Skip Navigation Download Adobe® Acrobat Reader to view Portable Document Format (PDF).
Westwood Private Bank - A Division of Charis Bank
hands using a mobile device


We take your security seriously. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with these resources.

Important Security Information

Protecting Your ATM Card

  • Contact Westwood Private Bank at (940) 278-7505 to report a lost or stolen card or contact (888) 297-3416 after hours. If you have downloaded the Charis Bank app and utilize online banking, you may also service you debit card by locking it or reporting lost or stolen. You can also manage your card and receive card-specific alerts.
  • Always protect your ATM card and keep it in a safe place, just like you would cash, credit cards or checks.
  • Do not leave your ATM card lying around the house or on your desk at work. No one should have access to the card but you.
  • Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) a secret. Never write it down anywhere, especially on your ATM card.
  • Westwood Private Bank employees will never ask you for your PIN number or require it to service your account.
  • Never give any information about your ATM card or PIN over the telephone. If you receive a call, text or email supposedly from your bank or another official party wanting to verify your PIN, refuse to provide them your personal information. Notify the police immediately.

Using an ATM

  • Be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. If you observe or sense suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the machine at that time.
  • Have your ATM card ready and in your hand as you approach the ATM. Do not wait to get to the ATM and then take your card out of your wallet or purse.
  • Visually inspect the ATM for possible skimming devices. Potential indicators can include sticky residue or evidence of an adhesive used by criminals to affix the device, scratches, damaged or crooked pieces, loose or extra attachments on the card slot, or noticeable resistance when pressing the keypad.
  • Be careful that no one can see you enter your PIN at the ATM. Use your other hand or body to shield the ATM keyboard as you enter your PIN into the ATM.
  • To keep your account information confidential, always take your receipts or transaction records with you.
  • Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM. Immediately put your money into your pocket or purse and count it later.
  • If you are using a drive-up ATM, be sure passenger windows are rolled up and all doors are locked. If you leave your car and walk to the ATM, lock your car.

Special Precautions for Using an ATM at Night

  • Park close to the ATM in a well-lighted area.
  • Take another person with you, if at all possible.
  • If the lights at the ATM are not working, do not use it.
  • If shrubbery has overgrown or a tree blocks the view, select another ATM and notify your bank.

ATM Crime

These tips are meant to make you aware that although rare, ATM crime can happen. Preventing such a crime must be a cooperative effort between you and Westwood Private Bank.
What is Corporate Account Takeover?

Corporate account takeover is a type of fraud where thieves gain access to a business’ finances to make unauthorized transactions, including transferring funds from the company, creating and adding new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable.

Corporate account takeover is a growing threat for small businesses. Cyber thieves target employees through phishing, phone calls, and even social networks. It is common for thieves to send emails posing as a bank, delivery company, court or the Better Business Bureau. Once the email is opened, malware is loaded on the computer which then records login credentials and passcodes and reports them back to the criminals.

How do I protect myself and my small business?

The best way to protect against corporate account takeover is a strong partnership with your financial institution. Work with your bank to understand security measures needed within the business and to establish safeguards on the accounts that can help the bank identify and prevent unauthorized access to your funds.

A shared responsibility between the bank and the business is the most effective way to prevent corporate account takeover. Consider these tips to ensure your business is well prepared:

  • Educate your employees. You and your employees are the first line of defense against corporate account takeover. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers.
  • Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.
  • Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions.
  • Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Look out for unexplained account or network activity, pop ups, and suspicious emails. If detected, immediately contact your financial institution, stop all online activity and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Keep records of what happened.
  • Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. It is critical that you understand and implement security safeguards. If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover.

Online Safety


OnGuard Online is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure, and responsible online.

Department of Homeland Security - CISA - Tips

Banking Online Securely

8 Tips for Banking Online Safely and 8 Tips to be More Cybersecure

FDIC Insurance Estimator

FDIC - Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE)

Overdraft Protection

Your Guide to Preventing and Managing Overdraft Fees (PDF)

Identity Theft

Report Identity Theft and Get a Recovery Plan

FDIC - Quick Links for Consumers & Communities

Red Flags of Identity Theft (PDF)


Department of Justice - Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud

Steps to help further protect your card from fraud

  • Sign your new card as soon as it is received.
  • Keep your account information and PIN number secure. Choose a PIN that is unique; do not share it with anyone, do not write it down or store it in your wallet.
  • Conduct transactions privately. Make sure no-one watches you enter your PIN.
  • Be alert to skimmers. If the machine looks like it has been tampered with, altered or has loose parts, do not use it.
  • Be careful when shopping online, make sure the site you are visiting is reputable and secure (“https” in the URL is an indication of encryption).
  • Avoid transactions that require your credentials when using public Wi-Fi or a shared computer.
  • Look through your bank statements when you receive them. Report suspicious transactions to the bank immediately.
  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately; call toll free (888) 297-3416. Outside of the U.S. call (206) 389-5200.
  • Make photocopies of the front and back of your card and keep it in a secure location.

Fraud Center Information
As an additional security measure, you may receive calls or text messages from time to time requesting that you confirm certain transactions.
Browser Security
We recommend utilizing the latest version of a reputable internet browser that receives regular updates and security enhancements such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari.

Website Encryption
The address bar in your Internet Browser will display https:// then turn green and will verify that the site is identified in high-security browsers. A closed padlock is prominently displayed in the address bar. Users may click the padlock to view details about the certificate that secures the site and the certificate issuer. The security status bar rotates between the name of the authenticated organization and GeoTrust, Inc., the trusted 3rd party that performed the authentication.
Good mobile device security needs to be applied along with safe internet browsing practices.

