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Fraud Prevention Tips

At STAR your safety and security is our number one priority. Here are ways to safeguard your identity and financial information:

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Detecting Financial Fraud

Even the most secure consumer can sometimes have their financial information stolen by a thief, con artist, hacker, friend, or family member. In the event fraud does happen, the best way to ease the pain and stem the loss is to quickly detect it. Here are some tips on early detection of financial fraud:

  • Review your account statements for transactions you did not authorize immediately upon receipt from banks, insurance companies, investment firms and credit card companies
  • For even faster detections, sign up for online banking access to your accounts and review as often as possible
  • Know your statement delivery dates and inquire with your financial provider if delayed. This may be an indicator that someone may have changed your address or stolen information from your mailbox
  • Closely review notifications from collection agencies or lenders for delinquent payments as this may be an indicator that someone has used your identity
  • Listen to and record information from a debt collector calling on a debt you do not owe. Do not just hang up and assume they have the wrong person. This is another indicator that someone has used your identity
  • Every four months review your three free annual credit reports on-line at www.annualcreditreport.com and look for credit opened without your knowledge
  • If you have become a victim of fraud, then go to the Stolen Card  section of the Security Center to learn how to report this to STAR so we can assist you in the recovery of your loss

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How to Avoid Identity Theft

Financial account credentials, passwords, Social Security numbers and other personal information are sought by thieves to commit identity theft, which can damage your credit and cost you countless hours and dollars in the effort to restore your good name. You can minimize your risk of identity theft by observing the following tips, courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Protect your Social Security number. Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary, and ask to use other types of identifiers.
  • Treat your trash and mail carefully. Always shred documents you discard that may contain sensitive financial or personal information, including credit offers you receive in the mail. To opt out of prescreened credit offers, call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688). Deposit outgoing mail containing personally identifying information in post office collection boxes or at your local post office, rather than in an unsecured mailbox, and promptly remove mail from your mailbox. 
  • Be on guard when using the Internet. Beware of "spoof" e-mail and "phishing."   
  • Select intricate passwords for log-in to financial and personal information online. Use at least eight characters, both uppercase and lowercase letters, one or more numerals and one or more symbols. Change your password often. Do not share it with others, and do not record it in an easy-to-find place. 
  • Verify sources before sharing information. Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact and are sure you know who you're dealing with. 
  • Safeguard your purse and wallet. Protect your purse and wallet at all times. Don't carry your Social Security number or card; leave it in a secure place. Carry only the identification information and the credit and debit cards that you'll actually need when you go out. 
  • Store information in secure locations. Keep your personal information in a secure place at home and work. 
  • Review your credit reports at least every four months to check for errors and fraud, and review your credit before using credit to buy a home or car, or to make other large purchases. 


If you become the victim of identity theft:

  • Notify law enforcement immediately. 
  • Call us at:
    • 1-888-395-2447 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM Mon-Fri, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sat

  • Carefully review your account on a regular basis. 
  • Notify us of any discrepancies on your account. 
  • Visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Web Site to learn how to detect identity theft and how to recover from identity theft. 
  • Follow the 24 step guide for Identity Theft located on our Security Alert section.
  • FREE assistance is available at http://www.idtheftcenter.org/v_resources/v_intro.shtml

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How to Avoid E-mail Fraud

STAR uses multiple secure methods for communicating with its customers online.

  • Encrypted electronic messaging through online banking
  • Encrypted instant messaging through Web Chat
  • In response to your request for information through Secure e-mail
  • As requested by you to send updates on your account status (i.e. electronic statements and other notices)


Outside of these secure and authorized communications methods, STAR will never ask for sensitive financial or personal information, such as account numbers, passwords and Social Security numbers, in an e-mail message.

Beware of e-mail "spoofing," "phishing" and identity theft

Be aware that e-mail "spoofing" - the forgery of an e-mail header so that the message appears to come from someone other than the actual source - is an often-used technique of online impostors. Unsolicited "spoof" e-mails requesting your financial account credentials or personal information are a typical ploy in "phishing" - fraudulent techniques used by these impostors to "fish" for, or lure you into supplying, such information. 

Account numbers, passwords and Social Security numbers are also often sought by impostors to commit identity theft, which can damage your credit and cost you countless hours and dollars in the effort to restore your good name.

