Advances in technology and the growing presence of mobile and online activities means it is more important than ever to protect your personal information from compromise. The security of your personal information is a top priority at First Florida Integrity Bank. Learn about the measures we take to protect you, and how you can arm yourself against the threat of scams and fraud.

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The Equifax Data Breach - What to Do?

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Check Overpayment Scam

The security of your personal information is a top priority at First Florida Integrity Bank and as part of that commitment, we always want to provide you with information on the latest scams and fraud scenarios. 

Check Overpayment Scam – This is one of the most common internet scams ever reported, with the typical victim being a person selling something over the internet, being paid to do work at home or being sent “advance winnings” in a bogus sweepstakes. The person you are doing business with, “the scammer”, sends you a check for more than the amount they owe you, asks you to deposit it and then instructs you to send the over payment back to them, usually by wire transfer, money gram or gift cards. The check is eventually returned as a fraudulent check, but you’re stuck, responsible for the full amount, including what you sent to the scammer. 

Today we are seeing a new twist to this old scam. The victim is now emailed a copy of a check and told to cut out the check from the email, endorse and deposit it using their mobile banking application. Again, this is for a variety of ploys designed to persuade the victim to return some of the funds back due to “over payment or clerical error”. 

If you receive a check in the mail or by email and you were not expecting it, please contact your personal banker and we will verify if the check is legitimate. Don’t Be a Victim! If you were are not expecting a check, or an offer seems too good to be true, chances are that it’s fraud.


Debit Card Scam

Every day there is another fraudster with another scheme. On November 11, 12 and 18, 2019 there was an attack on a number of financial institutions’ BIN numbers, including ours, which affected some of our debit card holders. What is a BIN number? A financial institution’s Bank Identification Number is the first 4-6 digits of a debit or credit card number, which uniquely identifies that institution.

During a BIN attack, fraudsters try to generate a valid 16 digit card number (starting with the BIN) along with a matching expiration date. The fraudsters have a computer program that randomly generates these numbers then attempts a low dollar authorization (or a zero-dollar amount) to try to find a valid card number. If they are able to match a valid card number with the correct expiration date, they could then potentially go on to make larger dollar amount purchases with that card.

First Florida Integrity Bank did NOT have any valid matches or authorized transactions, so all attempts were declined and cards were blocked by our fraud alert system. If you confirmed by telephone, text or were contacted by our customer call center that the zero or one dollar authorization for Instacart, Tasetaholics Keto Diet or One Legal LLC was not authorized, your card was blocked. Since there were a large number of customers affected by this attack, there may have been situations where your card would not re-activate. If you attempted to use your card and experienced a denial, please contact us at 239-348-8000 to check the status of your card.

Please rest assured that First Florida Integrity Bank was not breached nor did we have a card compromise. This was a random BIN attack that affected numerous financial institutions and since all transactions were declined, the fraudsters have no way of knowing if the card number is valid. To help monitor your debit card activity, we urge you to enroll in our text alert system, if you haven’t already done so. This program will notify you of all your card activity and provide you the ability to block further fraud from occurring. For additional information regarding this service and how to enroll your debit card, please visit:

If you are ever in doubt of the integrity of a call or an email you receive, please contact us immediately at 239-348-8000 or 877-763-0244 to speak to your Personal Banker.

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How First Florida Integrity Bank Protects You

At First Florida Integrity Bank, the security and privacy of your financial information is paramount. Our security features, policies and procedures provide multiple layers of protection to ensure your information is secure.

General Security Features

The First Florida Integrity Bank website contains multiple levels and types of security throughout the design, as well as during a customer's banking session. We employ Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol for data encryption, firewalls, unique identifiers and passwords, and continual suspect monitoring and reporting. Consistent invalid ID attempts result in user "lock out" and generation of suspect reports. Customers are logged off after a period of inactivity as a deterrent to stop access by unauthorized persons. First Florida Integrity Bank works continuously with cyber-security firms to shut down illegitimate websites and toll-free numbers.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

All data exchanged over the Internet is divided into small units and sent in envelope-type packets. Upon arriving at the computer that requested the information, the packets are reassembled into the original message. For Internet transactions and communications, you must employ a method of securing these packets as they travel across the Internet. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a leading method for encrypting and decrypting packets of data as they are exchanged using a code known only to the data's sender and recipient. SSL locks the data so that regardless of the path the data takes as it passes across the Internet, it can be opened only by the end user with the proper key or combination to the lock on the data. SSL technology is widely accepted today and is the Internet standard for secure, encrypted web communications.

Email Communications

When you send us an email message through our website, we may record your email address, your message and our response to ensure quality customer service. Visit our Contact Us page for contact information.

