Sentinel Alerts: Be Informed. Be Aware. Protect Yourself.
November 30, 2023- Cyber Threats during the Holiday Season:
- Make sure the device you are using to shop online is up to date.
- Create Strong Passwords for your website accounts.
- Enable Multi-factor Authentication.
- Shop through trusted sources.
- Make sure you understand how your information will be stored and used.
May 22, 2023- Artificial Intelligence: What to know
mind, but it can analyze exponentially far more information than any human and do it exponentially
faster. The concept of AI is not new. Originally covered in science fiction novels, AI is something that has
been in development for decades. The reason you are hearing so much about it now is that for the
first time, anyone has the opportunity to interact with and see the true functionality of AI.
1. Recreating You: AI solutions can take a recording of a person’s voice – your voice – and then
use it to create real-time audio that sounds just like you, saying whatever it wants to
impersonate you. So, a cyber attacker could record a phone voice message that sounds like
you, tricking your coworkers, your bank, or a family member into thinking you called and
asked them to take an action. AI can also do this with pictures or video. Sometimes called
Deep Fakes, an AI solution can take an existing picture or video of you and use it to recreate
entirely new pictures or videos (including your voice) appearing to show you doing things that
you never did.
2. Wrong Answers: As for the data or answers AI provides, the solutions can be wrong. AI often
uses public information from the Internet, and its answers can be influenced by the biases of
its developers. While typical search engines are designed to provide you the “best” or most
correct answer to your queries, solutions like AI may be designed to give you the most human-like
answer. Which is better depends on what you are attempting to achieve.
3. Not All Equal: With AI becoming the latest hot technology, there are literally hundreds of
startup companies now offering different AI services. Many of these want your information
or credit card for a trial. Be careful - not all AI services are trustworthy. Do your research
before signing up and using an AI service.
4. Your Privacy: Whenever using or interacting with an AI system, be aware that any information you enter into the system can not only be processed by it but also retained and used to give answers to others. This means if you enter any personal information about yourself or any confidential information from work, that
information will be stored and potentially shared with or sold to others. Do not share or enter
any information that you consider sensitive, personal, or is confidential at work.
October 19, 2022- Cybersecurity Tips:
- Watch for misspelled words. Fraudulent texts and emails often have typos. Real banks use spell check.
- Call the number on your card. If you think an email, text, or call might be a scam, play it safe. Just hang up and call the number on the back of your card.
- Never share your PIN or password. Got an email, text, or phone call that claims to be from your bank, but is asking for your PIN or password? Banks never ask that. Just hang up and call the number on the back of your card.
- Beware of scare tactics. Scam emails, texts, and calls may pressure or even threaten you to respond. Banks never ask that. Just ignore them, and call your bank directly.
- Be wary of suspicious links. Banks will never send you a text or email that asks you to click a suspicious link.
May 4, 2021 - COVID-19 Communication
December 3, 2020 - COVID-19 Communication
ATTENTION: Effective immediately, all branch lobbies are closed to customer traffic. Customers may make appointments for safe deposit box access or loan activities as needed, but all other transactions will need to be conducted through the drive-thru. Customers may also take advantage of our online/mobile/telephone banking services. Thank you!
September 29, 2020 - Scam Alert
We have been made aware of a scam from someone apparently impersonating the company Amazon. The alleged company is contacting individuals via e-mail asking them to purchase gift cards to send for payment of products/services. If you receive an e-mail like this, please delete the e-mail and DO NOT share any personal information. As a reminder, companies like this will never e-mail asking for alternative forms of payment for any products or services rendered. If ever presented with this situation, you should always contact that company directly from their website.
March 26, 2020 - COVID-19 Communication
- Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
- Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
- Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
- Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. Do Not give any account information as the Government or Banks will not request this information
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
March 19, 2020 - COVID-19 Communication
First Sentinel Bank is first and foremost local people serving local people. As we continue to navigate the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, our bank is focused on serving the best interests of our customers, our employees, and our communities. As we continue our preventive measures to protect your health and safety, we have weighed several options in light of state and federal guidelines and recommendations by the Center for Disease Control as well as recommendations made by the Virginia Bankers Association. With your wellbeing in mind, First Sentinel Bank has made the decision to close our branch lobbies and move to drive thru only services effective Friday, March 20th. We will remain open for all of your needs; however, the way we will have to transact business will be modified. We will continue with drive thru only service for the foreseeable future.
