Understanding fraud and identity theft
Understanding the different ways in which fraudsters attempt to victimize people via cyber threats will help you avoid becoming a victim.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. If you suspect that someone has used your information to open accounts with or conduct business at Northrim Bank without your knowledge or authorization, please contact our Call Center.
Phishing is a cyber threat by which fraudsters attempt to obtain personal or financial information (account or credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information) through fraudulent emails, fake websites, text messages, or direct phone calls claiming to be a financial institution or another company. Northrim Bank will never contact you via phone or email to request your Online Banking login credentials. If you receive a suspicious message asking you to provide your login credentials or other personal information, you should decline and call our Call Center immediately.
Malicious software, or “Malware,” includes viruses and spyware that can be installed on your computer, phone, or mobile device without your consent. Malware can be used to commit fraud, send spam, or even steal personal information. It can download itself during your Online Banking session in an attempt to steal your sensitive data. Be sure to have an up-to-date anti-virus and anti-malware software. As mobile devices have become more frequent targets of malware, there are now anti-malware programs available specifically for cell phones and other mobile devices.
Social media and internet fraud
Be careful about what you post personally and professionally – too much information can help scammers reach their goals. Phishing attempts and unsolicited requests don’t just happen via email. They can also arrive via social media.
As internet fraud is on the rise, be sure you always practice safe web browsing techniques, and be cautious about offers received online and through email. If you believe you are a victim of fraud or the recipient of suspicious communication, please contact our Call Center immediately and review our fraud reporting information below.
Take action to protect yourself
Your safety and security are our number one priority. Below are best practices to help guard against unauthorized use of your account and protect your identity.
Computers, mobile devices and email
- Never leave your computer or mobile device logged on or unattended in public.
- Always password protect and lock your computer or mobile device when not in use.
- Do not store financial or personal information on your computer or mobile device.
- Keep the operating system for your computer or mobile device up-to-date.
- Install and set your anti-virus and anti-malware software to update automatically.
- Do not click on links or attachments in an email that seems suspicious.
- Never give out personal information to an unknown source via phone, email, online or text.
- Do not include personal or sensitive data in, or in response to, an email or other online communication.
Passwords & PINs
- Always use secure passwords. A secure password consists of upper and lower case letters and numbers, and should not contain dictionary words, names or birthdates. Do not use your Social Security number (SSN), in full or in part, your birthdate or general number sequence such as 1234 for a password or PIN.
- Do not use the same username or password on any other website or software.
- Never share your password or PIN with anyone.
- Temporary passwords or PINS should be changed immediately.
- Make sure to keep your web browser software up-to-date by installing the most recent version.
- Only allow pop-ups from sites that you authorize.
- Do not give out personal information to blogs, forums and other social networking sites.
- Only make online purchases using secure sites that encrypt your information. To determine if a site encrypts your information look for the locked padlock icon in the browser and "https:" in the address line.
- Never access a website from a link in a suspicious email.
- Access online banking sites by typing the address directly into the browser’s address bar.
- Use caution when logging in to Online Banking from a public computer. Do not enroll additional security on public computers.
- Sign off and close your browser when you finish an online or mobile banking session.
- Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service that notifies you when changes are posted to your credit report. This is one of the fastest ways to find out if someone has opened new accounts in your name.
To learn more about online security visit:
FDIC Consumer Protection
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau