Protect Yourself While Shopping Online

The holidays are here, and you have loved ones to shop for. Completing your holiday shopping online is convenient, but unfortunately it can leave you open to fraud. With a few easy preventative steps, you can safeguard your financial information and finances whether you’re shopping online, in-store or on your phone.

In case of suspicious activity we want to be able to contact you quickly to resolve the issue. Making sure that your phone number and email address are correct in our systems is key for quick resolution.

A strong password means a strong defense against hackers. Every year the most common (and therefore the worst) passwords in use are “123456” and “password.” Don’t use those passwords! Passwords with simple patterns, such as “1234” or “qwerty,” or with obvious substitutions, such as “H0u$e,” are easy to guess.

For example, a six-letter, lowercase password could take five minutes to break; one with nine letters could take two months. A six-character password that alternates numbers and symbols could take less than nine days to break, but one with nine characters could take a cybercriminal nearly 20,000 years to figure out.

When creating a strong password

  • Try to make sure it’s at least eight to 10 characters.
  • Complexity also helps. For example: the sentence “I love the panthers!” becomes “IL()v3Th3P@nth3r$!”
  • Avoid using personal information (such as your Social Security number, phone number, birthday, or pet or family member names).

You can set up alerts & notifications for your Abbeville First Bank accounts to come to you via email or through push notifications on the mobile app! This way you’re alerted the instant something happens. For more information on how to set these up visit our page about Protecting Your Money This Holiday Season with our Account Security Features

Keeping your phone, tablet and computer up to date with the latest browsers and operating systems helps protect against vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. We know it can be annoying to update things, but those phone operating system updates almost always contain new fixes for vulnerabilities.

If you provide your information or money to a scammer, there is often little we can do to get your money back. However we’ve already covered several ways to watch for scams and how to Keep Your Money Safe while Shopping this Holiday Season in this article!

During the holidays, you may be shopping in ways that are different from your normal pattern, so it makes it tricky to spot fraud. We have several things in place that can help keep you protected. Set up account activity alerts or restrict different types of purchases to help you keep a close eye on your account. As always, if something looks suspicious, report it by calling us at (864) 366-2158 or contacting us!

Account Security Features Help Protect Your Money This Holiday Season

Holiday season means fraud season. We’re here to help protect you and your accounts!

 

Use Abbeville First’s Debit Card On/Off feature:

To access your debit card controls:

Login to your online banking

On the left column menu, select “Debit Card on/off” (first option under “other”, third to last option overall).

When the screen with your cards comes up, click the 3 vertical dots on the card you want to control. This will pop up a menu with options:

To turn OFF your debit card (this prevents ALL transactions, in person and online):

1. Select “Disable Card.”

To control your debit card usage (this prevents certain kinds of transactions):

2. Select Merchant Controls to choose what type of stores you do NOT want to allow. (Gas stations, restaurants, etc.)

3. Select Transaction Controls to choose which points-of-purchase you do NOT want to allow. (Online, Mail/Phone order, ATMs, etc.)

Debit Card Controls:account screenshot for debit card controls

Merchant Controls:

Transaction Controls:

 

 

Use Abbeville First’s Account Alerts features:

To access your account and transaction alert controls:

Login to your online banking.

In the blue bar at the top of the screen, on the far right, select the “cog” icon for your menu options.

When the screen with your options pops up, click on “Alerts” (first option under “Personalize,” first option at top in white section).

On the next screen you will be able to choose whether you want to set custom notifications for your account balances as well security alerts for any time your information, settings, or preferences change. Choose whether to receive these notifications via email or SMS (or both!).

Account Settings:

   

Account Alerts:

Security Alerts:

 

 

 

 

 

Bank Closed for Veteran’s Day – Friday, November 11, 2022

Why is Abbeville First Bank Closed on November 11, 2022?

We follow the U.S. Federal Reserve’s holiday schedule. 

Though federal offices and many workplaces will be closed for Veteran’s Day, most stores and restaurants will remain open for business. Bank holidays aren’t always the same day that people have off from work. This can lead to some of us thinking banks are open when they really are closed and vice versa.

What if you need us while we are closed?

