If you feel you have been the victim of fraud involving one of your Merchants Bank accounts, please call or visit the closest Merchants Bank location, or Contact Us via the secure link on our website (responded to during business hours only).
To report a lost or stolen Merchants Bank Personal Debit Card or Business Debit Card, please call or visit your closest Merchants Bank location during regular business hours, or call (866) 496-0522 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, except holidays) or (800) 264-5578 (available 24/7; after bank hours, weekends and holidays).
To Report your Merchants Bank Credit Card lost or stolen, please call or visit your closest Merchants Bank location during regular business hours or contact our Credit Card Department directly at (507) 457-1160, or call (800) 325-3678, after bank hours, weekends or holidays.
Phone Scam Calls Reported (1/19/2015)
Our customers have reported receiving calls from 877-218-8883 regarding their Merchants Bank accounts or loans. Please do not call this number as it is not affiliated with Merchants Bank. We will never initiate calls requesting private information, such as account number or social security numbers. Thank you for your diligence in helping prevent fraud.
Home Depot Breach Information (9/9/14)
Home Depot Data Breach: Home Depot is currently investigating a data breach that could affect transactions back to April. Be assured that we at Merchants Bank are protecting you. We are working with our trusted partner, VISA Falcon Fraud Prevention Services, to monitor fraud trends and detect fraudulent transactions on your credit card accounts 24/7. Please know that affected accounts in the Home Depot data breach will be closed and new cards issued.
Our partner, Falcon, will call you in the event of a suspicious transaction. Falcon will make you aware that the call is being placed on behalf of Merchants Bank. If you cannot be reached after the first call, the Merchants Bank Credit Card Department will place a follow up call.
When our partner, Falcon, 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 the Merchants Bank Credit Card Department directly at (507) 457-1160 and verify the transaction or let us know that you did not make the purchase in question.
- To monitor Merchants Bank Credit Card activity, please go to www.merchantsbank.com and click on Credit Card Login.
- To monitor Merchants Bank Debit Card activity, please go to www.merchantsbank.com and login to your Online Banking account.
- To monitor Merchants Bank Visa Gift Card activity, please go to www.ppdmoney.com or call 1-866-208-3282.
If you notice any fraudulent activity on a Merchants Bank credit or debit card, please report it as soon as possible by calling your local Merchants Bank branch or calling toll-free, 1-800-944-6285.
For tips on protecting your card information, identity, and more, click here.
"Heartbleed Bug" Update (4/11/14)
Our testing is complete. Our website and the links from our website are not vulnerable to the “Heartbleed Bug,” based on our analysis. We will continue to monitor this situation and review data as it becomes available.
“Heartbleed Bug” Update (4/11/14)
We have tested all links related to our Online Banking, and we have found that they all are safe. We are continuing to test outside of Online Banking to ensure your information is secure. We should have that testing complete in the near future.
We do encourage you to be pro-active in changing your password for Merchants Online Banking, as well as any other sites where your private information is stored.
Information About the "Heartbleed Bug" (4/9/14)
We want you to know that we are aware of the threat from the “Heartbleed Bug.” To date, we have not found any instances where information has been compromised. We are continuing to test our systems for the bug to ensure your information is safe. We want you to know that a thorough evaluation will continue to take some time. As we have new information, we will post it immediately on our “Alerts” page.
Changing your password is the best protection you can take to make sure personal information is secure. We do encourage you to change your password now and again in May for Online Banking at merchantsbank.com, as well as any other sites where your private information is stored.
New Scam: Cryptolock, "Ransomware" (10/15/13)
As technology becomes more advanced so do the ways in which internet scammers try to commit fraud. There is a new way that the scammers are using to access your account numbers. The serious threat is called Cryptolocker, “Ramsomware.”
When a user opens a compromised file via email or the Internet, software is installed that will encrypt, or scramble, any files accessible by the impacted computer. This includes files on corporate networks. Once all files are encrypted, a message is displayed saying, “Pay $300 to get your files back.” The user is prompted to enter credit card information to make payment to release the files.
There are a few different iterations of this being used to scam internet users:
- One tells the user that they have been caught viewing “naughty stuff” and will be reported to the authorities if they do not pay a fine.
- Another freezes a computer if payment is not made.
What’s particularly troubling is that antivirus programs are not currently catching these programs. Once the computer and files are compromised, the only resolution is to pay the fine, which will put your credit card into the hands of criminals, or restore files from your last good backup.
