Consumer Protection

Consumers must be proactive and diligent when it comes to keeping personal and financial information safe.


Visit to check if your information was compromised & sign up for free monitoring. 

More info? Click HERE.

Social Engineering Scams

Below you will find some of the common techniques that cyber criminals use (commonly called social engineering) to trick people into revealing personal information, ways to recognize these potential scams and steps to take if you become victim to one.


In the form of a letter or email, which directs you to click a fraudulent link or provide personal information. Fraudulent Web sites used in phishing scams are commonly disguised as widely known businesses or financial institutions.

Potential phishing scam indicators:

  • Generic greetings such as "Dear Valued Bank Customer"
  • Masked links which make fraudulent Web site links appear legitimate
  • Requests for personal information
  • Urgent requests and limited-time offers
  • Misspellings
  • unusual text in a foreign language and/or characters


Performed over the telephone or voice mail. Fraudsters pretend to be associated with a financial institution or well-known business and leave an "urgent" voice mail message. This message will request you call another number to provide your account or personal information. Criminals using vishing scams prefer to leave a voice mail message rather than talk directly to you.

If you answer a vishing call:

  • Do not give the caller any information
  • Ask for their name and the name of the organization they are representing
  • Tell them you’ll call them back and hang up. Do not use the number they provided
  • Look up the phone number for the organization they identified and call that number
  • Explain to their representative why you are calling


Sent through a mobile device, usually in the form of a mass text message. This type of message may look as if it's from your financial institution or other business, which would have customer account information. It will usually state your account has been temporarily locked; then direct you to call a telephone number or visit a Web site to unlock the account with your personal information.

If you get a suspicious message, don't fall for it. 

  • Do not call the number provided in the text.
  • Call your bank using a phone number that you trust - from your statement or from the bank's website, for example.
  • If you get a message about some "service" you've been signed up for and will have to cancel, search the web for other reports of the message.

More Information

10 Ways to Avoid Fraud - FTC

Phishing - FTC

Phishing, Pharming, Vishing and SMiShing -

Account Fraud & Identity Theft Resources

Identity Theft: illegal use of someone else's personal information (i.e. Social Security number) in order to obtain money or credit.

It can happen through — check fraud, credit card fraud, financial/criminal/governmental identify theft — and can be originated in many ways. Personally identifying information can be obtained through lost or stolen wallets, pilfered mail, breached databases, computer viruses, phishing & other scams…even something as simple as dumpster diving!

The bottom line? Protecting yourself starts with YOU .

Banks help catch and prosecute these crooks, but here are some ways you can assist in preventing their attacks:

  • Never give your Social Security number or confidential information to anyone who calls you.
  • Don’t carry your social security card with you either – it’s best to memorize your number.
  • Shred/tear up receipts, old bank statements and unused credit card offers. Go GREEN. Sign up for e-Statements with all of your financial partners! Check out e*Statements with McFarland State Bank.
  • Don’t mail bills from your mailbox. Thieves may use them to change your address. Bill pay services and automatic payments can help reduce the need to mail these items at all. Check out e*Bill-Pay with McFarland State Bank.
  • Review your accounts monthly for possible fraud activity.
  • Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure accuracy from , the ONLY service authorized by the three nationwide credit reporting agencies for the purpose of monitoring your credit file to prevent ID theft.
  • Memorize & protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Don’t carry it with you or write it on your card!
  • Report suspected fraud to your financial institution immediately .

Check out this quick video for even more helpful tips!

Tour ID Theft Prevention Now!

There is a wealth of information out there for your education and protection. Below, you can learn even more – including what to do if you do become a victim.

American Bankers Association

Federal Trade Commission

A Guide For Seniors Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud - SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy

State of Wisconsin Consumer Protection

Contact your personal banker for more information on social engineering and how to avoid becoming a victim.