Zelle® is a person-to-person funds transfer service that simplifies a consumer's ability to remotely pay other individuals quickly and easily. Offered by FIS, Zelle® was adopted earlier this year by Benchmark. It is available to our internet banking and BCB Mobile App customers.
FIS has notified Zelle® financial institutions of a potential security risk involving account takeovers by fraudsters. This scam involves “phishing” (e-mail messages containing a link disguised as being from the consumer’s financial institution) or “smishing” (text or SMS messages containing a disguised link).
Here is how the scam works:
You receive a “phish” or “smish” notifying you of fraudulent activity on one or more of your financial institution accounts. The communication will look authentic. It will contain a link you can click that will, supposedly, connect you to your financial institution. In reality you will be connected to the fraudster posing as a customer service representative from the financial institution.
The fraudster will tell you they are sending a security code to your e-mail or mobile phone number. When you receive the one-time security code or password, the fraudster will ask you to give them the information.
If you give them the information, they will then be able to access your account(s), change your password(s), e-mail address(es), and/or mobile phone number(s).
Then the fraudster enrolls in Zelle® using the new e-mail address and/or mobile phone number they’ve entered. All confirmation communications will go to the e-mail address/mobile phone number they’ve entered.
Once the Zelle® account is confirmed, the fraudster can transfer any and all funds from your account(s) to them using the e-mail address and/or mobile phone number that cannot be traced back to them. And you’re out of your hard-earned money.
Here’s what you can do to prevent this from happening to you:
If you receive a message via e-mail or text/SMS appearing to be from Benchmark Community Bank, DO NOT click on any link(s).
Here’s what FIS is doing:
FIS is re-tooling the enrollment process for Zelle® to address these issues. It is anticipated to be completed by December 8, 2019. They are continually monitoring the situation and related incidents in order to best respond to the ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.
What else can you do?
Clear your device’s internet history to clear out all saved passwords for the sites you visit. It’s a little more trouble to keep up with your passwords, but can save you a lot of frustration in the event someone attempts to access your accounts.
Opt-in to two-step verification for all your accounts (Benchmark and others). Be sure to list a mobile phone number for the device in your possession.
Download and activate SecurLOCK for your Benchmark checking and VISA account(s). It will notify you when your cards are used and allow you to reject transactions you do not recognize. Be vigilant! The fraudsters are out for your money. Keep it - and you – secure.
Benchmark Community Bank has become aware of customers receiving telephone calls from people claiming to be our employees. If you receive an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be a Benchmark employee:
1. DO NOT give them any personal information like:
- Your Benchmark account number(s);
- Your Social Security number;
- Your birthdate.
- Ask for their full name and the branch where they work;
- Ask for their telephone number;
- Tell them you will call them back;
- Hang up and telephone your local police department to report the incident;
- Notify your local Benchmark branch to make us aware.
Keep your account information safe and secure. Benchmark Community Bank will never ask for your personal information over the phone, through e-mail, or online.
Show Your ID Card
Ever came to the bank to cash a check and been asked for your ID by the teller? It can be frustrating to be asked for your ID when you’ve been banking at a certain branch for years, plus you’re on a first-name basis with nearly every employee at that branch.
Why do tellers need my ID to cash a check? Tellers may need to ask for your ID at some point. One of those times may be when new hires come on board. They are learning people’s names and faces as they go and haven’t become familiar with you just yet. Another instance may be when a “floater” or temporary teller is filling in at the branch. He may not know who you are since he’s just visiting for a bit and not one of the regular employees who normally waits on you. Whenever a teller asks you for your ID, it’s all about protection to make sure they’re giving the money to you, the real payee of the check, and not to someone pretending to be you.
Here’s what you can do: Bankers pride themselves on knowing their customers. Help them learn who you are by providing your ID when asked. Although it may seem unnecessary and inconvenient at the time, tellers could be your first line of defense against someone fraudulently obtaining your money.
When planning a trip, always remember to alert your local branch as to the locations and dates that you will be traveling. Monitoring systems normally block debit card transactions outside of your normal day-to-day area of spending and those that look suspicious. This will keep that from happening. Learn more about our debit card protection program. Also, learn more about SecurLOCK, a protection service for your Benchmark Visa debit or credit card we offer to you for free.
