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Alerts & Tools

How to Protect Yourself against Card Skimming Fraud

ATM card skimming is a scam which involves the attachment of electronic devices on or around an ATM to illegally collect data from the magnetic strip of the card, while hidden cameras are also installed to capture the PIN entered by the customer. Devices vary in design, size, and shape, but look similar to legitimate devices, and continue to evolve to avoid detection.
What Can You Do?
Avoid using remote ATMs
Stand-alone machines in darker, remote locations make it easy for a thief to install the skimming devices. Always consider the safety of the ATM before you use it.
Look for signs of tampering and check for hidden cameras on or around the machine
Check for anything that could have been placed on top of the keypad, ATM, the card reader, or the side of the screen. Be on the lookout for anything that looks slightly different (e.g. color or material, misaligned graphics).
Jiggle the card reader to make sure it doesn’t move around
As you insert your card, give it a bit of a wiggle as you put it in (it won’t interfere with your transaction but will foil the skimmer).
Protect your PIN
Cover the keypad with your hand when you enter your PIN. In addition, don’t give your PIN number to anyone.
Monitor your bank accounts regularly
Report any fraudulent transactions. You can always contact Watertown Savings Bank at (800) 207-2525.
Use Online Banking and Mobile Banking to set up transaction alerts
By using Online Banking you will be able to monitor your bank accounts at any time, from anywhere. Similarly, by using Mobile Banking you will be able to set up real-time transaction alerts through services such as CardValet®.
If you see anything unusual or suspicious around an ATM notify local law enforcement as well as your financial institution and/or the establishment where the ATM is located.
Consumer, “Watch out for Skimmers at ATMs”
PCMag, “How to Spot and Avoid Credit Card Skimmers”


EquiFax Data Breach, September 2017

As you may have heard on the news, Equifax, a major credit reporting agency, has experienced a data breach potentially impacting 143 Million customers nationwide. This is not a Watertown Savings Bank breach, but we know our customers look to us as their trusted financial partner. If you believe your information may have been compromised, we recommend taking the following steps:

1. Visit the webpage Equifax has set up for more information on the compromise and steps that they are recommending for those individuals who have been impacted.

2. Remain diligent in monitoring your account activity for the next 12 to 24 months.

3. Report any unusual activity on your account to the Bank immediately.

4. Watch for any physical correspondence from the Bank regarding your account and call us immediately with any questions. Remember – we will never ask you for personal information via email.

5. Take advantage of our Mobile Banking App and new CardValet App to quickly monitor activity on your account and your debit card.

Click here for the latest news from the FDIC!

December, 2014
Click here to learn more and please be aware!


Company Reminds Customers Phone Payments Are Accepted, But Never Demanded

December 11, 2014-  National Grid is warning its customers of a new, nationwide utility bill scam. In the past several days National Grid electric customers have received telephone calls from individuals claiming to work for National Grid. These scammers demand payment, through a pre-paid card, on past due balances for electric accounts and threaten customers that their service will immediately be shut-off for non-payment. In some cases the caller also tells the customer that they may have a faulty meter that is dangerous and in need of replacing for a substantial fee. Callers are then directed to purchase a pre-paid card to make an immediate payment in order to keep their power on.

Please Note:  The electric meter is the property of National Grid. Customers are NOT responsible for meter replacement costs. National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, but never demands direct payment over the telephone. If customers wish, they can arrange for a payment by check, credit card or debit card if they speak directly to a customer service representative. Payment can also be made by credit card or debit card without a representative’s assistance. Customers who have received calls demanding immediate payment through a pre-paid card or who have billing questions should call the National Grid Customer Contact Center immediately. Customers in New England can call 1-800-322-3223.

We have received word that there is an active telephone scam contacting debit card customers and saying their card has become "inactive".  THIS IS A SCAM.  They are trying to collect your personal information.  Do not respond.  If you receive such a call please hang up and give us a call to let us know.  617-928-9000.

You have probably heard the news about a recently discovered security exploit called the HeartBleed bug.  This vulnerability in the security surrounding websites could allow unauthorized access to username and password information as well as other confidential data contained on those sites.  Please be assured that Watertown Savings Bank takes every possible action to make sure that their sites remain secure and our customers' information remains protected.  Our Internet Banking site was not impacted by the vulnerability and our website has been updated to eliminate any risk of compromise.  Because many other sites may have been impacted, however, we suggest you change your password on any site where you have entered confidential information.  We also encourage you to change your passwords frequently and monitor your accounts for any unusual activity.  We remain committed to protecting your confidential information.  If you have any questions, please contact Customer Support at 617-928-9000.