How to protect yourself

  • Ensure that you have a firewall, system security software, anti-virus software and spyware-detection software installed on your computer - and keep it up-to-date 
  • Be wary of e-mail from senders you don't know. Don't click on links to web sites in unsolicited e-mail, and don't open attachments to unsolicited e-mail. When in doubt, delete the mail without opening it 
  • If you receive an e-mail message that warns you with little or no notice that your financial account will be shut down unless you confirm your financial or personal information, do not respond to or comply with the request 

To report suspicious e-mail messages

  • If you receive an e-mail message claiming to be from STAR, STAR Financial, STAR Financial Bank, STAR Insurance Agency, STAR Wealth Management or STAR Financial Group and you are uncertain about its authenticity, call us at:

          1-888-395-2447 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM Mon-Fri, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sat

  • You may also report suspicious e-mail messages to phishing@starfinancial.com  
  • If you receive an e-mail message claiming to be from a company other than STAR Financial Group and you are uncertain about its authenticity, contact the company using a telephone number or web site address you know to be genuine 
  • You may also forward suspicious e-mail to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov

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How to Avoid "Phishing" Scams

"Phishing" is a fraudulent technique used by online impostors to "fish" for, or lure you into supplying, your financial account credentials or personal information.

How phishing may occur

Typically, a phishing scam begins with the delivery of an unsolicited "spoof" e-mail message claiming to be from a bank or online merchant, with a subject line such as "Important Security Issue," "Account Verification Required" or "Update Account." The message directs you to a web page and asks you to enter your bank account or credit card account number, account password, Social Security number or other information to verify your identity. However, the web page is not actually associated with the bank or online merchant - it's on a counterfeit replica site.

Occasionally, a spoof e-mail message may ask that you download a file attachment - a tactic to plant a computer virus, keystroke logger, spyware or other software on your computer to collect financial account credentials or personal information. 

It is important to know that STAR will never ask for sensitive financial or personal information, such as account numbers, passwords and Social Security numbers, in an unsolicited e-mail message. 

To Avoid Phishing Scams do not reply or comply with e-mail messages that:

  • Asks you to enter sensitive financial or personal information (account number, User ID, password, Social Security number) directly into the e-mail or on a non-secure web page 
  • Asks you to confirm or refresh your bank account, credit card or billing information 
  • States that your account has been compromised or that there has been third-party activity on your account, and asks that you enter or confirm your account information 
  • States that there are unauthorized charges on your account and asks that you enter or confirm your account information 
  • Threatens to close or suspend your account if you do not immediately supply the requested information 
  • Solicits your participation in a survey where you are asked to enter sensitive financial or personal information 


Help prevent fraud by reporting suspicious e-mail messages immediately:

  • If you receive an e-mail message claiming to be from STAR, STAR Financial, STAR Financial Bank, STAR Insurance Agency, STAR Wealth Management or STAR Financial Group and you are uncertain about its authenticity, call us at:

  1-888-395-2447 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM Mon-Fri, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sat

  • We may request you to forward a copy of suspicious e-mail messages to phishing@starfinancial.com   
  • If you receive an e-mail message claiming to be from a company other than STAR and you are uncertain about its authenticity, contact the company using a telephone number or web site address you know to be genuine 
  • You may also forward suspicious e-mail to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov 


If you believe you've been the victim of a phishing scam

Any action you take in compliance with a spoof e-mail request may compromise the security of your account or your computer. If you have taken any action in compliance with a fraudulent e-mail or should you believe that your account has been otherwise compromised:

  • Carefully review your account transaction detail now, and on a regular basis 
  • Immediately report any fraudulent transactions by calling:

    1-888-395-2447 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM Mon-Fri, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sat

  • You may contact us via e-mail at customerservice@starfinancial.com 
  • Change your password from an uninfected computer 
  • Run a virus scan and spyware detection scan on your computer, and clean up any programs that are detected 
  • Change your password again 


To learn more about phishing, read the Federal Trade Commission report, "How Not to Get Hooked by a Phishing Scam."

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How to Protect Your Computer

STAR employs a variety of procedures and technologies to help ensure the security of your financial account credentials and personal information. You can also help safeguard the security of your computer by observing the following tips:

  • Prevent the unauthorized use of your computer by requiring a login password at start up. To create a strong password, use at least six to eight characters, both uppercase and lowercase letters, one or more numerals and one or more symbols 
  • Change your password often. Do not share it with others, and do not record it in an easy-to-find place 
  • Log off or lock your computer if you must step away from it while working, and log off, lock or shut down at the end of a work session or end of the day 
  • Do not leave your laptop or notebook computer where it can be easily removed 
  • Ensure that you have a firewall, system security software, anti-virus software and spyware-detection software installed on your computer - and keep it up-to-date 
  • Use only software from reliable vendors. Shareware, freeware and trial-use programs may install unwanted adware or spyware on your computer 
  • Be wary of e-mail from senders you don't know. Do not open attachments to suspicious e-mail. When in doubt, delete the mail without opening it 


Additional information on how to protect your computer is available at the FBI web site.

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