viruses can spread by infecting computers and then replicating. Spyware disguises itself as a legitimate application and embeds itself into your computer where it then monitors your activity and collects information.

Fraudulent “Pop-up Windows”

A type of online fraud often used to obtain personal information, these are the windows or ads that appear suddenly over or under the window you are currently viewing. Fraudulent Web sites or pop-up windows are used to collect your personal information. Other terms for the fraudulent process of gathering your personal information include “Phishing or “Spoofing”. Additional links to real Web sites can be incorporated into the email to lead you to believe the email is legitimate. Fraudulent websites, e-mails or pop-up windows will often:

  • Ask you for personal information (Account number, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, etc.)
  • Appear to be from a legitimate source. (retail stores, banks, Government agencies, etc.)
  • Contain prizes or other types of certificate notices
  • Link to other real or counterfeit websites
  • Contain fraudulent phone numbers

Pop-up windows are often the result of programs installed on your computer called “adware” or “spyware.” These programs look in on your Web viewing activity and regularly come hidden inside many free downloads, such as music-sharing software or screen savers. Many of these programs enable harmless advertisements, but some contain “Trojan horse” programs that can record your keystrokes or relay other information to an unauthorized source.

Sweepstakes / Lottery Scam

Prize notification or announcements that you have won money, cars, and many more prizes in a lottery or sweepstakes that does not exist.

Home Improvement Scam

Normally individuals who work door-to-door as so-called contractors who offer to do a variety of home improvement projects, instead they take your money and leave the homeowner with an uncompleted project.

Nigerian Letter

A fraud scheme that now includes fax and email versions of a letter from a supposed official in Nigeria. The official has a large sum of money (often stated as $20 to $30 million) to transfer out of the country. Due to exchange controls, the official asks for the victim's help with the transfer. All that is required to earn a hefty reward/commission is to furnish the Nigerian official with your bank account number, and they will handle the rest. What actually happens is that the Perpetrator depletes the victim's account.

Identity Theft

Criminals steal financial information and use this information to impersonate their victims, spending as much money as they can in as short of period as possible before moving on to someone else’s name and financial information.

Job Scam

Job scammers use reputable job boards such as Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com to offer jobs that are actually scams. They may also get people's contact information from resumes posted online. This scam is often linked to a Counterfeit Check Scam.

Dating Scam

Fraudsters create false personal profiles on online dating sites and chat rooms, and after building a relationship ask victims to send money for a variety of reasons, often linked to a Counterfeit Check Scam.


Sweepstakes Fraud

Warning Signs of Sweepstakes fraud
  • If you do not enter a contest you cannot win one.
  • Any requirements to pay fees or gift tax to obtain your prize.
  • Request for your credit card or bank account numbers as a credit reference
  • Request for your social security number or date of birth to verify your identity
  • High pressure sales tactics "once in a life time" approach.
  • Use of overnight mail couriers to "speed up the process"
  • Request for money up-front to claim the prize
  • Being told to keep it a secret.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Sweepstakes Scams
  • Beware of the telemarketer who says he/she can recover the money you have lost in sweepstake scams
  • It is illegal for a foreign country to solicit lottery ticket sales in Nebraska
  • Beware of enticements to call 900 numbers to claim a prize. A 900 call is always a toll call that could cost you $30-$50.
  • Read the fine print
  • If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Legitimate Sweepstakes
  • Publishers Clearing House
  • American Family Publishers
  • Guaranteed & Bonded Sweepstakes (Time, Inc)
  • Reader's Digest Sweepstakes
Identity Theft

Criminals steal financial information and use this information to impersonate their victims, spending as much money as they can in as short of period as possible before moving on to someone else’s name and financial information.

You are in the best position to control the information that you choose to release, and thus you are in the best position to protect your personal information. The following safety tips are provided to assist you in protecting yourself from fraud.

Protecting Yourself Against Theft

You are in the best position to control the information that you choose to release, and thus you are in the best position to protect your personal information. The following safety tips are provided to assist you in protecting yourself from fraud.

