Welcome to SouthernTrust Bank's Security & Privacy Center  
The security of your personal information is always a priority at SouthernTrust Bank.  We work hard to help ensure your account information stays secure.

Securing Your Accounts and Banking Activities
Security is a key component of your bank accounts, no matter if you're using Online Banking, checks, or debit cards.  Click on any of the following links for information on how to protect your accounts.


Fraud Prevention, Detection and Reporting
It is important to protect your identity from unlawful use and shield your accounts from fraud and unauthorized access.  Click on any of the following links for information on preventing, detecting, and reporting fraud or ID Theft.

Online Security
Fight back against criminals by arming yourself with the knowledge to protect your identity and ensure your Internet security.  Click on any of the following links for information on how to protect you when you are online.


OnlineOnGuard.gov:  Tips from the federal government to help you protect your personal information.

FTC.gov:  Information from the Federal Trade Commission to help you avoid identity theft and learn what to do if your identity is stolen.

FDIC.gov:  Tips from the FDIC about how to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud.


Online Security

SouthernTrust Bank offers tools and services that help protect your personal information

  • Limit mail fraud by turning off paper statements
  • Check your account activity often to detect fraud earlier
  • Have your funds placed directly in your accounts by signing up for direct deposit
  • View your cleared checks online to monitor for check fraud
  • Use Bill Pay service to pay and receive bills online to help reduce the chances of mail fraud

Passwords - It is important that you use a highly secure password for all of your financial accounts.  Never use your pet's name,your child's name or anything else that a fraudster could easily find out.  The most secure passwords are a combination of letters and numbers, not simply an address, phone number or date of birth.  For added security, remember to change your password on a regular basis and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

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Checking and Savings Accounts

Protect your confidential information by using the following services at SouthernTrust Bank

  • Direct Deposit - Have paychecks, dividends, and other recurring credits deposited directly to your account with no more worrying about checks getting lost or stolen in the mail
  • Automatic Payment - Automatic Payments can help protect you from lost or late payments.  Arrange to have recurring payments automatically deducted from your account.
  • Online Banking - Access your SouthernTrust Bank accounts through Online Banking.  Checking your balances and viewing your account statements online is safer than sending information through the mail.

Other tips:

  • Guard your checkbook and unused check supply.
  • Never write checks in pencil since it is erasable.  Use an ink pen or printer.
  • Reconcile your checkbook register when you receive your monthly bank statements.
  • Never use your deposit slip for scrap paper and then give it to someone.
  • Shred bank statements that contain account numbers instead of just throwing them in the trash.

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ATM and/or Debit Cards

ATM safety

  • Be aware of people and your surroundings.
  • Use ATMs with surveillance cameras.  SouthernTrust Bank ATMs are monitored in this fashion.
  • Protect your privacy.  Shield the ATM keypad with your hand or body while entering your PIN.
  • After completing your transaction, secure your card and cash immediately, before exiting the ATM area.  Count your cash later, in the safety of your locked car.  Keep your ATM card in a safe place. 
  • Never reveal your PIN to anyone in person or over the telephone for any reason, even if the individual represents themselves as a bank employee.
  • If an ATM must be used at night, try to select one in a well lighted area or have another person accompany you.

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Limited Liability for Consumer Accounts

Consumer (Retail) customers are provided certain protections under Regulation E.  You should tell us at once if you believe your card and/or code has been lost or stolen,  or if you believe that an electronic fund transfer has been made without your permission using information from your check.  Telephoning is the best way of keeping your possible losses down.  You could lose all the money in your account.  If you tell us within 2 business days after you learn of the loss or theft of your card and/or code, you can lose no more than $50 if someone used your card and/or code without your permission.  Also, if you do NOT tell us within 2 business days after you learn of the loss or theft of your card and/or code, and we can prove we could have stopped someone from using your card and/or code without your permission if you had told us, you could lose as much as $500.  Also, if your statement shows transfers that you did not make, including those made by card, code or other means, tell us at once.  If you do not tell us within 60 days after the statement was mailed to you, you may not get back any money you lost after the 60 days if we can prove that we could have stopped someone from taking the money if you had told us in time.  If a good reason (such as a long trip or a hospital stay)  kept you from telling us, we will extend the time period.

