Alliance Bank is committed to protecting our customers and communities from fraud, scams and identity theft. Below you can find information that can assist you in preventing and responding to fraud.

If you have specific questions related to fraud or would be interested in having us present to your organization or group on fraud prevention, please call us at 573-334-1010.

Scams & Identity Protection

Scammers may contact you in person; by phone, postal mail, or email; or through the Internet to try to trick you into giving out personal information. Avoid scam artist ploys by following these tips:

  • Stay aware of current scams. Watch or read the news. The nation’s consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), offers information and tips on current scams. Go to and click on “Scam Alerts”. For Internet scam updates, go to the Internet Crime Complaint Center site at and click on the “Alerts” link.
  • Before divulging personal information to anyone, know with whom you’re dealing. Independently verify any information provided. Find the physical address and phone number of who contacted you by yourself. Don’t trust email addresses given by unknown people. Search online for a company’s name and website. Read through the site, and read any online reviews of the person or business.
  • Never reply to messages asking for personal information, whether the message was sent over the phone or by email, text message, social media or through an ad. Do not call phone numbers or click on links contained in these messages. You could be a target of “phishing”.
  • Never send money or account information in reply to notices that you won a prize or lottery.
  • Donate only to established charities. Avoid pop-up charities that suddenly appear after disasters. Check a charities trustworthiness at, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance site.
  • Don’t fall for pressure tactics. Never react quickly or impulsively to offers or requests.
  • Be wary of “imposter” scams in which a scammer pretends to be someone close to you or an entity you’re unlikely to question. Fraudsters pretended to be family members, friends, love interests, government agencies, or companies, often trying to get personal information.
  • Beware of situations that seem “too good to be true.” If you are promised returns that are not typical for investing money, it is likely a scam.

Did you recently get a notice that says your personal
information was exposed in a data breach? Did you lose
your wallet? Or learn that an online account was hacked?

Depending on what information was lost, there are steps
you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.

If your information has been exposed, visit for detailed
advice about your particular situation.

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your knowledge or permission for financial or other gain. Prime targets of identity theft include children, college students, military members, veterans and seniors, but it can happen to anyone at any time.

The following forms of identity theft are simple and time-tested methods that help thieves steal your identity.

  • Mail Theft
    • Use a locking, security mailbox if possible, or consider renting a PO Box at your local post office.
    • Put all outgoing mail into a postal mailbox.
  • Dumpster Diving (Trash Theft)
    • Shred unwanted documents containing personal information and all unsolicited credit card or loan offers.
    • Invest in a high-quality cross-cut shredder. Thieves can piece together papers shredded into horizontal strips.
  • Shoulder Surfing – “Shoulder surfers” observe your actions or eavesdrop to steal personal information. They look over your shoulder or stand close by and may use a camera phone to record you.
    • Shield keypads with your hand or body before entering PINs, passwords or card numbers.
    • Avoid sharing personal information over the phone in public. If you must, use a low voice and shield your mouth.
  • Purse or Wallet Snatching
    • Minimize what you carry in your wallet, especially payment cards.
    • Never carry your Social Security card unless absolutely necessary.
    • Don’t carry PINs or account passwords with you; memorize them or keep then safely locked up at home.

Alliance Bank will never ask for sensitive financial or personal information, such as account numbers, passwords and Social Security numbers in an email. Unsolicited “spoof” emails requesting such information are a typical ploy in “phishing” scams— fraudulent techniques used by online impostors to “fish” for, or lure you into supplying financial account credentials and personal information.

While no one can ever be totally safe from identity theft, we want to make you aware of a few proactive, simple measures you can take that can help you from becoming a victim of identity theft.

Identity Theft can damage your finances, credit rating and reputation, and complicate many areas of your life. Identity thieves might:

  • Drain your bank accounts.
  • Make purchases with your credit cards.
  • Open new accounts in your name (bank, cell phone, utility, credit cards, etc.)
  • Get identity and government documents issued with your name and their photos.
  • Receive medical care under your insurance.
  • Take out loans in your name.
  • Create a false criminal record for you by using your identifying information when investigated or arrested by the police.

Another growing problem is tax-related identity theft. Using your Social Security number, an identity theft might:

  • File a false tax return and collect a refund.
  • Get a job and have earnings reported as your income.

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.

Here are some tips from The Federal Trade Commission, to help minimize your risk of identity theft

  • Protect your Social Security number and don’t give it out unless absolutely necessary. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check.
  • 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.
  • Be on guard when using the Internet. Beware of “spoof” emails and “phishing” scams.
  • Select intricate passwords for log-in to financial and personal information online. Use at least 10-14 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. Carry only the identification information and the credit and debit cards that you’ll actually need when you go out.
  • Store your personal information in secure locations.
  • Review your credit reports at least once a year to check for errors and fraud.
  • Promptly and carefully review your account statements such as bank statements, credit card statements, as well as mobile phone and home telephone bills for unauthorized charges or activity.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, act fast! Often victims do not learn of the theft until it’s too late, and by that time, substantial damage has happened to your financial reputation and credit rating.

First, call the companies where you know fraud happened.
Explain that someone stole your identity.  Ask them to close or freeze your accounts.  Then change your password or personal identification number (PIN).

Second, place a fraud alert and get your credit reports.
Note: To place the fraud alert contact one of the three credit bureaus. By notifying one agency of fraudulent activity, you will notify all three.

