Protecting Your Information


Security Messages


At Sooner State Bank, one of our responsibilities that we take very seriously is the safeguarding of your personal and financial information. Whether you're banking online, by phone or visiting one of our branches, we are committed to protecting your personal information. You also have our commitment to keep you informed about the different fraud schemes that may arise and threaten your personal and financial information. Check back occasionally for updated messages.


Nigerian Purchase Scam
The Nigerian Purchase Scam is a new form of fraud taking victims in the online space. This is becoming widespread in auction sites and on business' ecommerce websites.
Read more about what the Nigerian Purchase Scam is and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.


Password Security
Passwords are the keys to your personal information. There are some
easy steps that you can take to protect yourself from having your personal information compromised.


What is Phishing?
Phishing is a technique used to gain personal information for the purposes of Identity Theft, using fraudulent email messages that appear to come from their financial institution or legitimate businesses.

More information on Phishing.


If you suspect credit card fraud:
If your credit cards are lost or stolen, contact the issuer(s) immediately. Most credit card companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with these emergencies -- they are eager to avoid credit card fraud.

According to Federal Regulations, once you have reported the loss or theft of your credit card, you have no more responsibility for unauthorized charges. Further, your maximum liability under federal US law is $50 per consumer credit card -- and many credit card issuers will even waive that fee for good customers. Read more abou
t Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips.


Fraudulent official Checks and Money Orders
Con artists know that consumers trust cashier's checks, money orders and other official bank checks because the bank guarantees the funds. That's why con artists are increasingly counterfeiting official checks, especially for use when dealing with individuals over the Internet and face-to-face transactions with large ticket items. (e.g., someone selling a used car through an ad in the local paper).

Another element of the fraud may involve a cashier's check for more than the amount originally intended. For example: You're selling a $5,000 item online to a buyer overseas who offers to pay with a cashier's check from a bank in the U.S. When the official check arrives it is for $10,000, and you are instructed to deposit the $10,000 check into your bank account and wire the excess amount to the buyer's account abroad. You comply... and later find out that the cashier's check is not genuine. Depending on the circumstances and state law, you may be held responsible for the entire amount of the fraudulent cashier's check that you deposited into your account. Using our example, you may need to reimburse the bank for $10,000, even if its far more money than you have in your account.

Please note, just because your bank has made the proceeds of an item available to you, that does not mean that the item cannot be returned and charged back against your account. If you have any reason to be suspicious of a check you deposited into your account, you should contact the bank on which it was drawn and request confirmation that the item was paid. You should also alert the manager of your bank to your concerns.

What can you do to protect yourself? Independently confirm the name, address, home number and work number of the purchaser by consulting a phone book, directory assistance, or an Internet database. Insist on an official check drawn on a local bank or a bank that has a local branch, so you can make sure it's valid. If that's not possible, call the bank where the check was purchased (get the bank's phone number from directory assistance or an Internet database, not from the person who gives you the check) and confirm with the bank that the check is good. As an alternative, ask someone at your bank to inquire about the check.


Skimming Defined
Skimming is the practice of stealing ATM, Debit/Check Card and Credit Card account numbers off the card's magnetic strip by swiping it through a portable card swipe. It is a small, inexpensive device that is inserted into an ATM, ready to swipe the information from an unsuspecting customer. In addition, a camera is usually present to capture the keystrokes used to enter the password. With this information, the thieves can easily create a duplicate card and get into the account. What can you do?

  • Always protect your PIN

  • Don't write the number down

  • Cover the keypad while you enter the number

  • Don't give the PIN number out to anyone

  • Know where the security cameras are located. While many ATM have cameras, they won't be positioned to record the keypad.

  • Be wary to any offers of 'help' with your ATM transaction.

  • Be suspicious of a machine that has signage indicating you should use a specific machine.

  • Use a different machine if you feel uncomfortable about the ATM instructions

  • Report anything that seems suspicious or strange about the ATM machine to your financial institution.

  • Alert us immediately at 1-800-724-2440 to any suspicious activity around an M&T ATM. This could include anyone who offers to help you, tries to look over your shoulder or is taking pictures in the area.

  • Call us at 1-800-724-2440 right away if your card is retained by the machine.

  • Be on the lookout for fraudulent withdrawals on your monthly statement and real time through Web Banking.


Fraudulent Emails Seek to Capture Consumer Information
You should be aware of "Spam" emails that appear to come from familiar companies. The exact scam may vary, but the objective always is to gather information. The email will claim there may be a problem with your account or an order has been mistakenly placed and you need to cancel that order. You are asked to submit personal, financial and even password information to a website. This type of activity is often referred to as
"phishing". Through the use of a familiar looking web page or email address. Sooner State Bank  will never ask you to reveal account numbers, passwords, User Ids or PINs. If you are unsure of any email correspondence, call Sooner State Bank.


The Costly Compassion Scam
Consumers have reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) receiving requests from foreign nationals politely promising big profits in exchange for help in moving large sums of money out of their country. In the event you should receive such an offer, the FTC suggests you stop and ask yourself two important questions: why would a perfect stranger pick you - also a perfect stranger - to share in a financial fortune; and why should you share your personal or business information, including your bank account numbers or your company letterhead, with someone you don't know? If you receive such a request via email from someone claiming to need your help in getting money out of Nigeria, or any other country - forward that information directly to the FTC at


"Do Not Call" Scams
The Federal Trade Commission reports instances of consumers receiving calls from companies offering to register consumers for the national "Do Not Call" database. Calls have also been made requesting confirmation of "Do Not Call" registrations. Please keep in mind that the FTC does not allow private companies or other third party entities to "register" consumers or confirm information for the "Do Not Call" registry. Websites or phone solicitors that make such claims - especially those who charge a fee - are not legitimate. Registration on the new national "Do Not Call" registry is free. The FTC reminds us that once a consumer enrolls in the "Do Not Call" registry, there are no confirmation calls or any other requests for personal information.


What is Pretexting?
Pretexting is the practice of getting your personal information under false pretenses; including fraudulent statements and impersonation. It is also known as social engineering. Pretexters sell your information to individuals, who use it for illegitimate purposes, such as establishing an account in your name, steal your assets, or to investigate or sue you. Pretexting is against the law.

Pretexters use a variety of tactics to get your personal information. For example, a pretexter may call claiming to be a survey firm representative, needing to ask you a few questions. Pretexting can lead to "identity theft."

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to open new charge accounts, order merchandise, or borrow money.

If you think you've been a victim of pretexting, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.


Are You A Target Of...Telephone Scams?
If you're age 60 or older, you may be a special target for people who sell bogus products and services by phone. It's easy enough to fall prey to their sales pitches. Telemarketing fraud is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States. Every year, thousands of consumers lose anywhere from a few dollars to their life savings to telephone con artists. That's why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) encourages you to be skeptical when you hear a phone solicitation and to be aware of the Telemarketing Sales Rule that requires telemarketers to make certain disclosures and prohibits misrepresentations. They give you the power to stop unwanted telemarketing calls and provides state law enforcement officers the authority to prosecute fraudulent telemarketers who operate across state lines. For more information on the Telemarketing Sales Rule, visit