Protecting Your Personal Information

  • Carry only necessary identification. Do not carry your social security card with you.
  • Take steps to reduce the amount of mail you receive that displays personal information.
  • Be cautious when providing your Social Security Number. It’s okay to ask whether it is needed for the application or transaction.
  • Check your credit report annually at a minimum.
  • Never provide personal information over the phone or internet unless you have initiated the contact and have confirmed the business or person’s identity.
  • Avoid leaving any personal information in your car.
  • Shred unnecessary documents and eliminate as many paper documents containing your personal information as possible.
  • Take your outgoing mail to the post office rather than using street-side mailboxes

Protecting Your Bank Accounts

  • Use online services to monitor your bank accounts regularly.
  • Receive your paychecks, dividends and other reoccurring deposits directly into your account electronically.
  • Purchase checks from a reputable company that provides security features within the check stock paper.
  • Avoid preprinting personal identifiers on your checks {SSN, DL#, Personal phone numbers, etc.}
  • Store your checks securely and know who has access to them.
  • Report suspicious activity immediately. {lost, stolen or unauthorized use of checks or cards}.
  • Avoid writing down, carrying or sharing your online banking or card PIN [personal identification number] with anyone. Memorize it or secure it at home.
  • Choose passwords or PINs that are difficult for others to guess by not using personal information within the password such as address, phone number, SSN or date of birth, rather use random information.
  • Consider different passwords for each online account. Never “lend” your debit cards to others. You are responsible for transactions initiated from a card that was lent to someone else.

Protecting Yourself at the ATM

  • Limit time spent at the machine.
  • Protect your PIN and passwords — don't keep them in your wallet.
  • Keep receipts and compare to monthly statement.
  • Treat your ATM card like cash by always protecting it.
  • Be aware of strangers when you enter or exit an ATM site. If you notice anything suspicious or unsafe, report it.
  • Shield the ATM keypad with your hand or body while entering your PIN {Personal Identification Number}
  • Put away your card and cash immediately after completing your transaction.
  • Do not let strangers assist you with a malfunctioning ATM, exit to another ATM for use.
  • Be extra cautious when using an ATM at night.

Protecting Your Credit Cards

  • Sign your card when you receive it.
  • Always take your credit card and your receipt back after every transaction and keep receipts in a secure place until you compare them to your credit card activity statement.
  • Shred paper receipts and statement when you are finished verifying them.
  • Use online services to receive, store and regularly monitor your credit card statements.
  • Avoid writing down, carrying or sharing your credit card PIN [personal identification number] with anyone. Memorize it or secure it at home.
  • Make copies of all credit card information that you carry and secure it at home.
  • Never provide your credit card information over the phone or internet unless you have initiated the contact and have confirmed the business or person’s identity.
  • Never “lend” your credit cards to others. You are responsible for transactions initiated from a card that was lent to someone else.
  • Check your credit report at least annually.
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FACT Act) by the Federal Trade Commission allows you to ask for and receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major nationwide credit reporting agencies.
  • National Fraud Alert System by the Federal Trade Commission grants alerts on active military personnel's accounts.

Report suspicious activity immediately

Protecting Your Personal Computer:

