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Online Security Tips

Identity Theft

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. Identity theft is the theft or misuse of any type of identity theft information such as name, telephone number, Social Security Number, date of birth, credit card number, bank account number, etc.

Tips to protect yourself from identity theft:

  • Never share personal information with someone you don't know or for unnecessary reasons. Never give your passwords, PIN, checking account and credit card numbers of Social Security number to anyone unless you know the person or the organizatiion. State Bank of Georgia will never ask you for this type of sensitive information via email or phone call that we initiate without your request.
  • Never place outgoing mail in your curbside mailbox. Use a Postal Service collection box instead.
  • Don't have your Social Security number or driver's license printed on your checks.
  • Shred any sensitive documents with personal information before disposing of them.
  • Notify State Bank of Georgia immediately if you have lost or stolen checks or cards. You can call the bank directly Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm at 77-719-1200 or you can report lost or stolen cards after-hours at 1-800-500-1044.
  • Check your bank statements regularly and contact your bank if you notice any unauthorized activity.
  • Check your credit report at least annually. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus (
  • Use e-statements when available to reduce the chance of paper statements being stolen.

If you suspect that you have become a victim of identity theft:

  1. Immediately file a police report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Get a copy of the report in case you need to show proof of the crime.
  2. Contact the fraud departments at each of the three major credit bureaus.
    Equifax - 1-800-685-1111
    Experian - 1-888-397-3742
    TransUnion - 1-800-680-7289
  3. Close any accounts that have been tampered with, or opened fraudulently. While our professionals will assist you with your State Bank of Georgia accounts, you also contact, in writing, the security or fraud department of institutions at which you maintain credit or bank accounts.
  4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Contact the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline:
    By phone - 1-877-IDTHEFT(438-4338)
    Online at


How phishing works:

Typically, you will receive an email that appears to come from a reputable company that you recognize and do business with, such as your financial institution. In some cases, the email may appear to come from a government agency, including one of the federal financial institution regulatory agencies.

The email will probably warn you of a serious problem that requires your immediate attention. It may use phrases such as "Immediate attention required" or "Please contact us immediately about your account." The email will then encourage you to click on a button to go the institution's website.

You could be redirected to a phony website that may look exactly like the the real website. It may also be an attempt to infiltrate your computer with malicious software or a virus used to spy on your internet transations.

You may be asked to update your account information or to provide information for verification purposes: your Social Security Number, your account number, your password or the information you use to verify your identity when speaking to a real financial institution. If you provide the information, you may find yourself the victim of identity theft.

Telephone phishing also known as vishing is a phishing attempt made through a telephone call or voice message. If you are suspicious of a phone call that was not initiated by you, hang up or ask for the purpose of the call. Contact the company using phone numbers from legitimate sources such as the company's website or your bank statements.

A phishing attempt made by text message is known as smishing. Use caution if you receive a text message expressing an urgent need for you to update your information, activate an account, or verify your identity by calling a phone number or submitting information on a website.

While State Bank of Georgia may send you email communications from time to time, we will never ask you to send your account number, password or social security via email, text message or a phone call you did not initiate.

Tips to avoid phishing scams:

  • Be suspicious of any email with an urgent request for personal financial information. Phishers have been known to include upsetting or enticing false statements to get people to react immediately. The email typically asks for information such as user names, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers, etc.
  • Be careful of emails that are not personalized and/or may contain spelling errors and/or awkward syntax and phrasing.
  • Do not use links in an email to to any web page. You may be diverted to a fraudulent website. Call the bank to confirm the address or log on to the website directly by typing in the official web address in your browser.

Other Helpful Tips and Resources

Email Security

  • Do not open emails or attachments that you did not request or from senders you do not recognize.
  • Be aware of phishing schemes.
  • Do not click on links in spam messages.
  • State Bank of Georgia we will never ask you to send your account number, password or social security via email.
  • We will never email you and ask you to go to another site to "verify information". This is called "Phishing" and it deceives customers into providing personal information with deceptive emails.

Internet Security

  • Use strong passwords. Choose a password at least eight characters in length with a combination of upper and lowercase letters and numbers. Do not use words or phrases that can easily be associated with you or your familty such as the name of your child, spouse or pet.
  • When accessing the internet over a public wireless connection such as a cafe or hotel be aware of the risks before accessing your personal or financial information. Make sure the wireless network is secure and your device's security is active.
  • Have a firewall program running anytime your are connected to the internet and keep it up to date by using patches with your software company.
  • Be aware of potential spyware on your computer that can be loaded when a user opens an email attachment or clicks on a pop-up advertisement.
  • Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches are applied.
  • Install an antivirus program and keep it updated. Your antivirus program should be updated whenever a new version is available.
  • Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources.
  • Install a personal firewall on your computer.
  • Do not use a public computer (computers at internet cafes, copy centers, etc.) for online banking activities. They should be used with caution, due to shared use and possible tampering. Online banking activities and viewing or downloading documents (statements, etc.) should only be conducted on a computer you know to be safe and secure.

Online Resources

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Website -

FDIC Identity Theft and Fraud Website -

FTC Complaint Assistant -

Equifax -

Experian -

TransUnion -