Keeping Your Money Safe

Added Online Fraud Protection 

When using your Blackhawk Bank Debit Card, you can enjoy additional privacy and peace of mind with some of the most advanced online and fraud security measures in the industry.

  • Mastercard Identity Check™ helps to confirm your identity when you make an online purchase with your Blackhawk Bank Debit Card. This free service helps make shopping online more secure by protecting against unauthorized use of your card. There is no need to download anything, install software, or register for this security feature.
    • While the system monitors all online transactions, upon occasion, you may be guided through an extra check to verify your identity where a One-Time Passcode (OTP) is generated. Should you encounter this extra step, simply follow the instructions on your screen.

Fraud Center

The Blackhawk Bank Fraud Center will never initiate a call and ask for sensitive, personal identifying information. If you are ever unsure of the authenticity of a call, disconnect the call and contact Client Services directly or visit your favorite Blackhawk Bank branch location.

Worried it might be fraud? Check out Bankers Never Ask That to learn about how to spot and report fraud. Click here to take the quiz:

Fraud Education

Blackhawk also provides useful training and seminars, partnering with industry experts, to bring you the latest in cyber security technologies and how you can protect yourself and your organization. For a link to the most recent cybersecurity webinar recording, please contact your Commercial or Treasury Management Banker. 

Safety Tips

NEVER provide your personal account number or PIN in response to an unsolicited request, whether it's over the phone or over the Internet. Emails and Internet pages created by phishers may look exactly like the real thing. They may even have a fake padlock icon that ordinarily is used to denote a secure site.

NEVER provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited phone or Internet request. A financial institution would never ask you to verify your account number or PIN online. Thieves armed with this information and your account number can help themselves to your money. Also, never click on the link provided in an email you believe is fraudulent. It may contain a virus that can contaminate your computer.

Don't be intimidated by an email or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information.

Review account statements regularly to ensure all transactions are correct. Regularly review account activity online to catch suspicious activity. If your account statement is late arriving in the mail, call to find out why. 

If you have been a victim of an Internet scam or have received an email that you believe was an attempted scam, please file a complaint at

Secure Email. Safe and totally confidential. 

We provide a site through which sensitive information can be shared via the Internet. Everything you send through our secure email site will be automatically encrypted for the safety of your identity and information privacy. 

There's no cost. Simply click the link and follow the steps to gain access to Blackhawk Bank's secure Email Message Center. When you enter the site for the first time, you will need to Register for a New Account and establish your Password. In the future, you may use the same Password.

What to do if you fall victim to cyber crooks

If you have given out your debit card account number or PIN, your card has been compromised and should be shut down and replaced.

  1. If you fall victim to an attack, alert us immediately to protect yourself. Call 866.771.8924.
  2. Place fraud alerts on your credit files, to help prevent thieves from opening an account in your name.
  3. To place the alerts, call or log onto:
    Equifax (800) 525-6285
    Experian (888) 397-3742
    TransUnion (800) 680-7289
  4. Monitor your credit files and account statements closely.
  5. Verify your account information by requesting your credit report annually. You can also request a copy by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus.

Also contact the Federal Trade Commission to report what happened. You can call the FTC's ID Theft Hotline: 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) for up-to-date information about how to work with credit bureaus and law enforcement agencies to reclaim your identity. The FTC's website: is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help deter, detect, and defend against identity theft. Consumers can learn how to avoid identity theft – and learn what to do if their identity is stolen. Businesses can learn how to help their customers deal with identity theft, as well as how to prevent problems in the first place.

Protect Your Mobile Device

  • When purchasing a smartphone, know the features of the device, including the default settings. Turn off features of the device not needed to minimize the attack surface of the device.
  • Depending on the type of phone, the operating system may have encryption available. This can be used to protect the user’s personal data in the case of loss or theft.
  • With the growth of the application market for mobile devices, users should look at the reviews of the developer/company who published the application.
  • Review and understand the permissions you are giving when you download applications.
  • Passcode protect your mobile device. This is the first layer of physical security to protect the contents of the device. In conjunction with the passcode, enable the screen lock feature after a few minutes of inactivity.
  • Obtain malware protection for your mobile device. Look for applications that specialize in antivirus or file integrity that helps protect your device from rogue applications and malware.
  • Be aware of applications that enable geo-location. The application will track the user’s location anywhere. This application can be used for marketing, but can also be used by malicious actors, raising concerns of assisting a possible stalker and/or burglaries.
  • Jailbreak or rooting is used to remove certain restrictions imposed by the device manufacturer or cell phone carrier. This allows the user nearly unregulated control over what programs can be installed and how the device can be used. However, this procedure often involves exploiting significant security vulnerabilities and increases the attack surface of the device. Anytime an application or service runs in “unrestricted” or “system” level within an operation system, it allows any compromise to take full control of the device.
  • Do not allow your device to connect to unknown wireless networks. These networks could be rogue access points that capture information passed between your device and a legitimate server.
  • If you decide to sell your device or trade it in, make sure you wipe the device (reset it to factory default) to avoid leaving personal data on the device.
  • Smartphones require updates to run applications and firmware. If users neglect this, it increases the risk of having their device hacked or compromised.
  • Avoid clicking on or otherwise downloading software or links from unknown sources.
  • Use the same precautions on your mobile phone as you would on your computer when using the Internet.

FDIC Consumer News: Con artists are very good at tricking consumers into parting with money or divulging personal information that can be used to steal funds or run up thousands of dollars in fraudulent credit card charges. Stay up to date @ the FDIC's Consumer News page .