  • When conducting online business, make sure your browser's padlock is active. Make sure that this icon is in your browser, not on the page you are viewing.
  • Secure sites have https:// in front of the web address.
  • Don't allow Windows to remember your passwords.
  • Log off completely after banking online.
  • Clear your browser's cache and history after visiting any Heartland Bank website.
  1. Know the Scams
    • Phishing, Spoofing, Pop-up Fraud – types of online fraud used to obtain personal information.
    • Trojan Horse – Virus that can record your keystrokes. It can live in an attachment or be accessed via a link in the email, website or pop-up window.
    • Counterfeit Websites – URLs that forward you to a fraudulent site. To validate a URL, you can type or cut and paste, the URL into a new web browser window and if it does not take you to a legitimate web site or you get an error message, it was probably just a cover for a fraudulent web site.
  2. Activate a pop-up window blocker. 
    There are free programs available online that will block pop-up windows. Be sure to perform an Internet search for “pop-up blocker” or look at the options provided by major search engines. You will need to confirm that these programs are from legitimate companies before downloading. Once you have installed a pop-up blocker, you should determine if it blocks information that you need to view or access. If this is the case, you should consider turning off the blocker when you are on Web sites you know use pop-windows to provide information you need or want to view.
  3. Scan your computer for spyware regularly. 
    You can eliminate potentially risky pop-up windows by removing any spyware or adware installed on your computer. Spyware and adware are programs that look in on your Web viewing activity and potentially relay information to a disreputable source. Perform an Internet search for “spyware” or “adware” to find free spyware removal programs. As with a pop-up blocker, you will want to be sure that your removal program is not blocking, or removing, wanted items, and if it is, consider turning it off for some websites.
  4. Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources. 
    Downloads may contain hidden programs that can compromise your computer’s security. Likewise, email attachments from unknown senders may contain harmful viruses.
  5. Keep your computer operating system and Internet browser current.
  6. Keep anti-virus software up-to-date. 
    Anti-virus software needs frequent updates to guard against new viruses. Select a reputable provider. Download the anti-virus updates as soon as you are notified that a new download is available. Some programs will offer an automatic update.
  7. Keep your passwords secret. 
    Change them regularly, using a mixture of numbers and characters.
  8. Question suspicious emails. 
    Do not open emails from senders you do not recognize. Heartland Bank will never send you an email asking for your online identification or password/passcode. Also, never open email attachments that have file endings of .xe, .pif, or .vbs. because these are file extensions for executables, and are commonly dangerous files.

FACT Act

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003
The FACT Act is an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which regulates credit reporting agencies. This new law will be an important tool for consumers in the fight against identity theft.

Key information includes:

  • Consumers will be able to receive a free copy of their credit report from all three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) once a year.
  • Consumers may receive additional free reports if identity theft is suspected
  • Identity theft victims will only have to make one call to receive advice, set off a nationwide fraud alert, and protect their credit rating
  • Identity theft victims who file police reports will be able to block fraudulent information from appearing on their credit reports
  • Identity theft victims will have access to business records that list an identity thief's fraudulent transactions
  • Credit reporting agencies must ensure that all credit requests are legitimate after a credit report has been flagged for suspected identity theft
  • Active duty military personnel may place special alerts on their files when they are deployed overseas
  • When will your free credit report be available?
    Residents in the Western States can order their free report on or after December 1, 2004 Residents in the Midwest States can order their free report on or after March 1, 2005 Residents in the Southern States can order their free report on or after June 1, 2005 Residents in the Eastern States can order their free report on or after September 1, 2005
  • To get your free credit report contact:

    Annual Credit Report Request Service
    P.O. Box 105281
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
    Phone: 877-322-8228
    www.annualcreditreport.com
Protecting Your Business

5 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Account Fraud

Corporate account takeover is a type of fraud where thieves gain access to a business’ finances to make unauthorized transactions, including transferring funds from the company, creating and adding new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable. Heartland Bank recommends following these tips to keep your small business safe.

  1. Educate your employees. You and your employees are the first line of defense against corporate account takeover. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers.

  2. Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.

  3. Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay and other services offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits help protect you from fraud.

  4. Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Look out for unexplained account or network activity, pop ups, and suspicious emails. If detected, immediately contact your financial institution, stop all online activity and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Keep records of what happened.

  5. Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with your bank will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement. If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities.

For additional information you can visit the following websites to learn more about how to protect your small business:

How Does Heartland Bank Protect Me?
Heartland Bank NEVER sends e-mails requesting personal information. We will never ask you to “verify” information. We will never ask you to click on a special site link to do so.
  • Stop. Resist the urge to immediately respond to a suspicious e-mail – despite urgent or exaggerated claims.
  • Look. Read the text of the e-mail several times and ask yourself why the information requested would really be needed. Do not be intimidated by an e-mail. Do not rely on the name or address in the “From” field, as this is easily altered.
  • Call. Telephone the organization identified, using an authenticated telephone number.
  • Act. If you fall victim to an attack, act immediately. Alert your financial institution. Monitor your credit files and account statements closely. Report the theft of your personal identification to the three major credit reporting agencies:
    Equifax: 800-525-6285
    Experian: 888-EXPERIAN
    TransUnion: 800-680-7289

Our Commitment

Heartland Bank is committed to protecting our customer’s confidential financial information. Working hand-in-hand with our customers is the best line of defense against fraudsters. Therefore our website contains “tips to protect” as well as references to other sources in an attempt to educate and assist our customers from becoming victims of fraud.