1. Login Online or Use an App

This is the quickest and easiest method, you don’t even have to leave the warmth of your home! When you log in to your account online you can check balances, pay bills, move money around between accounts, set up alerts for a low balance or when a particular check clears, stop payments, and more!

Your banking abilities extend a little further, too, if you have our mobile app. It adds the ability to deposit checks right from your smartphone.
Personal Banking account apps: Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Business Banking account apps:  Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Since the U.S. Federal Reserve is still closed, some transactions will be processed the next business day. While you can perform your transactions, the money may not go through immediately.

2. ATMs

If you simply can’t wait to make a cash deposit or withdrawal, our ATMs are always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

3. Come See Us Another Day

Bank holidays just mean you won’t be able to go into a branch and speak with a teller that day. Our lobby will be open and ready to serve you first thing in the morning on Monday, November 14, 2022.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Bonus: Plan ahead!

The remaining days that Abbeville First will be closed in 2022 are:

Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 24th
Christmas: Monday, December 26th

† When a holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, most employees observed the holiday on the previous Friday or following Monday, respectively (5 U.S.C. 6103(b) and Executive Order 11582 3(a)).

Avoiding Scams and Fraud while Shopping this Holiday Season

There’s no need to worry about shopping online this December. Keep reading for 5 tips on how to keep your accounts safe while shopping online this holiday season and all year long! 


1. Do Your Research and Know Who You’re Shopping With.

Resembling legitimate brands and websites, scam e-Commerce shops can part victims from their payment and personal information and then never ship the merchandise.

That “perfect gift” you just saw in a Facebook Ad? Take a minute to do some research to make sure it isn’t a lump of coal. Ask others if they have shopped with that company before. Check their Facebook page for reviews. Look them up with the Better Business Bureau. Examine the website for poor grammar and/or misspelled words. Check the website’s privacy & shipping policy before providing personal or financial information.

Another way to double-check website security from the business you are purchasing from is to look at the left corner of the URL to confirm that there is a padlock icon and that the URL begins with HTTPS. These two details indicate that the site should have an extra layer of security attached to it. If those are missing abandon your cart & head over to a more trusted website! 

 

2. Use Secure WiFI or a VPN

With the convenience of mobile sites and shopping apps, it can be so tempting to shop on the go. However, free (public) wireless networks make it much easier to intercept and steal your data. Go ahead & add to cart but wait till you get home to enter your payment information. Or just use the data connection on your phone. It’s significantly more secure than public WiFi. 

If you’re still worried, take the extra step of using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts all the data coming in and out of your device, so no one can snoop on your internet activity and steal the information you input online, including logins and payment information.

 

3. Check Statements Regularly.

The holidays are prime time for scammers to make unauthorized charges on stolen cards. While you are busy shopping (online and in-person) for the ones you love, it can be easy to miss one purchase you didn’t make. Often we think that it’s one our spouse made or we just don’t remember who it’s for. 

Be sure to follow St Nick’s example and check your list twice! You can even set up daily account alerts and dispute any purchases that you did not authorize. Keep your receipts (paper and email) to compare them against your statements.

 

4. Keep It Simple

One way to manage all your holiday shopping is to use the same card and email account for all of your holiday shopping. Using one email makes it easier for you to spot phishing emails and to keep track of your online orders in case something gets lost in the mail. Using a separate card from your everyday spending helps you keep a closer watch on exactly how much you have bought and has the added benefit of being able to quickly suspend activities without impacting anything else if the card gets compromised.

Any trustworthy website will email you a sales confirmation after your purchase. Don’t delete these emails until the item has arrived and you know that you are satisfied. While the vendor should have a record of the sale on their end, the receipt has information that you want to be armed with should you need to call customer service or return a purchase.

 

5. Use a Credit Card Wisely

As holiday shoppers look for financing options, like credit lines, as well as unique gift ideas and discounts, they must be cautious of fake ads with festive or personalized themes. Instead of resorting to key word searches, use places you know and trust and visit their sites by typing the URL directly into the address bar.

While in cases of fraud we will make things right if someone empties your checking account, seeing your money disappear can be a lot more stressful than seeing your credit card bill. You can minimize going over your budget by using a single, low-limit credit card to make all of your online purchases.

