Customer Guidance on Phishing Scams
What is “Phishing”?
“Phishing” is a scam that uses email, pop-up messages, fraudulent web sites, 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 directing you to a fake web site that may resemble your bank’s web site or some other trusted entity. The fake web site is designed to trick you into entering your personal information. The message may ask you to “update” or “verify” your account information.
Certain attachments and links could infect your computer with viruses, worms or Trojan horses that allow criminals to capture your 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.
- Never give your personal or financial information over the telephone, unless you initiated the call.
- Review your account statements regularly, online and on paper.
- Use security solutions on your computer to protect you from Internet threats. Anti-virus software and a firewall are two basic solutions. If you have a broadband (cable modem, DSL, T-1) Internet connection, it is especially important that you have these security solutions.
- Use anti-spyware and anti-adware solutions to keep your computer clean.
- Don’t use easily-guessed or cracked passwords. Use unique combinations of upper- and lower-case letters, and add 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, open your browser and enter the web site’s domain name (e.g., www.abcbank.com).
- “Patch” your computer operating system (Windows) regularly to close security holes that might be exploited.
- If you have a wireless Internet connection, change the default admin password, do not broadcast your SSID (Service Set Identifier), enable your WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) key security (change your WEP key frequently) and implement MAC (Media Access Control) address filtering as four fundamental security measures.
- Always be suspicious of email attachments and web links, even if they appear to be from a trusted source.
- 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.
- For further protection when making purchases online, sign up for your credit card provider’s service that requires a personal password to complete online purchases. This way your credit card number cannot be used for online purchases without your password being entered.
Notify the 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 – 1-888-766-0008
- Experian – 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion – 1-888-909-8872
It is a good practice to review your credit reports periodically, whether you have been scammed or not, to ensure the information being reported is accurate.
Notify the Bank
If you have responded to such an email and provided information about your account with us, please call us immediately at: (662-843-9461).
Notify the Proper Authorities
Forward your suspected phishing email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov
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 Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
For more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, go to: www.consumer.gov/idtheft or call toll-free 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.