Communication is becoming increasingly electronic. Unlike physical addresses,e-mail addresses can be easily and quickly changed. Make sure that you update your e-mail address with us when it changes. When we don't get word of the change, we lose the ability to send important updates and notices, including some exciting opportunities! If your e-mail has changed since you last gave us one or if you are new to e-mail, please let us know.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the valid e-mail address you prefer to use.
Changes from the Federal Reserve concerning Regulation CC (Funds Availability): If we place a hold on a check you deposit, the funds will generally be available on the second business day after the day of deposit.
Benchmark will close to observe the following holidays:
|Thanksgiving Day||Thursday, November 28|
|Christmas Eve||Tuesday, December 24 (closing at 12 p.m.)|
|Christmas Day||Wednesday, December 25|
|New Year's Day 2020||Wednesday, January 1|
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||Monday, January 20|
|President's Day||Monday, February 17|
|Memorial Day||Monday, May 25|
|Independence Day||Saturday, July 4|
|Labor Day||Monday, September 7|
|Columbus Day||Monday, October 12|
|Veterans Day||Wednesday, November 11|
|Thanksgiving Day||Thursday, November 26|
|Christmas Day||Thursday, December 25|
|New Year's Day 2021||Friday, January 1|
|We encourage you to use Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, Banking by Phone
(800-245-7506), BCBonTheGo, and our convenient ATMs when the bank is closed.
Business Hours During Inclement Weather
If our bank closes early, opens late, or will be closed, announcements will be made on our Facebook page as well as the following radio stations in these markets:
- WBBC (Blackstone, Crewe, Kenbridge, and Victoria)
- WEVA (Emporia)
- WFLO (Farmville)
- WHLF (Halifax and South Boston)
- WKSK (Lawrenceville and South Hill)
- WLUS (Chase City and Clarksville)
Are You Ready to Weather Any Storm?
In the face of a natural disaster or another emergency, Benchmark wants your banking to be among the least of your concerns. Being prepared to weather whatever storm strikes will help you to have peace of mind until all systems are once again on "go."
There are several things you can do to ensure your financial operations proceed as normal even though your local branch may not be open:
- Cash and credit cards: Be ready to pay for what you need. Be sure to have cash and credit cards with you, particularly if you are traveling. In the event of widespread power outages, you may not be able to get cash from ATMs or your usual cash-back retailers. Take with you what you believe you will need. If you have more than one credit card, take at least two with you in the event your provider’s system is not working during the storm or its aftermath.
- BCB Mobile Banking: Most, if not all, transactions attempted on mobile banking will be available to you. If you have not taken advantage of our mobile banking app, visit Google Play or the App Store to download and register.
- BCB Internet Banking: If you are away from home and have access to secure Wi-Fi, you should be able to access Internet Banking. Please be sure you do not use a public computer or open access Wi-Fi where others can possibly see your personal banking information.
- Online payments, automatic drafts, and direct deposits: Online bill pay payments, automatic drafts, and direct deposits should process normally since they are not necessarily dependent upon our offices being open. Some could be delayed, so please be aware. You may be assessed a late fee for anything delayed. However, most providers are prepared to work with you to reverse fees post-storm in the event your payment was attempted and delayed.
- Mobile Deposits: Mobile deposits are processed upon receipt dependent upon our ability to access your activity. In the event of widespread power outages, your mobile deposits may be delayed. Please do not depend on having access to those funds in the event our offices are closed during a natural disaster.
- Is my branch open? Benchmark’s footprint now stretches from Wake Forest to Farmville and Emporia to South Boston. We will do our best to have your branch open to serve your banking needs, though life safety concerns and the availability of electricity will determine branch operations. Please check your local radio, television, and other public communications that typically share inclement weather closures.
- News via Facebook: If you or someone close to you is active on Facebook, be sure to "Like and Share" our Facebook page. Our updates with the most up-to-the-minute information regarding branch activity will appear on your news feed.
Our prayer is that we are all spared any serious impact, though we want each of you to be prepared for whatever comes our way. It is our honor and privilege to serve you and assist you on your banking journey. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can help you navigate any banking concerns due to any impact you may encounter.