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Anti-Virus Software

Viruses are programs or a piece of code that is downloaded to your computer without your knowledge.  Many viruses are disguised as email attachments.  When the attachment is opened the virus attaches itself to your system.  Many times this happens without your knowledge.  Should you receive a suspicious email, it is best to delete the email immediately.

Anti-virus software programs have been created to help protect your system from these attacks.  Be cautious about offers for "free" anti-virus software and make sure you get your software from a highly reputable company.  To remain protected against the newest threats you should maintain updates to your anti-virus software program.  You should also use precaution when opening email attachments.

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Basically, a firewall is a barrier to keep destructive forces away from property.  In fact, that's why it's called a firewall.  Its job is similar to a physical firewall that keeps a fire from spreading from one area to the next.  A firewall filters the information coming through the Internet connection into your private network or computer system.  If an incoming packet of information is flagged by the filters, it is not allowed through.

There are several manufacturers of firewall software; we encourage you to research what works best for you.  Most common operating system software (including Windows XP and Vista) often come with built-in firewall functionality, but you may have to enable it.

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Spyware is a type of tracking software installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge.  The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect.  Advertisers use spyware to enable them to track user behavior and promote their products.

If your Internet browser doesn't load pages as quickly as it used to, one possible cause of the bottleneck might be that your computer has become the victim of spyware.  Many times spyware is attached to freeware that you may have downloaded.

In some cases this may just be a nuisance.  In other cases there are malicious hackers who have created spyware programs for the purpose of collecting sensitive data from your system as well as installing additional software.  The spyware may allow someone to read, write and delete files, download and install other software, change the default homepage, monitor keystrokes, or even format the hard drive.  Your privacy is at risk when spyware is used by criminals.

There is software that is available to find and delete the programs from your compter.  These programs can also protect you from downloading spyware in the future.

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System Updates

Computer manufacturers offer automatic updates that notify you when a new update or upgrade is available for download.  Regularly updating and maintaining your operating system, Web browser, and software programs will help protect your computer from possible security flaws.

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Credit Report Monitoring

By monitoring your credit report, you can make sure that no one has opened bank accounts or applied and been approved for loans in your name using stolen information.  Nationwide consumer reporting companies will provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months.  There are three major credit bureau reporting agencies and depending on where you apply for credit, the credit-issuing company may review reports from one or all of these to determine your credit rating.  You should review your credit report at least annually.  You can request a copy of your credit report at the following:

Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or www.equifax.com
Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com
TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 or www.transunion.com

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Fraud Detection and Protection

We know how important it is to protect your identity from unlawful use, and unauthorized access.  We want you to know that it is not our practice to ask for your User ID or password in an email.  It is also not our practice to :

  • Share your name with any contacts outside our firm in a manner inconsistent with our Privacy Policy.
  • Send email that requires you to enter personal information directly into the email.
  • Send an email asking you to reply by sending personal information.
  • Send email threatening to close your account if you do not provide personal information to us immediately.

With these things in mind you should exercise caution when reading an email that may appear to have been sent by us.  Unfortunately  many criminals devise ways to exploit technology in an effort to rip you off.

Types of Online Fraud

Phishing and Spoofing
Sometimes criminals may send you email that looks like it has come from SouthernTrust Bank.  These phony emails ask you to go to a Website that also looks like SouthernTrust Bank and provide your personal account information.  These emails may even ask you to call a phone number and provide account information.  But the Website is a fake. 

  • Asking for personal information should raise a flag since SouthernTrust will never ask you to reply in an email with any personal information, such as your Social Security Number, ATM or Debit Card PIN.
  • Typos and other errors are often the mark of fraudulent emails or websites.  Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors, awkward writing and poor visual design.
  • Urgent appeals claim that your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information.  SouthernTrust will not ask you to verify information in this way.
  • Offers that sound too good to be true often are.  You may be asked to fill out a short customer service survey in exchange for money being credited to your account, and you are then asked to provide your account number for proper routing of the supposed credit.  SouthernTrust will not request your information in this way.

