View information about current fraud alerts and scams.

How We Protect You From Fraud

Merchants Bank uses a combination of safeguards to protect your information. We will: 

  • Use proper procedures to confirm your identity
  • Obscure account numbers on transaction receipts or statements
  • Use secure and encrypted online account applications
  • Offer eStatements to eliminate account information being stolen through the mail
  • Offer protection in the form of a privacy code for over-the-phone account information and transactions
  • Use fraud monitoring applications to detect fraudulent transactions on your debit or credit card 24/7
  • Never share or sell your personal information
  • Never contact you and ask for your entire social security number over the phone, through text message or email
  • Ensure our vendors are using the most current security detection programs
  • Provide staff education regarding security best practices, current security threats and more

How You Can Protect Yourself From Fraud

  • Frequently review the current list of consumer scams at
  • Notify your bank about your travel plans. See Additional Resources section below.
  • Store private information in a safe place, like a locked desk drawer or file cabinet.
  • Do not provide your Social Security number or personal credit information to anyone over the phone or online unless you are the one who placed the call and are familiar with the business.
  • Shred all financial statements, credit card offers and any unused cards before recycling them. Delete old texts and emails from your bank.
  • Carefully check through your credit card and bank activity regularly and report unusual activity as soon as possible.
  • Never have a website remember your password to log in.
  • Set up text or email alerts from your bank for certain transactions, such as transactions over $500. Alerts are available through CardValet and Alerts functions in Merchants Bank Online Banking.
  • Sign up for eStatements to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being stolen.
  • Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is up-to-date.
  • Use the passcode feature on your smart phone and other mobile devices. It will be more difficult for people to access your personal information in the event your device is lost or stolen.
  • File reports if your devices are lost or stolen. Inform your wireless provider and financial institutions immediately.

If You Think You're a Victim of Identity Theft

Here are your next steps: 

  • Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus (listed below) and request:
    • A fraud alert be placed on your file
    • No new credit be granted without your approval

Equifax: confirmation to leave)(opens in a new window)

To report fraud, call: (800) 525-6285 or write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian: confirmation to leave)(opens in a new window)
To report fraud, call: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742) or write: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

Trans Union: confirmation to leave)(opens in a new window)
To report fraud, call: (800) 680-7289 or write: Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834

  • Close any accounts that have been fraudulently accessed or opened. 
  • File a local police report and get a copy of the report to your bank, credit card company or others that may need proof of the crime. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the federal clearinghouse for complaints by victims of identity theft. Although the FTC does not have the authority to bring criminal cases, it can assist victims. You can file a complaint with the FTC by visiting their website(opens confirmation to leave)(opens in a new window) or calling toll-free (877) ID-THEFT (438-4338).

Additional Resources

Click on the plus (+) symbol to learn more about a specific topic.

Merchants Bank will never initiate a phone call or email asking you to verify your Social Security number or account number. We may, however, contact you in the following situations: 

  • If mail is returned for incorrect address and we do not have record of receiving an address change request from you. 
  • If you are in the process of opening an account with us and we need additional information. 
  • If you have submitted an Online Bill Payment and there is a question on the address or company information. 
  • If you are enrolled for Online or Mobile Banking and have not used them for a period of time, or your Online Banking account is locked. 
  • If you are a business and submit an ACH file; we will verify this with you. 
  • If your debit card is captured in an ATM. 
  • If your debit card or PIN mailer is returned to the Bank. 
  • If fraud is suspected on your Merchants Bank debit or credit card. 

In these, or similar, situations, we may contact you. For your security, if you do not know the bank employee calling you, we encourage you to:

  1. Write down the information being requested.
  2. Call the person back by dialing your local Merchants Bank office at a number you have verified on your own. You may verify numbers through a public source, such as a phone book, or call a bank employee you do know personally. Protection of your personal information is always our top priority.

It’s important for you to contact Merchants before you leave to ensure the best service while you are out of town. If you make purchases in a state or country where you don't normally use your Merchants Bank card, we may think these transactions are fraud unless we know otherwise. 

When contacting the Bank regarding your travel plans, we will ask for the following information:

  • Dates of your trip(s)
  • Exact travel locations
  • How we can contact you while you’re gone

If you have a Merchants Bank Debit Card or Credit Card you can notify us by: 

  • Submitting a Travel Alert under the Profile section in Online Banking or
  • Calling us at (800) 944-6285 and ask to speak to a Customer Service Representative about your travel plans. 