FBI Security Announcements: Stay current with documented fraudulent activities and schemes by viewing FBI's Investigative Programs / Cyber Investigations E-Scams and Warnings page.

Debit MasterCard® Safety & Convenience

Blackhawk Bank's Security Chipped Debit Cards combat counterfeiting by assigning a one-time secure code for each in-person transaction. Just insert your chipped card into a chip-enabled terminal, and leave it until you're prompted to remove it.

Your card also has a magnetic stripe for use at terminals that aren't chip-enabled. You do not have greater protection using your chipped debit card for transactions not made in person, nor at terminals that aren't chip enabled. 

When using your card, simply enter your PIN or sign; the amount will be deducted from your checking account. You’ll get a receipt and see your transactions in online banking and on your Statement. If you have alerts set up for your card, you may even notice the ongoing fraud detection activity when a test transaction is processed with your card. This is a proactive measure that our card fraud center runs before fraudsters can exploit your card. Each such test transaction will include "Security Test" as the merchant name and will be for a low dollar amount, approximately $5.00. The test transactions will never clear or settle on your account. 

Use your card at ATMs all across the globe. Blackhawk Bank clients enjoy a wide network of fee-free ATMs locally . And, with Easy Money Checking use your card anywhere ; out-of-network ATM fees are refunded (up to $25 per statement cycle) when you meet the qualifications. 

Fraud Protection Tools 

Watchdog Checking

With a monthly maintenance fee of just $5.95, Watchdog Checking is loaded with everything you expect in a checking account plus Identity Theft Protection & Resolution Services. It's the ultimate Identity Theft Protection Package.

Automated Debit Card Fraud Alert System

This system can quickly identify transaction activity that falls outside of your normal debit card usage and contact you to determine if it is, or is not, fraud. 
  • The system will send you an Email ; if you don't respond within one minute a Text Alert will be sent.
  • If you don’t reply to the Text within five minutes you’ll receive an Automated Phone Call .
  • There's no need to enroll; this service is automatic for all Blackhawk Bank Debit Card clients. 

Lost / Stolen Card - What to Do

More Safety Info

We must sometimes block debit transactions conducted in credit mode in areas where criminal activity is heavy, and in certain countries. We don’t block transactions using a PIN; if your transaction is blocked, try using your PIN.

We recommend that you carry an alternative payment solution (credit card or checks) should your Debit Card not work for any reason:

  • Credit card: Pay in full each month to avoid paying interest, either by using Blackhawk Bank’s Bill Pay or your card’s online payment feature.
  • Checks: They’re widely accepted with proper ID.

If you’re traveling beyond your normal area let us know. The fraud detection center then knows it’s you - not a crook - using your debit card. Call Client Services @ 866.771.8924.

Store Your Valuables in Our Vault

For a theft-proof place to store important documents, collections, jewels and other valuables, Blackhawk Bank offers Safe Deposit Boxes. Boxes range in size from small to large and are kept secure inside the Bank's vault.

Safe Deposit Vaults are located at these offices:
Please call an office near you for Safe Deposit Box availability.

Insured Deposits

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), is an independent agency of the US government that protects against the loss of insured deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or savings association fails. Since the FDIC was established, no depositor has ever lost a single penny of FDIC-insured funds. 

FDIC insurance covers funds in deposit accounts, including checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) up to the insurance limit. FDIC insurance does not cover other financial products and services that insured banks may offer, such as stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, life insurance policies, annuities or municipal securities.

Coverage is automatic. To ensure funds are fully protected, depositors should understand their coverage limits. The FDIC provides separate coverage for deposits held in different account ownership categories. 

The FDIC does not insure the money you invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, annuities or municipal securities, even if you purchased these products from an insured bank or savings association.

If you and your family have $250,000 or less in all of your deposit accounts at the same insured bank or savings association, you do not need to worry about your insurance coverage — your deposits are fully insured. A depositor can have more than $250,000 at one insured bank or savings association and still be fully insured provided the accounts meet certain requirements. In addition, federal law provides for insurance coverage of up to $250,000 for certain retirement accounts.

Federal law allows certain retirement accounts to be covered up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. In addition, there's a service called CDARS that gives you access to multi-million-dollar FDIC insurance on your CD investments while working directly with only one bank. 

How does CDARS Work?

CDARS is the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service® and it's the most convenient way to invest large amounts in CDs eligible for FDIC insurance. With CDARS, you sign one agreement with us, earn one interest rate per maturity, and receive one regular statement. It's that easy. 

CDARS is the perfect solution for many depositors — from non-profits and public funds to businesses, advisors (including trustees, CPAs, financial planners and lawyers) and individuals, as well as socially-motivated investors. 

Financial institutions offering CDARS are members of the CDARS Network. When you place a large deposit with a Network member, the deposit is broken into smaller amounts and placed with other banks that are members of the Network. Then those banks issue CDs in amounts under the standard FDIC insurance maximum, so that your investment is eligible for FDIC protection. Learn full details about CDARS.

For assistance with deposits in excess of $250,000 at Blackhawk Bank, contact a Treasury Management Specialist @ 815.877.2092 or ask your Banker for details.

Limits apply. Funds may be submitted for placement only after a depositor enters into a CDARS Deposit Placement Agreement with us. The agreement contains important information and conditions regarding the placement of funds by us. CDARS and Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service are registered service marks of Promontory Interfinancial Network,LLC