Our operating hours will remain unchanged and you will still be able to make deposits, withdrawals, pay loan payments, and conduct other standard banking transactions through the drive thru. Should you need access to your safe deposit box or need to speak with a loan officer, you may call the branch to schedule an appointment.
Our hours of operation will remain unchanged and are as follows:
Monday -Friday, 8 am – 6pm (drive thru)
Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5pm (branch appointments as necessary)
For your convenience, we also have several electronic banking options:
- Our branch ATMS are available 24/7
- Make deposits
- Check balances
- Withdraw cash
- Also have fee-free access to over 55,000 ATMs nationwide with the AllPoint Network
Telephone Banking (276/963-3400)
- Available 24/7
- Transfer funds between accounts
- Check balances and account history or pending transactions
- Make payments.
- Visit our website at firstsentinelbank.com
- Convenient access to your account statements and transactions history
- Pay bills without mailing a check with Online BillPay
- Transfer funds between accounts
- Make loan payments (via Loan Portal)
- Call your local branch for more information on enrolling in Online Banking
- Download app available in iTunes App Store or Google Play store
- Convenient banking in the palm of your hand
- View transactions
- Transfer funds between accounts
- Schedule bill payments through BillPay
- View eStatements
- Call your local branch for more information on enrolling in Mobile Banking
Rest assured that First Sentinel Bank is committed to being here for you and is taking every precaution possible to protect your health and safety. We will continue to monitor the situation and will notify you of additional changes as information becomes available. Thank you for being an important part of our First Sentinel family.
President & CEO
First Sentinel Bank
March 12, 2020 - COVID-19 Communication
As more information becomes available regarding the current COVID-19 situation, and as we still continue to deal with other seasonal communicable illnesses (such as seasonal flu), First Sentinel Bank wants to assure all of our customers, employees, and community partners that your health and well-being continue to be our primary focus. To that end, we want to provide information regarding our plans for proactively avoiding disruptions to services, and provide additional resources for your reference.
To address ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 and community spread, we remind you of our alternate means of banking with us. For your convenience, the following methods are available to you 24/7:
- Online banking, including loan payments, balance inquiries and transfers, and BillPay (visit us at firstsentinelbank.com).
- Mobile banking, including balance inquiries and transfers, BillPay (available in the iTunes and Android app stores).
- Telephone Banking (call (276) 963-3400).
- ATMs (located at all of our branches).
Below are additional measures we have proactively implemented to safeguard your health and well-being:
- Enhanced cleaning protocol at all of our locations to ensure heightened levels of disinfection and safety.
- Availability of hand sanitizer and tissues in all of our offices for your use.
- Staff education regarding Center for Disease Control recommendations for remaining healthy.
- Establishment of staffing policies to assist employees who are exposed or exhibit any symptoms of illness.
For more information regarding COVID-19 click on the following links to access resources from the Center of Disease Control:
Rest assured that First Sentinel Bank is actively working to ensure your financial needs continue to be met during this situation. We are more committed than ever to serving you with excellence no matter the situation.
The Team at First Sentinel Bank
Update: October 2, 2018 - Counterfeit Official Checks of First Sentinel Bank of Richlands, VA
- General Scams – Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by telephone at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
- Internet-based Scams – Visit Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Fraud Complaint Center
- Mail-based Scams – Contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by telephone at 1-877-876-2455, or by mail at
May 9, 2017 - Text Message Scam
December 29, 2016 - Online Banking Customers
Automated Phone Message Scam
Text Message and Phone Phishing Attacks
Lost or Stolen Debit Card
- The bank's name and city, state.
- The exact name on the card
- Your full address and day time phone number
- The reason you request the card to be hot carded
Other Important Numbers
Local Law Enforcement
- Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office (276) 988-5966
- Russell County Sheriff’s Office (276) 889-8033
- VA State Police (804) 674-2000