ALERT:  Fake State Tax Lien Notices Scam- March 2014
Warning:  State Tax Lien Notices not issued by Department of Revenue
Caution, communications are being sent to taxpayers with outstanding tax liens from those who may have criminal intent.  Although these notices show amounts from actual tax liens, they are not from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.  Any notice from the MA Department of Revenue (DOR) would be clearly marked as being issued by the agency, and would not suggest a settlement amount, as many of these questionable notices do.  Taxpayers have alerted DOR, the Attorney General's Office, and the Office of Consumer Affairs about the issue.  The liens mentioned in the letters are real but the letters are NOT from the DOR or any other government agency.  A warning has been posted on the DOR website with samples of some of the notices received from taxpayers.  If a customer receives a similar notice, please urge them to contact the DOR at 617-887-MDOR (6367) to learn the facts about what is owed and their options for resolving the situation.

Target Stores were hit with a large security breach that compromised the security of millions of their customers' credit and debit card information during the period of November 27, 2013 through December 15, 2013.  PLEASE NOTE:  Watertown Savings Bank uses Fraud Prevention technology on all our debit cards and it will be monitoring your card activity and alerting you if there is suspicious activity.  We also recommend that customers change their PINs [personal identification numbers] associated with their cards, continue to closely monitor their bank statements for unauthorized charges, and report fraudulent transactions IMMEDIATELY if they are spotted.  If you notice ANY unfamiliar activity on your account please call our Customer Support line at 617-928-9000.

Traveling with your WSB Debit Card  Be sure to let us know!
We monitor for unauthorized activity on your card.  Foreign travel, especially in certain countries, can be an indication of fraudulent use, so it is important to let us know exactly when and where you are traveling, even if it is within the United States. 

You may call Customer Support Monday through Friday during business hours at 800-207-2525.  Or use our online "Travel Notification" form.  Visit WSB Online and click "Online Forms" to let us know when and where you plan to travel.  REMINDER:  WSB Mobile is an excellent way to do your banking while you are away.

WSB has a fraud detection service in place.  Even if you advise us in advance that you are traveling, a restriction could be placed on your card if our service detects suspicious card transactions.  In that event, enFACT Fraud Detection Services will attempt to contact you, at the phone numbers we have on file for you to confirm whether or not the suspect transactions have been authorized.

We suggest you take a combination of foreign cash, traveler's cheques, credit cards, and your WSB Debit MasterCard to ensure you are never left without funds.

If your WSB debit card is lost or stolen, call 800-554-8969 immediately to report it. Why not put this number into your "contacts" list right now

Think you Might be a Victim of Identity Theft?
Click here for important information on what to do, and for steps on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Watertown Savings Bank has become aware that some senior citizens are experiencing an attempted fraud, possibly related to the government shutdown.  Senior citizens in Massachusetts are receiving phone calls and being told that their Medicare direct deposits will be stopped unless they supply their personal bank information for verification.  This phishing fraud attempt may be effective because of concerns about a possible government default stopping their payments.  Watertown Savings Bank would like to remind our customers to NEVER provide confidential information in response to an unsolicited text message, email, or phone call.  If you have received such a phone call and/or have given out any personal information; have any questions; or would like further information, please call our Customer Support line at 800-207-2525 during regular business hours.

Watertown Savings Bank has become aware that text messages stating that "there is an issue with your debit card. Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx" are being sent to some of our customers.  This message, and others like it you may receive in the future, is an attempt to fraudulently access your account; you should NOT respond to it. Watertown Savings Bank will never ask you for your account information via text.  If you have responded to this or another similar fraud attempt and have provided your account information you should call us immediately at 800-207-2525

Never provide confidential information in response to an unsolicited text message, email, or a phone call. Please note one exception: We have a fraud protection service that may call you if there is suspicious activity with your card.  This service will only ask for the last four digits of your tax ID number in order to confirm they have reached the right person.  They will also ask you about specific transactions that recently occurred on your account.  They will ask you to confirm they are valid transactions or not. 

For further information please call our Customer Support Line at 800-207-2525 or email us at

IMPORTANT: E-mail is generally not a secure form of communication. Please do not include account number or social security information in this correspondence.

It has been reported that customers are receiving text messages telling them their debit card has been locked out and to call a specific number to regain access.  This message is FRAUDULENT!  Watertown Savings Bank does not send text message alerts.  In the event you get this text message, please do not call the number!  If you received this message, called the number, and gave any personal information, please contact the bank immediately at 800-207-2525.  Thank you.