There are also laws that limit your liability for fraudulent charges on a credit card, but not as many for debit cards. Additionally, use a credit card when using a payment gateway such as PayPal, Google Wallet, or Apple Pay. The reason we suggest this is because debit cards pull money directly from your account & can lead to problems in other areas if unauthorized charges come through. 

 

Bonus: You can set up text or email alerts in your account for transactions that exceed a certain amount of money or if your account goes below a certain amount. This will let you know quickly if a cybercriminal has gone on a shopping spree with your account. Click Here to Learn How!

Daylight Saving Time – Time to Set Back Your Clocks (& Money for your Future)


Where are your savings set up? Are you saving the right amount? How can you maximize your savings? Daylight Saving Time is a great reminder to evaluate your options and goals. We offer four options for savings:

1. Regular Savings:

  • A great option for starter emergency funds & short-term goals.
  • Allows you easy access to your funds when they’re needed.
  • Encourages you to consciously set aside money while preventing you from spending every penny that is “available.”

2. Premier Savings:

  • A better option for long term savings and bigger goals
  • A higher opening balance suggests that when you’ve built up your Regular Savings you can roll them over to Premier for more benefits.
  • Allows for easier access to your money than stocks, CDs, or IRAs

Consider setting up automatic transfers or splitting your direct deposits between checking and savings. Either of these savings accounts can help you reach your goals faster and keep your money safe from impulse spending.

 

3. Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

  • Useful for known long term goals. We offer a wide range of maturity dates & interest rates to suit your needs. Think of it as “freezing” your money for a specific amount of time.
  • Offers a higher interest rate than traditional savings accounts.
  • Locks in your interest rate for the term of your CD.
  • CD ladders are a popular way to spread your savings across multiple terms and interest rates. You can read more about them here.

4. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Isn’t retirement the ultimate long-term goal?  IRAs help you look towards your future by giving you access to a wider variety of investment choices without relying solely on your 401(k) or other employer plans.

  • Offers significant tax benefits. (We recommend that you speak with a tax consultant for more information on the benefits available to you).
  • Fixed interest rates and different terms help you maximize your retirement savings.

We offer three types of IRAs to help you diversify your options:

    • Contributory IRAs grow tax-deferred and contributions can be tax-deductible
    • Rollover IRAs are created by transferring your money from a 401(k) or other retirement accounts.
    • Roth IRAs grow your money tax-free because contributions are made with money you’ve already paid taxes on.

Learn more about the different types of Savings Accounts that we offer by visiting this page or calling to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members. We will be here to help you evaluate your options and choose the best solution for your future. The way banking should be.

Bank Closed for Columbus Day – Monday, October 10, 2022

Why is Abbeville First Bank Closed on October 10, 2022?

We follow the U.S. Federal Reserve’s holiday schedule. 

Though federal offices and many workplaces will be closed for Columbus Day, most stores and restaurants will remain open for business. Bank holidays aren’t always the same day that people have off from work. This can lead to some of us thinking banks are open when they really are closed and vice versa.

What if you need us while we are closed?

1. Login Online or Use an App

This is the quickest and easiest method, you don’t even have to leave the warmth of your home! When you log in to your account online you can check balances, pay bills, move money around between accounts, set up alerts for a low balance or when a particular check clears, stop payments, and more!

Your banking abilities extend a little further, too, if you have our mobile app. It adds the ability to deposit checks right from your smartphone.
Personal Banking account apps: Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Business Banking account apps:  Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Since the U.S. Federal Reserve is still closed, some transactions will be processed the next business day. While you can perform your transactions, the money may not go through immediately.

2. ATMs

If you simply can’t wait to make a cash deposit or withdrawal, our ATMs are always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

3. Come See Us Another Day

Bank holidays just mean you won’t be able to go into a branch and speak with a teller that day. Our lobby will be open and ready to serve you first thing in the morning on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Bonus: Plan ahead!

The remaining days that Abbeville First will be closed in 2022 are:

Veterans Day: Friday, November 11th
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 24th
Christmas: Monday, December 26th

† When a holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, most employees observed the holiday on the previous Friday or following Monday, respectively (5 U.S.C. 6103(b) and Executive Order 11582 3(a)).