First Florida Integrity Bank Bank does not sell customer information, including emails, to third parties and does not send out unsolicited emails asking people to input confidential information.

Protecting Your User ID and Password

We use personal User IDs and passwords to identify our authorized online banking customers. Our security measures rely on this user information remaining confidential and we strongly recommend that you do not share this user information with others. Certain third party providers such as bill consolidation sites; financial aggregator sites or other e-commerce sites may offer to provide services to you by accessing your accounts using your user information. While it is certainly your decision whether to utilize these services, please be advised that we cannot be responsible for the security and accuracy of the information displayed to you anywhere but at our website. You should know that all transactions initiated by a consolidation site using access information you provide are considered authorized by you, regardless of whether you were aware of the specific transaction. You may revoke this authority only by notifying us, and we may need to block your account until we issue new user information.

Why Online Banking Uses Cookies

Online Banking uses cookies to keep track of a user's session. Each new login session receives a new set of cookies which are valid for only that session. We use the cookies to ensure that the user has entered a valid Online Banking ID and Password, and to ensure that the user's session has not timed out. It is very important to use 'Logout' when exiting Online Banking so that your session is closed and cookies are dropped. The use of cookies also permits faster responses in Online Banking by temporarily storing some user information on our web server's memory. Accessing the user's information in memory is much faster than having to retrieve it from the host or from a database every time it is needed. When the user logs off or the session times out, the information held in memory is discarded.

Protecting Children Online

We do not knowingly solicit information from or market information to children online. We recognize that protecting children's identities and privacy online is important and that the responsibility to do so rests with both the online industry and with parents. If an individual under the age of 18 provides us with personally identifiable information through an online account application, the application will be declined and all related information will only be maintained as required or allowed by law.

Links To Our Web site

We are not responsible for the content or the privacy policies of websites to which we may provide links.

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How to protect you and your family

Your security is very important to us. Please review these tips to help in keeping you and your family safe.

Disclosing personal information

It is often necessary to ask for certain personal information when a customer calls or visits a branch or logs into our website. Confirming this information is a valuable security tool to verify and protect a customer's identity. However, identity thieves and scammers often use this same method, so make sure you're only providing information to businesses you know and trust.

One point to keep in mind is First Florida Integrity Bank will never independently call a customer or send an email asking a customer to disclose account numbers, ATM or debit card numbers, passwords or other personal information. If you receive such a call or email from someone claiming to be a First Florida Integrity Bank representative and asking for personal or identifying information, do not respond! Instead, please call our Customer Service Center to verify you are communicating with a First Florida Integrity Bank representative.

Be alert for potential email scams

Customers should be on the lookout for phishing scams in which fraudulent emails claiming to come from First Florida Integrity Bank ask recipients to click on hyperlinks to update account information, unlock debit cards, receive a tax rebate or refund or complete a survey to receive a fee. These are not legitimate emails from the bank. Instead, they are fraudulent emails sent as part of a scam to trick people into divulging confidential information.

Recipients of these emails should not click on these links or respond with any confidential information such as account numbers, debit card numbers or Social Security numbers. Clicking on a link in this type of email could expose a computer to malicious software that could track keystrokes, potentially giving the scammers private information such as account passwords. Fraudulent emails such as these may look official and can sometimes include the company logo. First Florida Integrity Bank does not send out unsolicited emails asking its customers to click on a hyperlink and input confidential account or debit card information.

If you think you are a victim of a phishing scam

Contact us as soon as possible so we can close your account and reopen another account with a different account number. If you gave out your credit, debit or ATM card information, report the incident to the card issuer as soon as possible and request your card be closed and a new card with a different number be issued to you. Monitor your account activity regularly and contact the card issuer immediately if any unauthorized charges appear.

Protect your personal information online

Online banking with First Florida Integrity Bank is safe, secure and convenient. Whether you are banking online or not, you should always take the necessary steps to prevent your financial information from falling into the wrong hands. By keeping aware of possible internet and email scams, you will be better prepared to protect yourself.

Here are some best practices to make online banking a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Keep all your passwords private.
  • Refrain from disclosing your personal information through unsolicited emails, telephone calls and social media messages.
  • Beware of emails that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately.
  • Always click the logout link to end your online banking session.
  • Immediately leave any website that appears to be suspicious or doesn't perform the function it claims to provide. Carefully check the spelling of a web address so you're not fooled by a fraudulent site that is similar to the legitimate site. Often, fraudulent URLs can differ from the real site by only one character.
  • Be careful about what you install or download to your system. Avoid downloading software from sources you do not know and trust. Read the complete End User License Agreement before clicking "Agree" when downloading any software.
  • Be suspicious of any information-collecting website which does not have a home page or has a home page with an "under construction" message on it.
  • When using an online site for banking or other consumer activities, carefully read the site's privacy and security statements. Always look for the padlock icon on your online browser.
  • Review your online credit card and bank accounts to make sure there are no unauthorized charges. Also, review all account statements mailed to your home as soon as they arrive. Store and/or discard paper records carefully, and shred or destroy them when they're no longer needed.
  • If you notice any unauthorized activity on your accounts, please contact us immediately so we can take steps to protect your bank accounts.
  • If you use a mobile device for banking, we recommend securing the device itself with a password.