With the increased use of smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets, cyber attackers, both human and automated computer programs (bots), are continuously looking for vulnerabilities in any system they can exploit. While Westwood Private bank has partnered with great security providers and maintains top-of-the line defenses, here are a few tips to keep your accounts and mobile device secure from potential threats.

circle connecting two squares
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) when signing in to your online or mobile banking. The online banking system will send a one-time verification code through a phone call or text to your mobile device. The Charis Bank app require 2FA by default; this is one of the best defenses to keep your accounts safe from attackers.

double helix
Be sure to apply a strong pass code, enable face recognition or other biometric authentication for unlocking your device if possible. Don't allow others easy-access to sensitive information stored in your phone due to a weak or missing authentication method.  
Also, remember, anyone else whose biometric information is saved on your device could potentially access your bank accounts via the mobile apps. Be aware of the security lock settings on your device and check them from time to time.

screen with squares
Keep your operating system up to date. Your operating system is likely iOS if you are using an Apple device or Android for other phone manufactures. Some devices may have automatic update settings that will update your device at times most convenient for you.

tabletop radio
Keep your mobile banking app up to date. Is the app starting to act glitchy? It may be time to update it from the App Store or on Google Play. Often times, you can set apps to automatically update when connected to WiFi so that you aren’t left in a lurch due to running an out-dated version of our app.

lock with a keyhole
Exercise extreme caution accessing the financial system with a jail broken phone or device. A device that is jail broken has had its operating system altered or removed and replaced with a custom system. Security updates may not be applied as needed to these devices. 

badge with checkmark
Even though mobile apps are often reviewed before they are released to the general public for download, apps with malicious software can still post a threat to your device. Do your research and be safe downloading apps onto your device. 

Read app reviews, but make sure they’re not fake or staged! Be wary of applications that don’t have any reviews. Avoid applications that have a low number of downloads. Look for strange context or spelling errors in the application’s description. Consider investing in cyber security protection for your mobile device. When in doubt, avoid downloading questionable applications, and look for a safer alternative. 

wifi emblem
A few final points of security to consider. Make sure to use caution when browsing the internet.

Do not visit sites that appear dubious or unfamiliar. Look for marks of security like URLs that begin with https and use sites that are reputable across the world wide web. 

Use caution accessing public Wi-Fi networks, such as those available in coffee shops or airports. 

Consider the personal information you store on your device that attackers or even apps with a large reach of data-collecting capabilities would like to gather about your personal life. Some of that information could lead to cyber criminal finding ways to access other accounts and sensitive information. 

Beware of text scams; Charis Bank will not text you requesting any sort of access code unsolicited, nor send a link to verify your identity. Don’t share confidential info via a text. Don’t open links or attachments and don’t provide sensitive information through a suspicious-looking email or text message. 

If you lose your phone or change your number, call us immediately or sign on to Charis Bank online to remove the old number from your mobile banking profile.

Dealing with Fraud

April 20th, 2020

During a time of crisis, such as Covid 19, cyber criminals increase their efforts to prey on individuals to gain personal and confidential information. Follow the steps below to help protect yourself from fraud:

Beware of fraudulent emails or texts stating your bank account has been temporarily suspended. Many will contain a fraudulent link encouraging you to log in with your banking username and password.

  • Rely on government and well-established news sources for credible information such as the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security. Several scams prey on fear to entice you to click on links and request sensitive or confidential information. Be cautious of communications with the following or similar subjects:
    • Obtaining U.S. government funding related to Coronavirus relief.
    • Check for an updated Coronavirus map in your city.
    • Coronavirus infection warnings from local school districts/governmental entities.
    • Keep your children safe from Coronavirus.
  • Don’t giver personal information to anyone who calls or emails you, especially if they mention a government stimulus payment.
  • Be extra vigilant to follow secure cyber practices:
    • Do not click on attachments or links from individuals or organizations that you are not expecting or from someone you do not know.
    • Pay close attention to email and web addresses. Look for misspellings, grammar mistakes or other red flags.
    • Hover the mouse cursor over hyperlinks to see where they lead.
    • Avoid messages that urge you to act now. This sense of urgency is meant to pressure people into making irrational decisions.
The Federal Trade Commission has made a site available to consumers with advice on filing complaints and  allowing consumers to report fraud directly to the FTC. 

You can report fraud whenever you encounter it, even if you did not lose any money. 

What it is

Identity theft is a rapidly growing sector of financial crime, and it can be experienced in variety of ways. 
  • Messages inviting you, or even urging you to click on a link
  • Hackers gaining access to your devices to gather personal information or financial information
  • Debit card skimmers capturing your card information to duplicate and use elsewhere
  • Scam ads advising you to accept money and then send some back to the scam artist
  • Posers using your personal information to open accounts or otherwise steal money to which you are entitled
and the list goes on. 

Being on your guard

  • Check your credit report annually. When you go to in a new Window) you can request a free copy of your credit report each year to check for incorrect information.
  • Turn on transaction alerts in online banking and check your statements regularly. 
  • Do not store personal information without strong security. Utilize up-to-date encryption standards on electronic devices, and use locks on physical records. Properly dispose of any records both electronic or paper so that they cannot be recovered.

Responding to identity theft

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published a webpage informing consumers on what to do right away.(Opens in a new Window)
  • Inform local law enforcement. Identity theft is a crime, and you are likely not the only victim.
  • Make notes of the discussions you have and steps you take along the way.
  • Let Westwood Private Bank know! We want to help you, and we can take steps to research or block transactions, and help restore the ability to conduct yourself financially again. 
  • Inform the credit bureaus. They can advise would-be lenders to use extra caution when reviewing your credit information. You can also review and verify the accounts currently being reported with them.

While you may not always be able to prevent identity theft, being informed, watchful, and responsive will help minimize the damage of an attack against you.