Bank Closed for Labor Day – Monday, September 5, 2022

Why is Abbeville First Bank Closed on September 5, 2022?

We follow the U.S. Federal Reserve’s holiday schedule. 

Though federal offices and some workplaces will be closed for Independence Day, many stores and restaurants will remain open for business. Bank holidays aren’t always the same day that people have off from work. This can lead to some of us thinking banks are open when they really are closed and vice versa.

What if you need us while we are closed?

1. Login Online or Use an App

This is the quickest and easiest method, you don’t even have to leave the warmth of your home! When you log in to your account online you can check balances, pay bills, move money around between accounts, set up alerts for a low balance or when a particular check clears, stop payments, and more!

Your banking abilities extend a little further, too, if you have our mobile app. It adds the ability to deposit checks right from your smartphone.
Personal Banking account apps: Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Business Banking account apps:  Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Since the U.S. Federal Reserve is still closed, some transactions will be processed the next business day. While you can perform your transactions, the money may not go through immediately.

2. ATMs

If you simply can’t wait to make a cash deposit or withdrawal, our ATMs are always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

3. Come See Us Another Day

Bank holidays just mean you won’t be able to go into a branch and speak with a teller that day. Our lobby and drive-thru lines will be open and ready to serve you first thing in the morning on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Bonus: Plan ahead!

The remaining days that Abbeville First will be closed in 2022 are:
Columbus Day: Monday, October 10th
Veterans Day: Friday, November 11th
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 24th
Christmas: Monday, December 26th

† When a holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, most employees observed the holiday on the previous Friday or following Monday, respectively (5 U.S.C. 6103(b) and Executive Order 11582 3(a)).

Thanks $100 Million!

Abbeville First Bank was chartered on April 24, 1907  under the name of Building and Loan Bank of Abbeville.

In 1964, the Bank had grown to $4 million dollars and constructed a new building on the corner of South Main Street & Magazine Street.

In 1987 the Bank doubled the size of its facility on South Main and had grown to over $50 million in assets.

By 2001 the Bank had recognized the changing needs of the community and the decision was made to convert its charter to a State Savings Bank.

In 2013, continuing to evolve toward a full-service retail and commercial institution, the Bank changed its name to Abbeville First Bank.

In 2016, at over $75 million, the Bank opened its first branch office in Calhoun Falls. As more banks consolidated, Abbeville First was growing, by late 2021 we were over $100 million in assets.

Today we sit at over $107 million. The Bank’s objectives, aims, and goals are still the same as what got us here — providing personal service to the people of Abbeville and the surrounding communities.

Bank Closed for Independence Day – Monday, July 4, 2022

Why is Abbeville First Bank Closed on July 4, 2022?

We follow the U.S. Federal Reserve’s holiday schedule. 

Though federal offices and some workplaces will be closed for Independence Day, many stores and restaurants will remain open for business. Bank holidays aren’t always the same day that people have off from work. This can lead to some of us thinking banks are open when they really are closed and vice versa.

What if you need us while we are closed?

1. Login Online or Use an App

This is the quickest and easiest method, you don’t even have to leave the warmth of your home! When you log in to your account online you can check balances, pay bills, move money around between accounts, set up alerts for a low balance or when a particular check clears, stop payments, and more!

Your banking abilities extend a little further, too, if you have our mobile app. It adds the ability to deposit checks right from your smartphone.
Personal Banking account apps: Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Business Banking account apps:  Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Since the U.S. Federal Reserve is still closed, some transactions will be processed the next business day. While you can perform your transactions, the money may not go through immediately.

2. ATMs

If you simply can’t wait to make a cash deposit or withdrawal, our ATMs are always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

3. Come See Us Another Day

Bank holidays just mean you won’t be able to go into a branch and speak with a teller that day. Our lobby and drive-thru lines will be open and ready to serve you first thing in the morning on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Bonus: Plan ahead!

The days that Abbeville First will be closed in 2022 are:
Labor Day: Monday, September 5th
Columbus Day: Monday, October 10th
Veterans Day: Friday, November 11th
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 24th
Christmas: Monday, December 26th

† When a holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, most employees observed the holiday on the previous Friday or following Monday, respectively (5 U.S.C. 6103(b) and Executive Order 11582 3(a)).