Click the following link from the FBI website, to learn more about a new Internet scam.

WARNING:  Regarding Fraudulent Phone Calls and E-Mails
We have received reports about an email from enFACT stating potential fraud of customer accounts and requesting that customers click a link to protect their account.  THIS IS A FRAUDULENT MESSAGE.  Please delete it if you see it.  Watertown Savings Bank and our agencies would never notify customers via email.

Also, some customers reported receiving an automated phone call telling them there was an issue with their debit card.  Please know that Watertown Savings Bank would never call a customer and ask for any type of confidential information (account number, social security number, etc.)  These calls ARE NOT COMING FROM WATERTOWN SAVINGS BANK.    Remember, Watertown Savings Bank already knows your confidential information and should have no need to call and ask you such information unsolicited. Some of these calls can sound quite authentic and official. 

If anyone calls and asks you to "confirm" such information, hang up and, using a phone number you trust, call the bank immediately at 617-928-9000 or 800-207-2525, and report the call.

We have also learned of an e-mail that appears as if it was sent from Watertown Savings Bank and it asks the recipient to open an attachment.  If you receive such an e-mail DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT.  This was NOT sent by us.  Watertown Savings Bank will never send you an attachment unsolicited.  We will also never ask for any personal information by e-mail.

If you receive such an e-mail please report the incident to us immediately.  
Call 617-928-9000 or 800-207-2525. 


July 2010 Phishing Alert to Small Business Owners
In general, phishing attacks attempt to persuade the user to take an action that would expose them to some risk- for example, clicking a link that would lead them to a spoofed site that would attempt to capture their log-on data, or to a site that would install spyware on their machine.  While some phishing attempts are easily identifiable by clumsy language or implausible circumstances, we have come across a few messages that are particularly well-crafted, and we thought it worthwhile to share them with you.

Phishing Messages We Have Seen
Four very plausible messages have been reported to us so far, "alerting" the user that:

  • New secret questions have been added to their profile; if something seems "wrong" then the user should click a link.
  • An effort is underway to reduce spam.  A link must be clicked to confirm the user's e-mail address.
  • The user has joined a mailing list.  One link must be clicked to confirm that the user has joined a mailing list; another must be clicked to remove the user from the mailing list.
  • A password reset request has been received.  One link must be clicked to confirm that the user has requested it; another link must be clicked if the user did not make that request.

If you or your employees receive such e-mails, and there is no correlation with resetting a password or joining a mailing list, DELETE THE EMAIL.  If you're not quite sure, don't take a chance.  Call the company in question, using a familiar phone number.  Don't use the phone number included in the e-mail.   

March 2010
Con men impersonating deployed U.S. servicemen are hooking civilian women on dating Web sites and swindling them into spending money on fictitious lap tops, international telephones, "leave papers" and plane tickets.

The scheme appears to be a sophisticated twist on the ubiquitous lottery letter scam, but it uniquely exploits the victims' patriotism and emotions while misrepresenting the Army and soldier-support programs, according to Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Claiming the Army will not allow them access to personal bank accounts or credit cards, the sham soldiers will request thousands of dollars under the ruse that it will keep the relationship going.

Army Criminal Investigation Command cautions the public to be skeptical of new Internet friends, especially if they ask for money, make claims about a lack of services for soldiers, or if they say they cannot receive letters- as servicemen and women have Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office mailing addresses.

February 2009
It has been reported that customers are receiving text messages stating:  "Your debit card has been locked out; to regain access please call 1-414-326-4814."  This message is FRAUDULENT!  Watertown Savings Bank does not send text message alerts.  In the event you get this text message, please do not call the number!  If you received this message, called the number, and gave any personal information, please contact the bank immediately at 800-207-2525.  Thank you.

October 2008
Identity thieves keep getting more and more devious.  Now they have set up fake automated telephone messages, which alert consumers that their ATM/debit card/account etc.. has been "locked out" and they ask you to call an 800 number immediately.  They then ask for your account number and tax identification number (social security number).  This is an attempt by criminals to steal your identity.  DO NOT CALL the 800 number they provide.  Instead, call your financial institution using a number you know and trust and let them know you were contacted. 

If you were contacted, and you have already provided your personal information- CONTACT YOUR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION IMMEDIATELY!  Again, use a phone number you know and trust.  Watertown Savings Bank uses an automated telephone system to contact debit card customers when there is suspicious or unusual activity on the card.  But we will not ask for your account number, your card number or your full social security number.   

If you have any questions, please call our Customer Support Line at 617-928-9000.


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