Vishing uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to call and leave an automated recording.  The recording alerts the consumer that their account has experienced unusual activity.  The message instructs the consumer to call the same phone number shown on the spoofed caller ID with the same name as the financial company they are pretending to represent.

Social Media
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow people to stay connected to friends and family. Not suprisingly, the popularity of these sites has made them attractive targets for identify thieves and hackers.

  • Don't "friend" strangers.
  • Don't announce upcoming vacations or other trips on a public site.
  • Be careful of the personal information you post.  Birthdays, email addresses, phone numbers and even your child's or pet's name may enable an identity thief to track down additional information about you or may give them hints to your account and online passwords.

Money Mules
Money mules are unsuspecting victims who become middlemen for criminals trying to launder stolen funds.  Criminals recruit money mules, send them stolen money and then ask the money mules to wire or transfer the money unwittingly to the criminals and tell them they may keep a commission for performing the transfer or wire.

The victims of these scams may not only have their bank accounts closed and financial reputations ruined, but are often left financially responsible for returning the stolen funds.

Common signs of a money mule scam are:

  • An unsolicited offer or opportunity for you to make some easy money.
  • Unsolicited contact from people or companies from overseas.
  • Requests to open a new bank account to receive money from someone you don't know.

Malware is short for "malicious software".  Malware includes viruses, spyware and trojans that are designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system.  Malware is often used to steal personal information and commit fraud.

  • Make sure your antivirus software is updated and that your firewall is active.  Ensure that your antivirus software subscription includes anti-malware software.
  • Be aware that downloads from file sharing and social networking sites can be distribution points for malware.
  • Use your security software to scan attachments before opening.
  • Be aware that pop-up advertisements asking for personal or financial information are likely fraudulent so its better to close them.

Types of Traditional Fraud

There are other types of fraud or "traditional fraud" that are scams that normally involve physical documents or contact with another person.  A few of those are:

Telephone Scams
Criminals scan the phone book in order to cold call victims hoping they reach customers of a bank they are claiming to be calling on behalf of.  If the call was not initiated by the customer, the customer should ask for information from the caller.  Never give out sensitive information.  Always report the phone call to your bank.

Nigerian Scam Letters
Nigerian Scam Letters involves unsolicited letters and emails that are sent to individuals and companies offering the recipient something of value for their assistance in transferring millions of dollars to American banks.  These fraud schemes have existed for a long time.  The Federal Trade Commission has a list of the most common schemes at www.ftc.gov.  Should you receive one of these letters please do not reply but report the letter to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

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Reporting Fraud or Identity Theft

Identity Theft
If you believe you have been a victim of Identity Theft or if you believe your SouthernTrust account information may have been compromised, please request or download the bank's Identity Theft Affidavit Packet which will assist us in processing your case.

Contact the bank using any of the following methods:

  • Telephone - Goreville 618-995-9000, Lake of Egypt 618-995-9999, Vienna 618-658-8888
  •  By postal mail at:

SouthernTrust Bank
PO Box 9
Goreville, IL 62939

  • In Person

Email Fraud or Phishing
If you believe you have received or replied to a suspicious email and provided private information about your SouthernTrust Bank account, please contact us immediately at the numbers provided above.

Lost or Stolen ATM card, debit card or checkbook
Please contact us immediately at the numbers provided above.  If possible, please provide the check number for the last check that was written and to whom it was written.  If your ATM card or debit card has been lost or stolen we will cancel your card and issue a replacement immediately.

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Privacy Policy

We know how important it is to protect your identity from unlawful use and unauthorized access.  Review SouthernTrust Bank's Privacy Policy to see how we use your personal information.

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Identity Theft Packet

SouthernTrust Bank provides an Identity Theft Packet that you should complete and bring to the bank when reporting being a victim of fraud or Identity Theft.  Please contact the bank for a copy or download directly from the bank's website at www.southerntrustbank.com.

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