Experian= or 888-EXPERIAN (888-3967-3742)
TransUnion= or 888-909-8872
Equifax= or 1-800-685-1111

To get your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion go to or call 1-877-322-8228.

Last, visit or call 1-877-438-4338.
Answer questions about what happened to you.  Based on your information will create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan.  The site provides detailed advice to help you fix problems caused by identity theft.

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, the following steps are prudent:

  • Report the scam to your bank and any other financial accounts impacted. They can assist you in securing the accounts to limit any future losses.
  • Contact local law enforcement to determine if you can pursue legal action.
  • File a report online with the Department of Justice or Center for Elder Abuse.

Protecting Yourself Online

While computers and the Internet offer huge benefits, they also offer cyber criminals opportunities to steal personal information. Cyber crooks have shown they can keep up with the fast-paced growth of technology. They constantly develop new tools and methods to trick and exploit people through computer and Internet use. The more aware you are of cyber threats, the more prepared you will be to avoid them.

“Malware” is a broad term for the many forms of malicious software designed to disrupt, harm or hijack a computer system or data. It includes viruses and spyware. Secretly installed without your knowledge or consent, malware programs can damage your privacy and the security of your computer of mobile device. They can capture your personal information in a variety of ways and secretly send it to identity thieves.

Computers and mobile devices are commonly infected with malware through email attachments, downloads and the links within emails, instant messages or pop-up windows.

Warning signs of a malware infection include:

  • Slow or sluggish performance.
  • Your computer crashes.
  • Repeated error messages.
  • Being automatically sent to websites you didn’t mean to visit
  • An unintended reset to a new Internet home page that can’t be undone
  • Getting bombarded with pop-up ads and/or ads popping up when a browser is not open
  • Finding a new toolbar added to your browser
  • Seeing new icons on your desktop
  • Your online search result pages only show ads

Malware can be hard to remove. It you suspect it:

  • Immediately stop all online activities that require you to enter any kind of personal information.
  • Update and then run your security software.
  • Get reliable tech support if possible.

Be aware of other Internet threats that can endanger your personal information and identity.

PHISHING: This is when cyber thieves send you emails that try to lure you into providing or confirming personal information. The emails look like they’re from legitimate organizations, often ones you know. They ordinarily use threats, warnings, or enticements to create a send of urgency. You’re usually asked to click on a link. If you do, it can lead to a spoof website. The site looks real enough to trick you into entering personal information.


  • Request (usually urgent) for you to make contact through a provided link
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Generic greetings, like “Dear User”
  • Unsolicited attachments

SPEAR PHISHING: This form of phishing targets individuals or companies. The emails appear to be from an entity you know because spear phishers use information they already have about you to create more personalized, real-looking emails.

SMISHING & VISHING: Very similar to phishing, this is when criminals use automated dialing systems to call or text you with messages intended to trick you into sharing personal information. The message will direct you to a phone number or website that asks you for the information.

BEWARE!! Clicking on links, opening attachments, or going to web addresses provided through phishing, smishing and vishing frequently cause identity-stealing malware downloads.


  • Never click on links in pop-ups or those in emails and text messages from unknown senders. Be cautious about clicking email and text message links even from known senders.
  • Don’t trust contact information provided in emails, text messages or pop-ups. Check into its reliability on your own.
  • Don’t respond to text or automated voice messages on your mobile phone if they’re from an unknown or blocked caller.
  • Know that most legitimate companies and organizations won’t request personal information via email.
  • Be cautious about downloading email attachments. Ensure you know and trust the sender.

While Alliance Bank believes it is our top priority to protect your banking information, you have an important part in safeguarding your accounts. There are multiple ways you can ensure your Alliance Bank Online Banking information is protected.

  • Don’t give your Access ID and/or Passcode to anyone. These are designed to be exclusive to only your Banking Session and will protect your information if you keep them private.
  • Change your Passcode frequently.
  • Don’t walk away from your computer if you are logged in to your Online Banking Session.
  • ALWAYS sign off your Online Banking Session before visiting other sites.

The following are tips to help protect your computer and information:

  • Prevent the unauthorized use of your computer by requiring a log-in password at start-up. To create a strong password, use at least 10-14 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.
  • Wi-Fi access should be secured with strong password encryption.

Block cookies on your Web browser
When you ‘surf’ online websites, hundreds of data points are being collected by the sites you visit. These data points get mashed together to form an integral part of your “digital profile,” which is then sold without your consent to companies around the world. By blocking cookies, you’ll prevent some of the data collected about your user profile. You will have to enter your online passwords more often, but it’s a smarter way to surf the web.

Don’t put your full birth date on your social-networking profiles
Identity thieves use birth dates as cornerstones of their craft. If you want your friends to know your birthday, try just the month and day, and leave off the year.

Don’t download Social Media apps from outside the United States

Apps on social networks can access huge amounts of personal information. Some unscrupulous or careless entities collect lots of data and then lose, abuse, or sell them. If the app maker is in the U.S., it’s probably safer, and at least you have recourse if something should ever go wrong.

DO NOT USE public Wi-Fi hotspots to access Online Banking
Criminals and hackers are able to set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots that look legitimate. When you login to the fake network, they are able to access personal information or download malware onto your device without the consumer knowing.

Use multiple usernames and passwords
Keep your usernames and passwords for social networks, online banking, e-mail, and online shopping all separate. Having distinct passwords is not enough nowadays: if you have the same username across different Web sites, your entire romantic, personal, professional, and e-commerce life can be mapped and re-created with some simple algorithms. It’s happened before.