Fraud Prevention

Prevent debit card fraud.

Debit card theft is all too common. Criminals are always looking for easy access to your personal information. That’s why we offer free access to Card Center, a simple, easy to use debit card fraud mitigation and management tool.

Using cardvalet app on phone


A mobile utility that gives you control of your debit card.

Identity theft, skimming, and other attacks are an unfortunate reality. Having the ability to quickly turn your debit card on or off is a necessity. Your Southern Bank Mastercard® debit card comes with free access to Card Center. You control where, when, and how your debit card is used.

More on Fraud Prevention

Suspicious Activity Text Alerts. We watch for suspicious activity.

In addition to Card Center and Southern Messenger, Southern Bank offers text fraud alerts. Text fraud alerts are an extra layer of protection between your accounts and scammers. If our system detects suspicious activity on your card, you’ll receive a text message with details about the suspected transaction. Respond to the text to confirm the transaction. If you indicate the transaction is fraud, you’ll receive another message with a number to call for follow-up. If not, you’re all set. The system will mark the transaction as legitimate and you can get on with your day – simple as that.

If you are currently not receiving Fraud Alerts from Southern Bank, call 855-452-7272 to add your cell number to your file. Once we have your cell phone number on file, you’ll receive an initial text message with instructions to verify your enrollment and then you’re all set. If there is suspicious activity, we’ll send a text alert right away.

Identity Theft

Identity theft can have a serious impact on your life. If you suspect your identity has been stolen, it is important to act quickly to minimize the damage. Even if you have been careful with your personal information, identity thieves can strike innocent consumers. The following may be signs of identity theft:

  • New accounts on your credit report that are not yours
  • Not receiving an expected bill or statement in the mail
  • Receiving calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding services or merchandise that you did not purchase
  • Credit card or billing statements on accounts for which you did not apply
  • Being denied credit or offered less than favorable terms for no reason

Take these steps if you suspect your identity has been compromised:

  1. Call Southern Bank immediately – 855-452-7272
  2. Report the criminal activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Consider filing a complaint with the FTC if you suspect your personal information has been compromised. Call the FTC Hotline at 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) to speak with a trained counselor or you can submit a complaint on their website,
  3. File a report with your local law enforcement. When you suspect your personal information has been compromised, contact the credit bureaus immediately to have a fraud alert placed on your profile. Temporary fraud alerts will remain on your credit report for 90 days. Credit bureaus are required to respond to your request for a fraud alert.
  4. Contact the company. If you suspect unauthorized charges, contact the company directly. Discuss options with the company representative. Always ask the company to send you an official notification of fraudulent account activity and discharge of the unauthorized transactions/debt in writing. If a new account has been opened, you will want to request the account is closed and ensure they have alerted appropriate departments.

Continue to review all charges and transactions appearing on your account statements and online account activity. Immediately report any discrepancies.

How we protect you

We’re looking out for you. Southern Bank will NEVER ask for your account information, login credentials, and/or passwords over the phone or in an email. We already know your account number(s); and your passwords are a secret, even to us. We might contact you regarding banking activity or online banking for these reasons:

  • To notify you of a change or disruption in service
  • To confirm changes submitted to your online banking profile
  • To notify you of suspected fraudulent activity on your account.

How we protect you through online banking We use the Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption technology for everything you do while using online banking. Your browser will automatically activate this technology when it attempts to connect to our online banking service. TLS encryption technology requires a browser that supports a minimum of TLS 1.1 and 128-bit encryption (preferably TLS 1.2 and 256- bit encryption) and we will warn you if your browser doesn’t meet the requirement.

  • Encryption turns words and phrases into coded language, and all of your activities while using online banking become a string of unrecognizable numbers before entering the internet. We us the strongest forms of cryptography that are commercially available for use over the internet. In short – your account will read as gibberish to everyone but you and Southern Bank.
  • High-end firewalls protect our computer systems against unauthorized access.
  • Automatic log-off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Account masking feature that reveals only the last few digits of your account number in the online banking platform.

How we protect you through the mobile app Device Analytics is a security feature that performs a risk factor analysis on your mobile device before you even attempt to log in to mobile banking. If it detects significant risk factors on your device, it will either require you to answer security questions or deny access if the risk is severe.

How we protect your debit card. EnFact fraud monitoring builds a profile of each card user and then monitors card activity 24/7 for potentially suspicious activity. This service is automatically placed on all Southern Bank debit cards, there’s nothing you need to do.

