What is “Phishing?”
“Phishing” is a scam that uses email, pop-up messages, fraudulent websites, or spam (junk email) to deceive you into disclosing personal financial information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank accounts, passwords, and other sensitive information. Many of these fraudulent emails contain links that redirect to fake websites that may resemble a bank website or some other trusted entity. The fake website is designed to trick a person into entering his or her personal information. The message may ask the person to “update” or “verify” account information. Certain attachments and links could infect a personal computer with ransomware or viruses that allow criminals to capture keystrokes or other confidential information.
Customer Guidelines to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Phishing:
- Our bank will never contact you via email to request security information.
- Never enter your social security number or any other personal financial information in response to an email request.
- Never send personal or financial information via unprotected email or over the telephone, unless you initiated the call.
- Review your account statements regularly.
- Use security solutions on your computer to protect you from threats. Antivirus software and a firewall are two basic solutions.
- Don’t use passwords that are easy to guess or that contain personal information, i.e., birthdate, street address, child’s name, etc. Use unique combinations of upper- and lower-case letters and numbers and symbols. Change your passwords regularly and don’t use the same password for multiple sites.
- Never click on links in a suspicious email. Instead, enter the website’s address in your browser.
- Always be suspicious of attachments, even when they appear to be from a trusted source.
- For wireless routers, change the default admin password; do not broadcast your SSID (Service Set Identifier); enable the latest security encryption protocols; and implement MAC (Media Access Control) address filtering.
- When making purchases online, always make sure the session is encrypted by looking for the “https” in your browser address bar. This indicates Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption is present.
- Sign up for your credit card provider’s advanced security services. Setting a pin or passcode for online purchases or enabling text notifications can help reduce fraud attempts.
- Enable Multifactor Authentication whenever possible.
Notifying Credit Reporting Agencies
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, notify one of the three major credit bureaus, ask them to place a “fraud alert” on your credit report, and send you a copy of your credit file. The fraud alert will ask creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts.
|Equifax – 1-800-525-6285||Experian – 1-888-397-3742||TransUnion – 1-800-680-7289|
|P.O. Box 740241||P.O. Box 9530||P.O. Box 6790|
|Atlanta, GA 30347-0241||Allen, TX 75013||Fullerton, CA 92634-6790|
It is a good practice to review your credit reports periodically to ensure accurate information is being reported.
Notify the Bank
Banks might maintain a special email address to help their customers in these instances. The email in question could be forwarded to the special email address. If customers have responded to such an email and provided information about their account(s) with the Bank, the affected customers could call the Bank’s main telephone number for assistance.
Notify the Proper Authorities
Forward your suspected phishing email to email@example.com. If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov or call the FTC toll-free at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). Contact your local police department and file a report. Get a report number or copy of the report. Also, be sure to file the proper affidavits. You can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.IFCCFBI.gov.
Visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft for more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or call 1-877-438-4338. This site also allows you to report your identity theft to the FTC’s Identity Theft Clearinghouse – a government database of identity theft complaints.
You can mail your information to:
Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20580
This information is shared with consumer reporting agencies, other government agencies and companies where the fraud occurred.
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