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Online and Mobile

Protect against online and mobile fraud. Follow these recommended best practices below for mobile and online account fraud protection.


  • Be aware of phishing emails. Normally they will require you to click a link or open an attachment to verify or change your account. First Merchants will not send emails of this type, and you should delete them.
  • Be suspicious of email headers including the email sender's identity, which can be forged easily.
  • Do not fill out forms in an email, because it can be difficult or impossible to tell where the information will actually be sent.
  • Spam emails should be immediately deleted. These can be forwarded from friends or from people you do not know. Many times they offer something “too good to be true” or other enticing offers.


  • How to Determine if a Text is from First Merchants Bank
  • If the text message comes to you from short code 77972, it is safe, legitimate and from First Merchants Bank. We suggest you add it to your contact list.
  • Do not answer text messages requesting your account information or any type of sensitive information such as passwords, PIN, social security number etc. First Merchants will not send these texts and you should delete them.
  • Do not provide personal account information to anyone who requests it via text, even if the text seems to come from First Merchants Bank.
  • Scam texts usually have longer phone numbers. 
  • Look for texts with misspelled words or incorrect grammar.
  • When in doubt call the bank at 1.800.205.3464 before responding or taking action.

Your Computer

  • Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software. Configure it to update automatically and schedule regular scans of your hard drive.
  • Ensure you have a firewall installed and active to help prevent intrusion on your PC.
  • Keep your operating systems, applications, and Internet browsers updated regularly.
  • Patches and updates can be configured to install automatically or you may do it manually, but the trick is to make sure it is done consistently. This will help to keep your software secure against intrusions.
  • If you have a wireless network, ensure it is set up with industry standard protections.
  • Consider turning off your PC when not needed.

Mobile Banking

Convenience is the driving factor in the rise of mobile banking. It opens the doors to consumer choice and access to banking options. But, as mobile devices like smartphones and iPads become more popular, hackers are finding savvy ways to steal information. Consumers are urged to be cautious when using mobile devices to do their banking.

It's important to take a common sense approach to mobile banking. Use caution on your phone just like you would a computer. If you’re careful, you can really enjoy mobile banking benefits safely and securely. You should treat a smartphone like a computer that can make phone calls and treat tablets like computers, because that is what they are.

Following a few simple steps can prevent a big headache later. The following tips are considered best practices to protect your information:        

  • Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords and social security numbers on your mobile device.
  • Password protect your mobile device and lock it when you’re not using it.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t type any sensitive information if others around you can see.
  • Log out completely when you complete a mobile banking session.
  • Protect your phone from viruses and malware just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
  • Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
  • Use discretion when downloading apps.
  • If you change your phone number or lose you mobile device, let your financial institution know right away.
  • Monitor your accounts regularly and report suspicious activity to your financial institution immediately.


  • Learn how to prevent business and payment fraud - watch this video
  • Use a dedicated PC for conducting financial transactions, and turn it off when not in use. To reduce your risk of exposure to fraud, don't perform other online activities on this PC (do not use to check email or access websites).
  • Always protect your Online Banking log on credentials, and choose passwords that are difficult to guess, with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Monitor all account activity daily via Business Online Banking
  • Use dual authorization or out of band authentication for Online Banking transactions
  • Set computers to time out and automatically lock after a certain amount of tim.
  • Reconcile all accounts and statements quickly
  • Tighten internal controls
  • Maintain up-to-date anti-virus/anti-spyware software and perform regular scans
  • Implement a firewall and configure it correctly
  • Restrict employee access to hardware such as CD burners and USB ports
  • Implement strict policies for confidential information storage and destruction
  • Use cross-cut shredders
  • Invest in employee training
  • Investigate purchasing insurance to reduce the risk of loss should fraud occur

External Controls

  • Consider working with a reputable third party company to independently perform security testing on a periodic basis
  • Review vendors frequently to insure compliance with your confidentiality policies
  • Use encrypted emails when confidential data is sent