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Identity Theft and Cyber Security 

Peapack-Gladstone Bank will NEVER call you and ask for your full account number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), debit card number or full Social Security Number (SSN).  If you receive a call from someone asking for this information, please hang up immediately and contact the Client Contact Center at 908.234.0700.
If someone is using your personal or financial information to make purchases, get benefits, file taxes, or commit fraud, that's identity theft. What should you do right away?

Step 1: Call the companies where you know fraud occurred.
Step 2:  Place a fraud alert on your accounts and get your credit reports. Visit one of the three credit bureaus:
Step 3: Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at

For more specific information on how you can protect yourself, or what you can do if you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, please review the FTC ID Theft Recovery Guide here.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Kevin Runyon and Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, John Kowal were featured on New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA)'s Minding Your Business on News 12+ to discuss how individuals and businesses can protect themselves from cybersecurity threats, including red flags to look for, and what resources Peapack-Gladstone Bank can provide to both consumers and businesses.

PGB's Kevin Runyan, John Kowal and NJBIA's Bob Considine on Minding Your Business segment
Many consumers and businesses have fallen victim to cashier's check scams, as cashier’s checks are viewed as relatively risk-free instruments and, are often used as a trusted form of payment to consumers for goods and services. 

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself from cashier's check fraud:

  • You should know the people with whom you do business. When possible, verify information about the buyer from an independent third party, such as a telephone directory.
  • When you sell goods or services online, consider using escrow services or online payment options, as opposed to a cashier’s check.
  • Never accept a cashier's check for more than your selling price if you are expected to pay the excess to someone else.
  • A cashier’s check is less risky than other types of checks only if the item is genuine. If you can, ask for a cashier’s check drawn on a bank with a branch in your area.
  • If you want to find out whether a check is genuine, call or visit the bank on which the check is written.
  • Know the difference between funds being available for withdrawal from your account and a check having finally cleared. Federal law requires banks to make deposited funds available to you, usually within 1 to 5 business days. Even though you can withdraw cash from your account shortly after depositing a check or money order does not necessarily mean the item you deposited will be paid by the maker’s bank.
  • Watch where your children are going online.
  • Set up parental controls to block questionable sites.
  • Do not save credit card information on a shared family computer/tablet/phone.
  • Talk to your children about protecting their personal information online.
  • Personal information shared on social networking sites can be easily accessed by criminals. Avoid posting personal information like where you bank, how you invest your money, physical addresses, emails, cell phone numbers, account numbers or passwords.
  • Backup your sensitive data records. This will not only help you restore damaged or corrupted data, but it will help you protect yourself against fraud and help recover lost files if necessary.
  • Talk to your insurance provider about coverage for computer related crime.
  • Review your bank/credit cards accounts daily to check for fraud/unusual activity.
  • Talk to your private banker about setting up alerts on your accounts.
  • Remember emails and phone calls can be impersonated. If you receive an email or phone call for a financial. transaction, call them back to make sure it is real.
Shopping Online

Beware of credit card fraud, the unauthorized use of a credit or debit cards to fraudulently obtain money or property.  Credit and debit card numbers can be stolen from unsecured websites.  Here are some tips to help you avoid issues:  

  • Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is secure and reputable. Look for the padlock icon which symbolizes a higher level of security.
  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card number.
  • Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card issuer’s contact information. If anything looks suspicious or you lose your credit card(s), contact the card issuer immediately.
  • Review monthly bank and credit card statements regularly to check for fraud or unusual activity.