We recommend you ensure your backups are working and be careful when opening email attachments, even from known users, and downloading software from unknown/untrusted sites. Please use safe surfing habits. Finally, make sure you do NOT enter credit card information for such software.
NatPay Email Scam Leads to Malware (6/6/13)
An email scam has been circulating that leads to malware on computer systems. The email appears as if it is being sent from “NatPay” or “National Payment Automated Reports System.”
If you receive a suspicious email like this, do not click on any of the links within the email or enter any of your personal information on your key pad.
This week is Security Awareness Week at Merchants Bank. Your security is our top priority. Click here for security best practices.
Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Think of how many times a day you share your personal information. You may write a check at the local grocery store, apply for a credit card, make a call on your cell phone, charge tickets to a Milwaukee Bucks game, mail your tax return or buy Midwest Express tickets over the Internet.
With each transaction, you share your personal information: your bank and credit card account numbers, your income, your social security number, your name, address and phone number.
In 1998, Congress passed a law making identity theft a federal crime. The U.S. Secret Service, FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigate violations of the Act. Persons accused of identity theft are prosecuted by the Department of Justice.
Wisconsin also has passed legislation making identity theft a felony, and criminals here have been convicted of the crime.
Consumer complaints about identity theft continue to grow. More than 40 percent of all complaints filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission last year were for identity theft.
Unless you live your life in a bubble, you can't prevent the stealing of your personal information, but you can minimize the risks of this crime happening to you by following these suggestions:
- Never divulge information about your social security number, credit card number, account passwords and other personal information unless you initiate contact with a person or company you know and trust.
- Don't carry around more checks, credit cards and other bank items than you really need. Don't carry your social security number in your wallet, and be sure to pick passwords and PINs (Personal Identification Numbers) that will be tough for someone to figure out. Don't write your social security number on your check.
- Protect your incoming and outgoing mail, especially envelopes that may contain checks, credit card applications or other information valuable to a fraud artist. Deposit outgoing mail, especially something containing personal financial information in the official Post Office collection boxes, hand it to the mail carrier, or take it to the local post office instead of leaving it in your home mailbox.
- Before discarding credit card applications, cancelled checks, bank statements or other information useful to an identity thief, tear them up as best you can, preferably by using a paper shredder.
- Safely store extra checks, credit cards and documents that list your social security number.
- Contact your financial institution immediately if you lose your checkbook or bank credit card, if there is a discrepancy in your records, or if you notice something suspicious such as a missing payment or unauthorized withdrawals.
- If your credit card bill doesn't arrive on time, contact your credit card company. This could be a sign that someone has stolen your account information, changed your address and is making large charges in your name from another location.
- Once a year check your credit record with the three major credit bureaus. To order your report, call the following toll-free numbers; Equifax: 800-685-1111 Experian: 888-397-3742 Trans Union: 800-888-4213
If you are a victim of identity theft, take the following steps:
- Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus and request a "fraud alert" be placed on your file and no new credit be granted without your approval.
- 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 by providing information to help resolve problems that can result from identity theft. Should you find yourself a victim of identity theft, you can file a complaint with the FTC by calling toll-free 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).
Most of us assume that thieves are only interested in the cash in our wallet or purse, when in many cases, they are more interested in access to sensitive information that can be used to steal our identity. Use caution and don't be the next victim of identity theft or other financial fraud.
How Not to Get Hooked by a 'Phishing' Scam
Internet scammers casting about for people's financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims: They go "phishing."
Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal with - for example, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message usually says that you need to "update" or "validate" your account information. It might threaten some dire consequence if you don't respond. The message directs you to a website that looks just like a legitimate organization's site, but it isn't. The purpose of the bogus site? To trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.
The FTC, the nation's consumer protection agency, suggests these tips to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:
- If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company's correct Web address. In any case, don't cut and paste the link in the message.
- Don't email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organization's Web site, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser's status bar or a URL for a website that begins "https:" (the "s" stands for "secure"). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons.
- Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
- Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Antivirus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Antivirus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for anti-virus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; that can effectively reverse the damage; and that 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. Finally, your operating system (like Windows or Linux) may offer free software "patches" to close holes in the system that hackers or phishers could exploit.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them.
- Report suspicious activity to the FTC. If you get spam that is phishing for information, forward it to https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. If you believe you've been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC's Identity Theft Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from ID theft. Visit www.ftc.gov/spam to learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues , visit http://www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.