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Fraud Resources

Protect Yourself from Fraud

Money Wiring Scams

Criminals will try to trick you into wiring money because it's very difficult to get your money back.

Protect yourself from wire scams:
  • Never wire money to anyone who pressures you into paying immediately.
  • Don’t wire money to anyone who says a wire transfer is the only way to pay.
  • Don’t wire money to anyone who says they work at a government agency like the IRS or SSA, or a well-known company. The government will never ask you to send money this way. 

Watch out for these Red Flags:
  • You're sent a check for more than you're owed, and you're asked to wire back the amount the scammer overpaid on the check.
  • The other person contacting you is from overseas.
  • Any correspondence with them includes spelling and grammatical errors.
  • The other person will only communicate with you via email and not on the phone.

Imposter Scams

Criminals will try to trick you into sending them money by pretending to be someone else. Be aware of common scams so you can recognize them.

Grandparent scam: Criminals pose as a child or grandchild claiming to be in distress and needing immediate funds.

Government impersonation scam: Criminals pose as government employees and threaten to arrest or prosecute victims unless they agree to provide immediate funds.

Romance scam: Criminals pose by interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites. The relationship can be developed over months before the criminal asks for money or your bank account information to give you money, and then disappears.


Phishing is an email scam used to steal your personal information.

An email may appear in your inbox, claiming to be from your financial institution, credit card company, or another source. It may appear authentic but be careful - any email requesting personal information or to “verify” account information is usually a scam. Do not click on any link from this email and do not download any attachments.

How to spot Phishing and other email scams:

  1. Any email requesting personal information or asking you to verify an account. This is usually a scam even though it may look authentic.
  2. The email may instruct you to click on a link, or call a phone number to update your account or even claim a prize.
  3. The message will often threaten a dire consequence if you don’t respond immediately, such as closing your account.

Payment fraud happens when someone uses information from your checks, credit and debit cards, or any other form of payment without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes.

If you lose your debit/ATM card (or other access device) report it immediately. By contacting your financial institution immediately once discovering the loss, you may limit your liability to $50. Waiting to report the loss may increase your liability up to $500.

If you find an unauthorized electronic transaction, you have 60 days to report it to your financial institution in order to limit the amount for which you may be liable. If you wait more than 60 days, you may become liable for the unauthorized transactions.

Contact your local branch or the Help Desk at 866-733-3444 to report your card lost or stolen.

Fraud FAQ

First Farmers & Merchants has worked to create the safest possible online environment for our customers and employees. We have addressed several areas of security including:

Internal Systems--We have selected the hardware and software that is considered the most secure solution on the market by independent examiners. This solution creates an invisible wall, known as a firewall, between our systems and the outside world. Next, we have hired a highly certified company to remotely monitor the firewall 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At any sign of 'hacking', necessary steps are followed to ensure the safety of our systems, even it if means shutting down the firewall, thus preventing everyone from entering. All components are kept up to date in this fast paced world of technology changes. Keep data safe as it crosses over the Internet--The next step in security is keeping the data secure as it travels from our system to your computer and back. To do this, we've installed a VeriSign Digital ID Certificate. With this electronic certificate, the user and server are automatically in a secured session once the user has logged on. Data traveling between the user and server is encrypted. When an encrypted message is sent, the sending and receiving computers each generate a code based on the message content. If even a single character in the message content is altered in route, the receiving computer will generate a different code, and then alert the recipient that the message is not legitimate. We are using 256-bit SSL encryption to keep all of the traffic secure.
Educating Customers--Our staff has been trained to educate customers on the importance of keeping pertinent account and personal information private. You should NEVER give your account number to a source you do not know. You should NEVER give your passwords to anyone.
First Farmers & Merchants takes numerous steps to keep you accounts and personal information secure, but you also must maintain the security of your own banking information. Here is what you can do:
Memorize your Online Banking Username and Password.
Remember to Log Off or close out of the browser window, especially when you are on a public computer.
Keep your computer safe. Do not click on links or attachments created from sources that are not trusted. This will help prevent malware including key-loggers from infecting your computer.
If you feel your computer has been compromised, do not log on to Online Banking until you have had a professional determine it is safe to use.
If you feel your Username has been compromised, immediately call our Help Desk at (866) 733-3444 to have it changed. If you feel your Password has been compromised, log on immediately and change it online or you may call the Help Desk to have a bank representative reset it for you.
Federal regulations protect you from unauthorized electronic transactions. These regulations not only protect you when you are in Online Banking, but when you are using credit cards, ATM cards, telephone banking, and ACH. In most cases, you will not be responsible for unauthorized activity on your account. To find out more details about your rights and responsibilities contact your local bank representative.

Next Steps If You’ve Experienced Fraud

If you think your bank account information has been compromised or you are a victim of identity theft, contact your Local Branch and ask to speak to a Customer Service Representative.

Use our Mobile Banking tools to stay on top of your transactions with custom alerts and the ability to turn your cards on and off.