How to protect yourself

Scams appear in many forms. Be cautious and aware of potential fraud in the form of:

Fraudulent Emails and Websites. Scammers can pose as a legitimate company to obtain personal data, such as account numbers. A common form of this scam is called “phishing”. Phishing refers to cyber-criminals who attempt to gather sensitive personal information from consumers through emails and/or through imitations of legitimate web sites. To combat phishing, please remember that Southern Bank will never ask for sensitive information from you via e-mail (ex. Social security number, access ID, passcode or account number, or ATM/debit card number and PIN).

Spyware and Viruses. Spyware and viruses are destructive programs loaded on your computer without your permission or knowledge. Spyware appears as a legitimate application on your computer but actually monitors your activity and collects sensitive information. Viruses are harmful programs spread through the Internet that can compromise the security of your computer. Maintaining up-to-date anti-spyware and virus protection software and firewalls help avoid these risks.

Pop-up advertisements. Pop-ups appear in a separate browser window and, when clicked, can download harmful spyware or adware to your computer. While some make legitimate offers, many pop-ups are attempts to obtain your sensitive information. Southern Bank will never ask you to verify personal financial information in pop-up advertisement.

Helpful Tips While online banking is safe, as a general rule you should always be careful about giving out your personal financial information over the Internet. Review the following tips to protect your personal information while using the Internet.

  • Regularly log into your online accounts to verify that your bank, credit, and debit card statements and transactions are legitimate.
  • Be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent requests for personal financial information.
  • If you receive an unsolicited e-mail from any source asking you to click on a link to visit a site and input personal data, be very wary of it.
  • Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading any files from e-mails, regardless of who sent them.
  • Instead of clicking on links in emails, type in the URL that you're familiar with, such as, or select the Web address saved in your browser's "Favorites".
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is and should be avoided.
  • If you have any doubts about the validity of an email, contact the sender using a telephone number you know to be genuine.
  • Before you initiate an online transaction, make sure your personal information is protected by looking for indicators that the site is secure. URLs for secure sites typically begin with "https" instead of "http" and display a lock in the lower right corner of your browser.
  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.
  • Make sure you have applied the latest security patches for your computer. Most software providers, like Microsoft, offer free security patches.

Protect your Credit and Debit Cards

  • Memorize your passwords and PIN numbers and change them regularly.
  • Avoid using obvious or easily obtainable information as your passwords or PIN numbers, and never write them down anywhere or reveal them to anyone.
  • Do not trust a site just because it claims to be secure. Before using the site, check out the security and encryption software it uses. Obtain a physical address rather than a post office box and a telephone number and call a seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
  • Do not send your card number through email or SMS text as it is typically not secure.
  • Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • Review your statements to verify that they properly reflect the amounts you have authorized.
  • Keep a list of your credit card account numbers and telephone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen. Make sure the information is stored in a secure place.
  • If you receive a replacement card, activate it properly and destroy your old card.

Protect yourself

  • Do not reply to an e-mail or pop-up message asking for personal information.
  • Do not e-mail personal or financial information.
  • Use bookmarks to access known sites to avoid being lured to imposter sites.
  • Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading any files from e-mails, regardless of who sent them.
  • Use updated anti-virus software.
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is and should be avoided.
  • Don't write down your passwords, and don't use birth dates or names of family members as passwords.
  • Take your receipts from ATMs, gas pumps, etc.
  • Review credit card and bank statements immediately for unauthorized charges.
  • Shred unwanted documents that contain personal information.

ATM Safety

  • Be aware of people and your surroundings. If you observe suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the ATM at that time, instead, come back later or use an ATM elsewhere.
  • After completing a withdrawal, secure your card and cash immediately before exiting the ATM area. Count your cash in the safety of your locked car or at home.
  • Shield the ATM key pad with your hand or body when entering your PIN.
  • Report all crimes immediately to the ATM owner or local law enforcement.

Additional Resources

The Federal Trade Commission web site has information for consumers and businesses on how to deter, detect, and defend against identity theft. The website also includes details on how an active duty military person can place an "Active Duty Alert" on their credit report and how to file an identity theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

You are allowed one free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You may request this report via their website, phone or mail. See details on the Annual Credit Report website.

Find consumer advice on how to avoid phishing scams, what to do if you have given out your personal financial information, how to report phishing and also browse the phishing archives.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's website has many features which include the "Be Crime Smart" section on e-scams, warnings, reporting internet crime, common fraud schemes and other tips and suggestions.

See what else you can do from your phone.