Email is often a vehicle used to commit fraud. Develop good email habits to protect your identity:

  • Never open or respond to SPAM.
  • Never click on links within an email from an unknown source. It’s safer to retype the website address than to click on it from within the body of the email.
  • Never open attachments from strangers. If you do not know the sender or are not expecting the attachment, delete it.
  • Never open attachments with odd filename extensions. Most computer files use filename extensions such as “.doc” for documents or “.jpg” for images. If a file has a double extension, like “heythere.doc.pif,” it is highly likely that this is a dangerous file and should never be opened. Do not open email attachments that have file endings of .exe, .pif, or .vbs. These are filename extensions for executable files and can be dangerous if opened.
  • Never give out your email address or other sensitive or personal information to unknown websites. If you don’t know the reputation of a website, don’t assume you can trust it. Many websites sell email addresses or may be careless with your personal information.
  • Never provide sensitive information in email. Forged email purporting to be from your financial institution or favorite online store is a popular trick used by criminals to extract personal information. Peapack-Gladstone Bank will NEVER ask you to verify or provide personal information through email.
  • Don’t believe the hype. Many fraudulent emails send out urgent messages that claim your account will be closed if sensitive information isn’t immediately provided, or that important security information needs to be updated online. Peapack-Gladstone Bank will NEVER use this method to alert you of account specific issues.
  • Be aware of poor design, and/or improper grammar and mispellings. Tell-tale signs of a fraudulent email or website might include typos and grammatical errors, as well as unprofessional design layout and quality. Delete these immediately.
  • Backup your sensitive data records. This will not only help you restore damaged or corrupted data, but it will help you protect yourself against fraud and help recover lost files if necessary.
Did you know that banking online is one of the best ways to protect your identity? Paying bills electronically and receiving e-Statements dramatically reduces your risk of having your identity stolen. We encourage you to go green with us and discover safe, paperless banking today.

In light of recent check thefts from mailboxes, click here for local law enforcement tips to avoid mail theft.

Personal information shared on social networking sites can be easily accessed by criminals. Avoid posting personal information like where you bank, how you invest your money, physical addresses, emails, cell phone numbers, account numbers or passwords.
Is Your Phone Too Smart?
Your smartphone contains a lot of personal information. Use a secure password and make sure you delete any information, including photographs, before you take advantage of the latest upgrade.
Spam Texts
Just like email spam, text spam can direct you to malicious links designed to infect your smartphone and capture your personal information. Add your mobile phone to the "Do Not Call" list at

Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
The Wi-Fi available at your local coffee spot may not be secure. Be careful with the information you release or the sites you visit.

Update Security Software
Your web-enabled devices need the most current protection from viruses, malware and other online threats. As a best practice, maintaining the latest security software, web browser and operating system.

Here are some useful tips and best practices to help you always keep your personal and financial information safe:

  • The more complex a username the better
  • Usernames should incorporate a mixture of letters, numbers, spaces and symbols.
  • Do not use overly simple usernames like or billsmith. Common names like Bill, John, Sue, etc. can be easily hacked by bad actors and used to gain access to your online accounts or online subscriptions.
  • Do not use the same username and password for online financial accounts and other non-financial online accounts or subscriptions. Bad actors often presume credentials are similar among logins and can gain access.
  • It is important to create passwords that are easy to remember, but more importantly, that are unique and difficult for others to guess.
  • Change passwords regularly – every 2-3 months is best.
  • Incorporate a minimum of eight characters and they should mix letters, numbers, spaces and symbols
  • Change your username and passwords if your account has been compromised or you suspect fraud.
  • When setting up a password, look for the option to setup Multi-Factor Authentication as well. This will allow you to setup methods for a system to confirm it is really you and prevent attackers who steal your password from getting in.
Never trust wiring or ACH instructions sent via email. Always confirm with the sender by phone or in-person. Cyber criminals are hacking email accounts and sending emails with fake wiring instructions. These emails are convincing, sophisticated, and often appear to come from someone you know or work with. Always independently confirm wiring or ACH instructions in-person or via a telephone call to a trusted and verified phone number. NEVER wire or ACH money without double-checking that the wiring or ACH instructions are correct.

Contact Peapack-Gladstone Bank

If you have specific questions about security, please contact us online or by calling the Client Contact Center at (908) 234-0700.