Fake Emails and Websites
As our customer, from time to time we may email you information about special products and offers. Taking advantage of these opportunities can be a wonderful way to reach your financial goals. However, make sure the email you receive is really from us. Sometimes, unscrupulous criminals send out emails to try to obtain your personal financial information to commit fraud. We will NEVER send you an email asking you for user names, passwords and account ID information.
** If you suspect you have received a fraudulent email that uses our bank's name, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.**
About Online Fraud:
Online fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate company to obtain sensitive personal data and illegally conducts transactions on your existing accounts. Often called “phishing” or “spoofing,” the most current methods of online fraud are fake emails, Web sites and pop-up windows, or any combination of these.
We will never request our customers to update their personal information via web links contained within emails.
Fake emails will often:
- Ask you for personal information. Fake emails often contain an overly generic greeting and may claim that your information has been compromised, that your account has been frozen, or ask you to confirm the authenticity of your transactions.
- Appear to be from a legitimate source. While some emails are easy to identify as fraudulent, others may appear to be from a legitimate address and trusted online source. However, you should not rely on the name or address in the “From” field, as this is easily altered.
- Contain fraudulent job offers. Some fake emails appear to be from companies offering jobs. These are often work-at-home accounting positions which are actually schemes that victimize both the job applicant and other customers. Be sure to confirm that the job offer is from a known and trusted company.
- Contain prizes or gift certificate offers. Some fake emails promise a prize or gift certificate in exchange for completing a survey or answering questions. In order to collect the alleged prize or gift certificate you may be directed to provide your personal information. Just like with job offers, be sure to confirm that prize or gift certificate is being issued from a known and trusted company.
- Link to counterfeit Web sites. Fake emails may direct you to counterfeit Web sites carefully designed to look real, but which actually collect personal information for illegal use.
- Link to real Web sites. In addition to links to counterfeit Web sites, some fake emails also include links to legitimate Web sites. The fraudsters do this in an attempt to make a fake email appear real.
- Contain fraudulent phone numbers. Fake emails often contain telephone numbers that are tied to the fraudsters. Never call a number featured on an email you suspect is fraudulent, and be sure to double-check any numbers you do call.
- Contain real phone numbers. Some of the telephone numbers listed in fake emails may be legitimate, connecting to actual companies. Just like with links, fraudsters include the real phone numbers in an effort to make the email appear to be legitimate.
Counterfeit Web sites
Online thieves often direct you to fraudulent Web sites via email and pop-up windows and try to collect your personal information. In many cases there is no easy way to determine that you are on a phony Web site because the URL will contain the name of the institution it is spoofing. However, if you type, or cut and paste, the URL into a new Web browser window and it does not take you to a legitimate Web site, or you get an error message, it was probably just a cover for a fake Web site.
Another way to detect a phony Web site is to consider how you arrived there. Generally, you were directed by a link in a fake email requesting your account information. Again, we will not request personal information from customers via email and any unsolicited request should be considered fraudulent and reported immediately.