Tips to remember

When you deposit or cash a check at a bank, you're essentially acknowledging you believe it is genuine and the person who wrote it will pay. If it bounces, you're responsible to repay the full amount. There's no legitimate reason someone - especially a stranger - would send you a check and ask you to wire a portion back. Remember two basic questions you should ask yourself if you receive communications like these:

  • Is this offer too good to be true? In most cases, the answer to this question is yes.
  • Does it smell fishy? Ask yourself: Why would a stranger send someone (you) thousands of dollars and ask you to wire it back?

Also, remember to:

  • Keep your social security number confidential.
  • Protect your computer system with up-to-date antivirus protection and run spyware detection programs regularly.

If you believe you have responded to a fraudulent email or website, please contact us immediately at 1-877-763-024

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Fraud Activity and Examples

There are many different ways fraudsters and crooks will try to steal from you. By staying informed about common scams and fraud, you'll have the knowledge you need to be alert to threats.

Examples of Financial Scams

  • Phishing scammers. These scammers send out mass messages to as many people as they can, attempting to trick them into giving out their confidential bank account information. Fraudulent emails have been designed to look as if they came from First Florida Integrity Bank, often including the company's logo. Consumers should be aware that these are not legitimate messages from First Florida Integrity Bank Bank, and they should not click on any links in emails, call any toll-free numbers provided, or respond with any confidential financial or other information.
  • A text message saying that the customer's account has been locked and giving a phone number to call to have it restored.
  • An offer of a reward if they fill out an online customer service survey. The email recipient would be asked to enter their bank account information so the reward could be deposited.
  • A claim that a company has initiated a monthly charge to the recipient's account; in order to stop the charge, the recipient is directed to a website, where they'd be asked for their confidential account information.
  • A warning that fraudulent emails are being sent out and the recipient's debit card has been temporarily blocked as a security precaution. To re-activate the card, recipients are asked to call a toll-free phone number, where they'd need to input their card information.
  • A warning to be on the lookout for phishing scams where recipients are asked to click on a fraudulent link and immediately login and report any unnoticed password changes, unauthorized withdrawals, and check their account profile.
  • A security notice advising customer that an unsecured PIN reset was recently attempted on their account and then directing them to contact a toll-free number and input their card information.

Be aware: Many fraudulent emails provide clues they are illegitimate. Misspelled words, urgent appeals, money offerings and unfamiliar return addresses are all signs of a fraudulent email. You should also be aware fraudulent emails are becoming more creative and sophisticated, and often include a seemingly legitimate business reason, such as a survey. Ironically, some even pretend they're trying to protect consumers from fraud. However, eventually they get to the same point: asking customers to divulge confidential bank card or account information, either online or by phone. That's the red flag that should stop you in your tracks! Even if you don't see any obvious signs that an email is fraudulent, but you suspect it could be, contact us immediately.

Here are some phishing examples:

Fraudulent Email - Example #1 Fraudulent Email - Example #2

Scams Related to Online Customer Authentication

There are some online scams happening as banks like First Florida Integrity Bank have begun Online Customer Authentication features. Here are a couple variations to watch out for:

  • You may receive an email saying that your account has been accessed from multiple computers and will be shut down unless you click on a link, which then asks you to input your account number and password. If you receive this type of email, it is a scam; delete it without clicking on the link or responding. We already have that information, so we won't request it from you in an unsolicited email.
  • In another variation, you may receive an email telling you that you need to click on a link to set up "challenge questions" that the bank would then use to confirm your identity during any future suspicious log-ins. Although our Online Customer Authentication feature does ask you to establish security questions and answers, we ask you to do that only AFTER you've logged into Online Banking and confirmed your identity. We wouldn't ask you to take that step through a link in an unsolicited email.


Malware is software used or programmed by fraudsters to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. It can appear in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software. Malware, short for malicious software, is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.

