Identity Theft/Online Security

Online Banking Security

Multi-Factor Authentication and Secure Access Code

Charlevoix State Bank Online Banking uses multi-factor authentication to protect your accounts from unauthorized access. Due to their increased complexity, authentication systems using a multi-factor configuration are harder to compromise than ones using a single factor. You will need to provide your username and password along with a secure code to access your account. This secure code is a virtual token that identifies the device you're using to access your account. We only deliver secure codes via text, phone or email based on information the customer provides during enrollment. It is important to provide accurate contact phone numbers, mobile phone number, and E-mail address to ensure delivery of secure codes.

Username and Password

Your username and password are the first line of defense and act as unique identifiers for your personal or business account. Avoid using passwords such as your birth date, name, address, or Social Security number. Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Do not share this information with anyone. Identity theft and fraud attempts are usually conducted with someone the victim knows.

Do not allow your computer or a public computer to “save” or “store” your password. Allowing your computer to remember login information gives anyone with physical access to your computer the ability to log in to your accounts.

Secure Messaging

With Charlevoix State Bank’s Online Banking system you are able to securely communicate with Customer Service via our Secure Messaging system.


Fraudulent emails (phishing) and fraudulent websites are used to trick people into providing personal information that can be used for identity theft. Charlevoix State Bank will never ask you to verify your account number or personal information via email. We will never ask for your online banking password or secure access code. If you notice suspicious activity on your account or experience security related events, please contact the Bank immediately at 231-547-4411 or

If you receive an e-mail asking for personal information, do not hit the “reply” button or click on any link in the email. Instead, go directly to the website by typing in the website address in your internet browser.

Best Practices for Devices - Customer Vigilance is the First Line of Defense

  • Make sure you are using up-to-date virus and malware protection.
  • Install patches and updates regularly.
  • Install and update firewalls.
  • Do not use the automatic log-in feature on your devices.
  • Do not plug unknown or unfamiliar USB drives, DVDs, etc. into your computer.
  • Do not save credit or debit card, bank account, or other financial information on your computer, phone or tablet.
  • Use a password on mobile devices. Set your devices to automatically lock after a period of time and turn on encryption to ensure no one can access your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
  • Be aware of the location of your mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) at all times. Log on to financial websites only when you have a secure Internet connection.

ID Theft/Credit Card Fraud

What is identity theft?

Avoiding Identity Theft

Identity theft is when a criminal uses your name, Social Security Number, date of birth, or other information, without permission, to commit fraud. An example of identity theft would be the use of your personal information to open a credit card account or get a loan in your name.

What are some common signs of identity theft?

  • Bills that do not arrive as usual
  • Unexpected credit cards or account statements
  • You are denied credit for no apparent reason (e.g., for credit for which you did not apply)
  • Phone calls or letters about purchases you did not make
  • Transactions on your financial statements you do not recognize
  • Incorrect information on your credit reports – accounts, addresses or information that is inaccurate

What should I do if I think I may be a victim of identity theft?

You should place a fraud alert on your credit file as soon as you suspect you might be a victim of identity theft. You can do this online or by calling the three credit reporting agencies:

Here are some other steps you can take:

  • Contact the security or fraud departments of the company where an account was opened or charged without your permission.
  • Follow up in writing with copies of supporting documents.
  • Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the identity theft.
  • Use the ID Theft Affidavit at
  • Ask for verification that the disputed account has been dealt with and the fraudulent debts discharged.
  • Contact law enforcement to help you correct your credit report and deal with companies who may want proof of the crime.
  • Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened without your permission.
  • Report the theft to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau by submitting a complaint. Your complaint helps law enforcement officials nationally in their investigations. To find out more, visit the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s website at

Here are some tips to prevent identity theft:

  • Monitor accounts regularly for fraudulent activity.
  • Use a cross-cut shredder when disposing of personal records, especially financial records (thieves have been known to splice together single shred documents).
  • Never give out your personal information including credit and debit card info over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact and are sure you know who you're dealing with before proceeding. If you must share personal information, always confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization.
  • Protect your personal information. Do not leave documents containing personal information where anyone can see it.

You should periodically review credit reports from each nationwide credit reporting agency. If any information on the credit report appears fraudulent, request that the credit reporting agency correct that information from your credit report file. Under federal law, you are entitled to one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Obtain a free copy by going to or by calling 1-877-322-8228.

You can also visit the Federal Trade Commission at, or FTC Consumer Response Center Room 130-B 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC, 20580

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