We strongly recommend that you carry more than one form of payment during your trip. Interruptions within any card network are always possible. Carrying multiple forms of payment reduces frustrations when trying to complete a needed purchase. 

We work with a trusted partner to monitor fraud trends and detect fraudulent transactions on your debit card accounts 24/7.

We will call you in the event of a suspicious transaction. You may receive a call from our partner, who will make you aware that the call is being placed on behalf of Merchants Bank.

When our partner calls you, they will ask you for some identifying information - such as the last four digits of your Social Security Number. They will never ask you for your full number. If you are uncomfortable and don't want to speak with our partner, please call your local Merchants Bank office and verify the transaction or let us know that you did not make the purchase in question.

Criminals never stop inventing new ways to steal from you. The list below includes a few security best practices that you can use to help protect your computer and private data.

  • Antivirus Software - Install antivirus software to prevent viruses from infecting your computer.
  • Antispam Software - Install antispam software to prevent unwanted SPAM and junk email messages from entering your email inbox. This will help reduce the possibility of falling victim to phishing.
  • Antispyware software - Install antispyware software on your computer to block the installation of spyware.
  • Email - Email is usually not a secure way to transmit private information over the Internet. If you use your normal email to send Merchants Bank a message, do not include anything confidential (account numbers or other account information).
  • Update your software - Keep all of your software, including your operating system and Internet browser, as up to date as possible. This will help protect your computer from new security threats that appear on a regular basis.
  • Firewall - Install a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your computer systems.
  • Email Fraud or Phishing – Phishing is when criminals are trying to get you to reveal private information about yourself and your Merchants Bank accounts by sending out fake emails that look like they come directly from Merchants Bank or some other legitimate institution. Merchants Bank will never ask you to provide private information via email. The criminals will use very convincing emails with realistic logos and images. The fraudulent email might also include a link to a website. You should never click on a link in an unsolicited email. When you click on a link in a fraudulent email, it might install malicious software on your computer designed to steal information from you.
  • Vishing – This is (voice) phishing via the phone. The criminals will call, usually with a recorded message, instructing you to call a number and leave bank account or credit card information. Never provide private information to someone that has called you saying they represent Merchants Bank.
  • SMiShing - Texting has become very popular on cell phones and smartphones. SMS (Short Message Service) is the technology used to send and receive text messages on cell phones and smartphones. Criminals are taking advantage of this technology by sending a message asking for private bank or credit account information. The message might indicate that your immediate attention is required or your accounts will be closed. The criminal might provide a website address to visit or a phone number to call. Never respond to text messages requesting private Merchants Bank account information. Merchants Bank will never ask you to provide private information via text messages, unless you are using our Text Banking service.

To access your Online Banking and Mobile Banking account information and conduct transactions with us, you will need to provide a username and password. A strong password is still one of the most important methods for securing your personal information.

Password Tips

Here are some very important ways that you can make your password stronger and more secure:

  • Never tell your password to anyone else. Also, never write it down where someone else could find it.
  • Be sure to change your password often, and don't use common words that can easily be guessed.
  • Change your password every 90 days. More frequently is even better.
  • Make sure your password is complex – include numbers and special characters as well as upper and lower case letters that is at least eight characters. Or consider using a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase is a familiar phrase that uses other symbols or numbers to make it more complex. For example, the passphrase for “math rocks” could be m@th R0ck$. It’s easy for you to remember, but very difficult for someone else, or an automated program, to figure out.

Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information without your permission. Use the tips above to protect your identity.

Bank or credit card fraud is when an account is opened fraudulently in your name and unauthorized charges are made. Read above to learn how Merchants Bank protects you from fraud.

In the event you have security related questions, or notice suspicious activity on your account, you may contact us during business hours by calling 800-944-6285, or contact your local Merchants Bank branch. Click here to view local contact information.

How Does the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (also known as Regulation E) Apply to Your Accounts with Internet Access?

Regulation E is a consumer protection law for accounts established primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. It protects individual consumers engaging in electronic funds transfer (EFT). Non-Consumer (or business) accounts, such as Corporations, Partnerships, and Trusts etc. are not protected by Regulation E. 

What is an EFT?

  • Point of sale transfers
  • Automated teller machine transfers (ATM)
  • Direct deposit or withdrawals of funds
  • Transfers initiated by telephone
  • Transfers resulting from debit card transactions, whether or not initiated through an electronic terminal
  • Transfers initiated through internet banking/bill pay