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Safety & Security

Phishing Scams

There is a type of fraud called "phishing". The term "phishing" as in fishing for confidential information refers to a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual's information. This is how it works:

A consumer receives an e-mail which appears to originate from a financial institution, government agency or other well-known/reputable entity. The provided link appears to be the web site of the above, but in "phishing" scams, the web site belongs to the fraudster/scammer. Once inside the fraudulent web site, the consumer may be asked to provide Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information used to identify the consumer, such as the maiden name of the consumer's mother or the consumer's place of birth. When the consumer provides the information, those perpetrating the fraud can begin to access consumer accounts or assume the person's identity. If you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft, perhaps because you submitted personal information in response to a suspicious, unsolicited e-mail or you see unauthorized charges on your credit card, immediately contact your financial institution and if necessary close existing accounts and open new ones. Also contact the police and request a copy of any police report or case number for later reference.


How To Protect Yourself:


  1. Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request.
  2. If you believe the contact may be legitimate, contact the financial institution yourself.
  3. Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited internet request.
  4. Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct.
  5. Never provide personal financial information.
  6. Never click on the link provided in an e-mail.

Listed below are some of the new "key words" and their meanings to help you avoid identity theft.

  1. Phishing
    Phishing refers to criminal activity that attempts to fraudulently obtain sensitive information.

  2. Pharming
    Pharming is another scam where a hacker installs malicious code on a personal computer or server. This code then redirects clicks you make on a web site to another fraudulent web site without your consent or knowledge.

  3. Vishing
    Criminals also use the phone to solicit your personal information. This telephone version of phishing is sometimes called vishing.

  4. Smishing
    Just like phishing, smishing uses cell phone text messages to lure consumers in. In many cases, the smishing message will come from a "5000" number instead of displaying an actual phone number. DO NOT RESPOND TO SMISHING MESSAGES.



Emergency Preparedness


In order to prepare for an emergency or unexpected event, here are some tips to help put your banking and financial documents in order:

  • Keep marriage and family records, including property deeds, birth certificates, wills, insurance policies, adoption papers, car titles and three years of tax returns in a safe deposit box.

  • Inventory and keep a list and photographs of household valuables.

  • Start and regularly contribute to an emergency fund that can cover at least three to four months of expenses. This fund should be separate from your savings or investment accounts.

  • Stash extra cash with your emergency kit, which should include a three day supply of water and food, first-aid kit, can opener, flashlights, radio and extra batteries or a battery-free radio.

  • Keep names and contact numbers for executors, trustees and guardians in a safe place.

  • Identify the records that you keep only on your computer. They may not be available if electrical power fails. Make a printout and safeguard them.


Access To Free Credit Reports


Your credit report has information that affects whether you can get a loan, approval for a credit card or even apply for a job. You need to make sure that information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through, by phone at 1-877-322-8228 and by mail at Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 205281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies one at a time. The law allows you to order one free copy of your report from each of the nationwide credit reporting companies every 12 months. You may order one, two or all three reports at the same time, or you may stagger your requests. It's your choice. Some financial advisors say staggering your requests during a 12-month period may be a good way to keep an eye on the accuracy and completeness of the information in your reports. If you request your report online at, you should be able to access it immediately. If you order your report by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228, your report will be processed and mailed to you within 15 days. If you order your report by mail using the Annual Credit Report Request Form, your request will be processed and mailed to you within 15 days of receipt.

Respect of Right to Privacy

West Central Georgia Bank recognizes and respects your concerns about privacy and security while using our Web Site and Internet Banking Services. We are committed to taking every precaution to protect and safeguard your privacy in the same manner as in our more traditional banking offices. All Internet transactions, such as transfers of funds between accounts, and third party bill payment, are conducted in a secure (encrypted) environment to protect privacy. If you have any question about your privacy or the accuracy of your account information please contact us.

Collection and Use of Personal Information

The collection of personal information online is designed to protect the security of your accounts, to assist the bank in administering its business, and to provide our customers with the products and services they want. Such information is always collected in a "secure" (encrypted) online environment.

Maintenance of Accurate Information

West Central Georgia Bank has established procedures to insure that your personal information is accurate, current, and complete in accordance with reasonable commercial standards. We will respond in a timely manner to any questions from you or requests to correct inaccurate information.

Limiting Employee Access to Information

West Central Georgia Bank limits employee access to your personal information to those employees with a business reason for knowing such information. All employees are educated in the need for confidentiality and customer privacy. All access to personal information is controlled by employee password and other security procedures. Our personnel policy provides for disciplinary action to enforce employee privacy responsibilities.

Restrictions on Disclosures to Third Parties

Personal information may be supplied to a third party:

  • In order to process a customer transaction;
  • If the customer requests it;
  • If the disclosure is allowed or required by law (for example, subpoena, investigation of fraudulent activity, or exchange of information with reputable credit reporting agencies, etc.)

West Central Georgia Bank requires all third parties with a business need to access personal account information to adhere to privacy policies similar to our own. Such parties are strictly prohibited from using the information for their own benefit, or allowing any other party to access the information.