Identity Theft and Internet Scams

Today’s technology allows us to connect around the world, to bank and shop online, and to control our televisions, homes, and cars from our smartphones. With this added convenience comes an increased risk of identity theft and Internet scams. #BeCyberSmart on the Internet—at home, at school, at work, on mobile devices, and on the go.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The total number of data breaches reported in 2018 decreased 23% from the total number of breaches reported in 2017, but the reported number of consumer records containing sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) exposed increased 126%.1
  • Credit card fraud tops the list of identity theft reports in 2018. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 167,000 reports from people who said their information was misused on an existing account or to open a new credit card account.2
  • Consumers reported $905 million in total fraud losses in 2017, a 21.6% increase over 2016.3

COMMON INTERNET SCAMS

As technology continues to evolve, cybercriminals will use more sophisticated techniques to exploit technology to steal your identity, personal information, and money. To protect yourself from online threats, you must know what to look for. According to the FTC, these are the top three kinds of threats reported in 2018:

  • Identity theft is the illegal acquisition and use of someone else’s personal information to obtain money or credit. Signs of identity theft include bills for products or services you did not purchase, suspicious charges on your credit cards, or new accounts opened in your name that you did not authorize.
  • Imposter scams occur when you receive an email or call from a person claiming to be a government official, family member, or friend requesting personal or financial information. For example, an imposter may contact you from the Social Security Administration informing you that your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended, in hopes you will reveal your SSN or pay to have it reactivated.
  • Debt Collection scams occur when criminals attempt to collect on a fraudulent debt. Signs the “debt collector” may be a scammer are requests to be paid by wire transfers or credit cards. In 2018 there was a spike in requests for gift cards and reloadable cards as well.

SIMPLE TIPS TO PROTECT IT.

  • Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring. Read the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) How-to-Guide for more information.
  • Shake up your password protocol. According to NIST guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and customize your standard password for different sites, which can prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. Read the Creating a Password Tip Sheet
    for more information.
  • Be up to date. Keep your software updated to the latest version available. Maintain your security settings to keeping your information safe by turning on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it, and set your security software to run regular scans.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ONLINE FRAUD

Stay Protected While Connected: The bottom line is that whenever you’re online, you’re vulnerable. If devices on your network are compromised for any reason, or if hackers break through an encrypted firewall, someone could be eavesdropping on you—even in your own home on encrypted Wi-Fi.

  • Practice safe web surfing wherever you are by checking for the “green lock” or padlock icon in your browser bar—this signifies a secure connection.
  • When you find yourself out in the great “wild Wi-Fi West,” avoid free Internet access with no encryption.
  • If you do use an unsecured public access point, practice good Internet hygiene by avoiding sensitive activities(e.g., banking) that require passwords or credit cards. Your personal hotspot is often a safer alternative to free Wi-Fi.
  • Don’t reveal personally identifiable information such as your bank account number, SSN, or date of birth to unknown sources.
  • Type website URLs directly into the address bar instead of clicking on links or cutting and pasting from the email.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO YOU

If you discover that you have become a victim of cybercrime, immediately notify authorities to file a complaint. Keep and record all evidence of the incident and its suspected source. The list below outlines the government organizations that you can file a complaint with if you are a victim of cybercrime.

  • FTC.gov: The FTC’s free, one-stop resource, www.IdentityTheft.gov can help you report and recover from identity theft. Report fraud to the FTC at ftc.gov/OnGuardOnline or www.ftc.gov/complaint
  • US-CERT.gov: Report computer or network vulnerabilities to US-CERT via the hotline: 1-888-282-0870 or www.us-cert.gov. Forward phishing emails or websites to US-CERT at phishing- report@us-cert.gov.
  • IC3.gov: If you are a victim of online crime, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at http://www.IC3.gov.
  • SSA.gov: If you believe someone is using your SSN, contact the Social Security Administration’s fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

For more information about connecting with confidence visit: https://niccs.us-cert.gov/national-cybersecurity- awareness-month-2019

 

Sources:

1 Identity Theft Resource Center, “2018 End-of-Year Data Breach Report”, 2018.
2 Federal Trade Commission, “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2018”, 2019. 3 Experian, “Identify Theft Statistics”, 2019.