Man in the Browser

Man in the Browser is a security attack where the hacker installs a Trojan horse on a victim's computer that's capable of modifying web transactions as they occur in real time, taking advantage of vulnerabilities in browser security. A Man in the Browser attack, unlike phishing, occurs when the victim has entered the URL into the browser independently, without an external prompt such as a link in an email. On the surface, transactions are taking place normally with expected prompts and password requirements.

Phishing Scams Using Phones

There is a variant of traditional phishing scams that uses telephone calls (instead of email) to gather confidential information. Customers may receive an automated phone call or an email saying their account or debit card has been compromised and providing them a phone number to call to resolve the issue. When they call, they reach an automated answering program that asks them for their account number (or debit card number) to verify their account. Customers should not give confidential information in response to suspicious requests like this. These types of phone-phishing scams, sometimes called "vishing," have become more common with the increasing popularity of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows telephone calls to be made from computers instead of from traditional phones.

Merger Phishing

First Florida Integrity Bank customers should be aware of the potential for this variation of phishing. In this scam, customers receive an email that says it's from a company that is acquiring their bank and asks for account numbers and other data as part of the merger. Consumers may be susceptible to this scam if it mentions a merger that is actually occurring. The Bank already has this type of information, and another bank doing an acquisition would not need to ask individual customers for that data.

Survey Phishing

These phishers send out a survey, claiming that they represent a bank or another company. The survey may start out with harmless questions to get you comfortable with responding, but then they ask for confidential information. Often, people are told they will receive a gift certificate or other reward for participating. This technique has been used over the phone in the past, but is now being used online as well.


Unlike phishing, scammers using a technique called "pharming" don't lure their victims with emails. Instead, they install malicious software or use other techniques to re-direct a user to a fraudulent website - even if the user types the correct address into their browser or uses an existing bookmark for their bank's website. So how can users protect themselves? If you're going to enter confidential information on a website, first check to be sure the site has a valid certificate from a service such as VeriSign®. Click on the padlock icon in the browser's status bar to see the certificate, and check to be sure the name on the certificate matches the website.

As always, customers should run anti-virus and anti-spyware software and update their computers with the latest security patches and a firewall. If you notice something suspiciously different about the way your online banking site is functioning, call the bank to verify that you are using the correct site.

Key Logging

Key logging software records everything that is typed on your computer, including password information, and sends the information to an outside party. The unwanted software, sometimes referred to as "spyware," "adware" or "key logging software," usually infects a computer in the form of a virus attached to an e-mail or other type of download. Many times, these downloads are bundled with free program offers. If you click to install a free program and click "Agree" to the End User License Agreement without reading it fully, you may be unknowingly granting permission to download spyware along with the free program.

Some signs that your PC may be infected by unwanted software include:

  • A slowing of your computer, both offline and online.
  • An unexpected increase in unsolicited e-mail or messages sent without your knowledge.
  • Strange browser behavior, such as increased pop-ups or unexplained changes to your home page settings and Web site favorites.

To lessen your risk of key logging, avoid downloading software from sources that you do not know and trust. Also, make sure you have up-to-date antivirus protection installed on your PC. Antivirus software provides protection against viruses that compromise your computer's security. Once installed, make sure you keep your antivirus software updated.

Lottery Scam

You receive a letter and a check, often a large amount, stating that you have won a lottery, usually one in a country other than the United States. You are told to deposit the check and wire a portion of it back to cover fees and/or taxes. If you follow the instructions, the check will turn out to be counterfeit, but by the time it's returned, the criminal will already have the money you wired from your account. You will have to pay back the full amount of the bogus check. It is against laws in the United States to participate in a lottery in another country, so a letter saying you have won a foreign lottery is a scam.

Internet Purchase Scam

You offer to sell something online, and the buyer sends you a check for more than the purchase price you agreed on. The buyer asks you to wire back the amount over the agreed-upon selling price. The buyer's payment will turn out to be counterfeit, but by the time it's returned, the criminal already has the money you wired from your account. You are responsible to pay back the full amount of the bogus check. When selling or buying on the Internet, only send or accept checks for the exact amount. Ask for cashier checks when possible.

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Reporting Fraud

See something suspicious? Or, do you suspect you are a victim of fraud? Don't be afraid to reach out for help.

If you have questions about a suspicious message you received, you should call a First Florida Integrity Bank Customer Service Representative immediately at: 877-763-0244

If you responded to what you believe to be a fraudulent email and/or disclosed personal information, it's important to take action right away. Don't be embarrassed! Call your bank immediately. Search for your branch online.

If you suspect you were a victim of a fraud, contact the major credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your account. Here are the fraud numbers for the three major credit reporting bureaus:

  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

You should also contact your local law enforcement agency or the state attorneys' general office to report the fraud. In Florida, you can reach the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection at 850-414-3300.


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