  • Privacy Policies – Protecting your privacy is one of our top priorities. Our privacy policy that protects your personal information is stringent and enforced. Our Privacy Policy is posted for your review.
  • Password Protection – When you visit us for the first time we will ask for information to identify yourself to us. We’ll ask you to develop a confidential password that only you will know.
  • Encryption Software – This software scrambles or encodes a message between two parties (you and the bank), in a way that allows the message to be decoded only by one of the two parties.
Lost or Stolen Card

If you suspect your ATM or Check Card has been lost or stolen, or if you'd like to report suspicious activity on your account, please see the information below.

Whether you are a consumer or a business please use the following Reference Guide to report any fraud that could potentially affect or that has affected your account with Heartland Bank. Specific branch information can be found under Contact Us.


If you suspect the following:Take action:
Lost or Stolen Checks, Check Fraud, Unauthorized Account Activity Call us at (402) 759-3114 or toll- free at 1-800-759-3119. After hours, please call our voicemail box at (402) 759-3114. Report any stolen checks or check fraud to the local law enforcement.
Lost or Stolen Check Card, Lost or Stolen ATM Card
Call us toll-free at 1-800-759-3119 during business hours or toll- free at 1-800-264-5578 after hours. Report any stolen cards or fraud to the local law enforcement.
Lost or Stolen Heartland Bank Credit Card
Contact us immediately at 1-800-883-0131, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should also report any stolen cards or fraud to local law enforcement.
Unauthorized Transactions Call us at (402) 759-3114 or toll- free at 1-800-759-3119. After hours, please call our voicemail box at (402) 759-3114.
Identity Theft If you believe that your identity has been stolen, please contact us immediately at (402) 759-3114 or toll-free at 1-800-759-3119. After hours please call voicemail box (402) 759-3114.

To contact each of the three major credit bureaus:

 EquifaxExperianTransUnion
Report Fraud (800) 525-6285 (888) 397-3742 (800) 680-7289
Dispute Credit
Report Online
click here click here click here
Order Credit Report (800) 685-1111 (888) 397-3742 (800) 916-8800
Address PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022

Other References

FraudWatch Plus

Account Protection

You may not know it, but you have round-the-clock protection against the increasingly savvy perpetrators of debit card fraud. That’s because the debit cards we issue at Heartland Bank are protected by FraudWatch Plus. This product uses industry leading technology, tools and expertise to manage fraud similar to what your credit card company may be using to help protect you.  

Trained analysts will watch for suspicious activity on your behalf 24/7, 365 days a year. When a transaction is not consistent with your usual card activity, you will get a call from “Fraud Prevention Services” to verify the authenticity of the transaction. 

Fraud is a serious business, and can hit anytime. That is why we are always on guard to detect and prevent fraud from happening to you.




Important Phone Numbers

For LOST or STOLEN debit cards call 800-264-5578 outside of normal business hours. During regular business hours contact your local Heartland Bank branch.

To respond to a call from Fraud Prevention Services or notify us of out of state or unusual transactions that you want authorized, FraudWatch Plus Customer Service is available 24/7 at 866-842-5208 or outside the USA call collect at 701-461-2551.




Please remember . . .

It is important that Heartland Bank has your current phone numbers on file so you can be reached by Fraud Prevention Services in the event that suspicious or out of the ordinary card activity is recognized on your account. 

If you will be traveling internationally or outside of your normal geographic area, contact us first and we will make sure your card is working for you while you travel. 

If you ever get a call from “Fraud Prevention Services,” know that they are doing their job to prevent potential fraudulent use of your debit card.  

Fraud Prevention Services will only ask for the last four digits of your social security number. They will NEVER ask for the following information:

  • Your full card number
  • The expiration date on your card
  • Your card’s PIN number
  • The CVC code on the back of your card
  • Your full social security number