Security

At Malaga Bank, we are committed to the security of your financial information. However, you are your own best advocate when it comes to the confidentiality of your personal information.  As financial scams and fraud become increasingly more sophisticated, staying alert is still the best solution.

Security Education

How can you protect yourself? Always consider the possibility that an uninvited call, e-mail or pop up on the internet, can actually be a scam. The old saying is still true today: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Be Cyber Smart and stay protected when you’re connected.

Avoid putting yourself at risk by opening e-mails purporting to be from a financial institution, government department, or other agency requesting account information, account verification, or banking access credentials.

Every year where there are disasters, scammers are putting out fake charity websites and phishing e-mails asking for donations. It’s best to go directly to the website for the charity of your choice.

Read more from the provided links connecting you to resources to help you become Cyber Smart.

Online Security and Privacy

We are dedicated to protecting and safeguarding your non-public, personal information.  In addition to enforcing strict federal regulations, we take pride in educating our customers about identity theft, online fraud and other scams.   See Security Education.

Online Security

Keeping your personal information protected is important to us.  Malaga Bank enforces physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that adhere to federal and state standards for protecting your information.  However, the online security of information can never be 100% guaranteed as secure.  While it takes diligence, you can keep the hackers out in the cold with safety practices on your computer.

Check for the padlock icon in your browser bar which signifies a secure site. Never provide personal financial information to a bank text or e-mail. Following a banking link sent in a text message or e-mail could be a phishing scam taking you to a fake web site.

Mobile Security

Your mobile device is a great tool for talking to friends, sharing photos and doing everyday business including personal or business banking. Take precautions and protect your smart phone or tablet. Add safeguards like a password, two factor authentication or biometric features. Also, we can’t say this enough: Never provide personal financial information to a bank text or e-mail. Following a banking link sent in a text message or e-mail could be a phishing scam taking you to a fake web site.

Stay Cyber Safe and avoid free internet Wi-Fi at public locations, especially if you bank online. Public hot spots may be too public for your private information.

COVID-19 Scams and Fraud Awareness

Recent events have placed our customers and community members in challenging situations because of the current pandemic, COVID-19. During events like this, fraudsters and scammers increase their efforts to take advantage of the situation to steal your money, your personal information, or your identity. Now more than ever, it’s important to be aware and diligent to fight these attempts. We have compiled common frauds and scams related to COVID-19, as well as resources for additional education to keep you and your finances secure.  

Homeowners Property Tax Scam

Los Angeles County Officials are alerting the public to a scam attempting to collect Homeowner’s property tax payments in-person under the pretext of COVID-19 office closures. These scammers may even have fake identification as well as a copy of the homeowner’s tax bill.

“The County of Los Angeles Treasurer and Tax Collector (TTC) does not conduct in-person visits to collect property tax payments and any attempts to collect in-person payments are fraudulent,” said Keith Knox, Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector. “Should you be contacted at your home or hear about this in your neighborhood, do not make payment to the person requesting it and notify local law enforcement immediately.” For details on available property tax payment options visit ttc.lacounty.gov.

Shopping Online Ads and Offers

Be aware of offers and ads for cures, treatments, medical supplies, free video streaming services, sites to track the virus’ spread, and other “too good to be true” claims.

Be aware of who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand items, like cleaning, household, or medical supplies when, in fact they don’t. This may be an attempt to get your credit card information or to get you to unknowingly download malware onto your device or computer.

 

Work-from-home Schemes

Watch out for online job postings and emails from individuals promising you easy money for little to no effort. Common red flags that you may be acting as a money mule include:

  • Watch out for online job postings and emails from individuals promising you easy money for little to no effort. Common red flags that you may be acting as a money mule include:
  • The “employer” you communicate with uses web-based services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, etc.
  • You are asked to receive funds in your personal bank account and then “process” or “transfer” funds via wire transfer, ACH, mail, purchase gift cards or money service products, such as through Western Union or MoneyGram.
  • You are asked to open bank accounts in your name for a business.
  • You are told to keep a portion of the money you transfer.

Recognize and Avoid Phishing Emails

Scammers will try to trick you by emailing information they know you’re interested in. They make themselves appear to come from a familiar source hoping you will act or click before thinking it through. Like other types of phishing emails, the messages usually try to get you to click on a link taking you to a fake website or provide personal information that can be used to commit fraud or identity theft against you.  

We can’t say this enough: Never provide personal financial information to a bank text or email. We’ve listed steps you can take to help thwart scammers.

  • Beware of requests for personal information. Any email that seeks personal information like your Social Security number or login information is a scam. Legitimate government agencies won’t ask for that information.
  • Check the email address or link. You can inspect a link by hovering (but not clicking) your mouse button over the URL to see where it leads. Sometimes, it’s obvious the web address is not legitimate, but keep in mind scammers and fraudsters can create links that closely resemble real websites. Delete the email if you suspect it is a scam. If you are unsure, Do Not Click the link, but copy and paste it into your browser to check for legitimacy.
  • Watch for spelling and grammatical mistakes. If an email includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, it’s likely a sign you’ve received a phishing email. Delete it.
  • Avoid emails that insist you act now. Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency or demand immediate action. Their goal is to get you to click on a link and provide personal information without thoroughly thinking it through. Delete the message.
  • Fake CDC Alerts. The email might falsely claim to link you to a list of coronavirus cases in your area or offer information on testing, results, or anything else to get you to open the email.

As always, make sure to fact-check all information you receive no matter the source. Scammers, and even innocent well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources to ensure they are legitimate. Visit official COVID-19 government websites for more up-to-date information.

Romance Scams

Online dating sites have increased over the past few years.  And so have scammers looking to profit.  In typical romance scams, scammers use stolen pictures from the internet to build fake personas on social media sites or dating platforms and eventually coerce their victim into sending them money. Victims most often send money to romance scammers by wire transfer or gift cards.

Reports of gift cards used to pay scammers have risen almost 70% since 2019. The FTC reports gift cards and money through wire transfers have cost victims to lose a record $304 million in just last year alone!  Social distancing and the pandemic have provided perfect opportunities for romance scammers to put off meeting in person.

What can you do?  Never transfer money from your bank account, buy gift cards, or wire money to an online love interest. You won’t get it back. 

Report Fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), plus Important Recovery Steps 

If you are a victim of a fraud attack, report the attack and take steps to develop a recovery plan. Place a fraud alert on your credit, obtain your free credit reports, and close any fraudulent accounts opened in your name. 

If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721.

IdentityTheft.gov is the federal government’s one-stop resource for identity theft victims. Use this site for streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process.

Grandparent Scams

Scammers targeting grandparents have added a new twist by posing as panicked grandchildren in trouble.

With claims of illness, being in a foreign jail, or needing to leave a foreign country, they may present an urgent need for emergency cash and pressure you to send or wire money right away.

Resist the urge to act immediately. Verify their identity by asking for a family phone number or ask questions a stranger couldn’t possibly answer. Don’t send cash, gift cards or money transfers. Once a scammer gets your money, it’s gone!