Security Tips

Security Tips

Your Safety is our Top Priority!

Here are a few tips to keep you and your information safe. To see examples of known scams, click here.

Fraud & Safety Tips

  • Never write down your passwords or social security number. Also, don’t carry your social security card on you unless absolutely necessary.
  • Never give personal or financial data over the phone unless you initiated the phone call.
  • Don't email personal or financial data. Email is not a secure method of transmitting sensitive information.
  • Shred receipts after receiving cash from the ATM. Never throw them away at the ATM location.
  • Using GTE Online Banking and Bill Pay eliminates having your paper checks and statements in the mail - which can be easier to compromise.
  • Carry minimal cards and report any lost or stolen ones immediately. Keep a list of all your credit card issuer’s contact numbers in a safe location.   
  • Shred financial information including pre-approved credit applications, bills, and credit/debit card receipts before throwing them away to keep safe from dumpster diving.
  • GTE Financial will never contact you and solicit your account information. Additionally, GTE will NEVER ask you to verbally verify any code sent to you through text. If you receive any texts or calls from someone claiming to be GTE and sensitive information is being requested or feel there are other red flags, hang up immediately and call GTE directly at 1.888.871.2690.
  • Open a Go Premium with GTE Secure Checking Account to receive Credit File Monitoring, 3 in 1 Credit Reporting, and Identity Theft Protection.
  • Try to keep an eye on your credit/debit card and driver's license whenever you hand them to restaurant servers or store clerks.   
  • Review your account statements as soon as you receive them or log in to your accounts regularly to watch for unauthorized charges.
  • Beware of mail or telephone offers specifically looking for your credit/debit card number.
  • If somebody calls you and offers refunds via Zelle®, hang up the phone and report the incident to GTE. Refunds are not issued through Zelle®. 
  • If you are contacted by anyone and requested to make payments using gift cards or are requested to purchase and provide a gift card number/pin for any reason, hang up immediately. These are never legitimate. If you have concerns for your accounts, contact the business, agency, or financial institution directly.
  • Merchants do not need your debit/credit card information to issue a refund to your account. If a purchase has been authorized as a payment, it can just as easily be authorized for a refund without providing the information again. Legitimate companies, financial institutions, and agencies will never request for you to send a wire transfer or funds through cryptocurrency to issue you a refund. If you have any concerns about transactions or your accounts, hang up and call the company, financial institution, or agency directly.
  • Watch out for hacker red flags:
    • The message has no relevance to you (such as a package delivery notification, when you aren't expecting a package.)
    • The message is urgent or needs immediate action from you.
    • The text message or email contains misspellings or poor grammar.
    • The message is coming from a strange phone number or suspicious email address.
    • The text message contains a suspicious link.

Internet Safety & Security Tips

  • Create strong usernames and passwords and keep them secret.
    • Make them at least 8 characters and include lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
    • Don’t use the same password for all sites.
    • If your username or password can be found in a dictionary, it is too simple and should be changed to something more complex and unique.
  • Keep all software current with recommended automatic updates.
  • Don’t access your financial accounts online at public kiosk locations like those found in hotels and airports.
  • Use and regularly update your firewall, antivirus, anti-spam, and antispyware software.
  • Password-protect your wireless connection at home.
  • Look for signs that a web page is safe before you enter sensitive, personal information:
    • A web address with HTTPS – the ‘S’ means secure
    • A padlock icon beside the web address
  • When shopping online, do not check the "remember my password" box. It is safer not to keep this information on your computer.
  • Never give sensitive info in response to an email or instant message request.
  • Think twice before you open attachments or links in emails, even if you know the sender, and be especially careful clicking links or buttons in pop-up windows.
  • Beware of alarmist messages, misspellings, and grammatical errors, deals that sound too good to be true, and request for your personal info.
  • Make use of the account and privacy settings on social networks like Facebook to control who can see your profile and learn how to block unwanted access.

Fraud Warning:

Fraud and scams are at an all-time high. Be wary of suspicious calls claiming to be from or partnered with GTE Financial. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.

Remember - never give personal or financial data over the phone unless you initiated the phone call. Call GTE Financial at 813.871.2690 if you believe you have been a victim of fraud.