Washington Financial Security

The security of your Washington Financial account and customer information is something we take seriously, no matter how you choose to bank with us - in person, by telephone, or online.

At Washington Financial, we are committed to protecting your personal information and helping you safeguard yourself from identity theft and fraud. The Bank's computer systems are monitored 24x7 to insure that customer information is protected. In addition, anti-virus protection is updated regularly to prevent viruses from entering Bank computer systems and firewalls are utilized to block unauthorized access to Bank computer systems.

Common Fraud Schemes

Phishing is a type of online fraud by which you are tricked into providing your personal information through your computer. By posing as individuals or organizations you know, "phishers" seek to obtain your computer passwords, credit card numbers or bank account information so they can use them fraudulently.

In most phishing attacks, you will receive an email or pop-up message appearing to be from a company you've done business with or an individual you know. The message may ask you to update, validate, or confirm your bank account information, Social Security number or credit card numbers. Phishing emails frequently have an urgent, demanding tone and encourage you to act right away. The messages direct you to a website that resembles a legitimate organization's site. By following instructions, you are unknowingly providing your personal information to a bogus site.

In the latest version of online identity theft known as pharming, a virus or malicious program is secretly planted in your computer and hijacks your web browser. When you type in the address of a legitimate site, you're taken to a fake copy of the site without realizing it. Any personal information you provide at the phony site, such as your password or account number, can be stolen and fraudulently used. Pharming is one of the more difficult types of online fraud to detect, and the results of pharming can be devastating to your finances and your identity.

So how do you avoid being phished or pharmed? - "Don't take the bait!"

If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply. Do not click on the link in the message, either. Legitimate companies do not ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization mentioned in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new web browser session and type in the company's correct web address yourself. In any case, do not cut and paste the link from the message into your web browser - phishers can make links look like they go to one place, but they actually send you to a different site.

Some scammers send an email that appears to be from a legitimate business and ask you to call a phone number to update your account information or access a refund. Because they use VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology, the area code you call does not reflect the true physical location of the scammer. If you need to reach an organization you do business with, call the number on your account statements or on the back of your credit card. In any case, delete random emails that ask you to confirm or divulge your financial information.

Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Anti-Virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Anti-Virus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for Anti-Virus software that does the following: recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; can effectively reverse the damage; and updates automatically.

A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. It's especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection. Your operating system and web browser may also offer software patches to close holes in the system that hackers or phishers could exploit.

Listed below, you'll find other important contact and reference information regarding identity theft and fraud. Washington Financial does not guarantee the products or services offered on these third party sites. You should review the privacy statement of a web site before you provide personal or confidential information.

Equifax
www.equifax.com
Fraud Line: (888) 766-0008

Experian
www.experian.com
Fraud Line: (888) 397-3742

Trans Union
www.transunion.com
Fraud Line: (800) 680-7289

Federal Trade Commission
www.ftc.gov
Fraud Line: 1-877-IDTHEFT

How Not To Get Hooked
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt127.htm

FTC's Identity Theft Site
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft

Security Tips From The National Security Alliance
http://www.staysafeonline.info

Playing it Safe at the ATM
http://www.diebold.com/playingitsafe

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