PHISHING, SMISHING & TELEPHONE SCAMS
Phishing is when you receive an email from what appears to be a reputable company with whom you may do business, such as your bank or possibly a government entity.
- The scammer may ask you to click on a link to update or confirm personal or login information.
- The link is then directed to a “spoof” website designed to look like a legitimate site, where the scammer can obtain the information you enter, allowing them access to your accounts or the ability to assume your identity.
Smishing uses cell phone text messages to “bait” you to divulge your personal information. Usually within the text message, there will be a web site URL or phone number wanting a response.
- You will receive a fake text message, which may include a fraudulent link, asking you to register for an online service.
- The scammer attempts to load a virus onto your cell phone or mobile device.
- The scammer may also send a message “warning” you that your account will be charged unless you cancel your supposed online order.
- When you attempt to log on to the website, the scammer extracts your credit card number and other personal information.
- You should never respond to messages that may warn of dire consequences or asking to respond immediately.
- Contact the company, bank or government agency directly to confirm the validity of the request.
- When in doubt of the sender, always access your trusted web sites with the known links you always use before entering your login and password details.
Telephone scammers work in the same manner.
- They may request you to send a money order or wire funds- DO NOT DO SO NO MATTER WHO YOU THINK IT MAY BE!
- A scammer may pretend to be a grandchild in trouble needing money to help them out of legal trouble.
- They will ask that you not tell anyone.
- Contact your family members by a known phone number, not by the phone number given by the scammer.
- Someone may also call you pretending to help with trouble you are having with your computer. Do not give them any information on your computer or about your computer.
Customer cybersecurity is an important part of doing business today. With all the electronic offerings comes more electronic threats. When you suspect you have been, “hacked” the bank’s only responsibility is the security of your account(s) with the Bank. While we want to assist you, we do not want to give you any instructions or advice about what you should do in response to a particular cyber-attack. We have provided some helpful links for you to research on your own below:
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal or financial information without your permission.
They might steal your name and address, credit card, or bank account numbers, Social Security number, or medical insurance account numbers. And they could use them to
- buy things with your credit cards
- get new credit cards in your name
- open a phone, electricity, or gas account in your name
- steal your tax refund
- use your health insurance to get medical care
- pretend to be you if they are arrested
How To Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft?
Taking steps to protect your personal information can help you avoid identity theft. Here’s what you can do to stay ahead of identity thieves.
Protect documents that have personal information
Keep your financial records, Social Security and Medicare cards, and any other documents that have personal information in a safe place. When you decide to get rid of those documents, shred them before you throw them away. If you don’t have a shredder, look for a local shred day, or use a marker to block out account numbers.
If you get statements with personal information in the mail, take your mail out of the mailbox as soon as you can.
Ask questions before giving out your Social Security number
Some organizations need your Social Security number to identify you. Those organizations include the IRS, your bank, and your employer. Organizations like these that do need your Social Security number won’t call, email, or text you to ask for it.
Other organizations that might ask you for your Social Security number might not really need it. Those organizations include a medical provider, a company, or your child’s school. Ask these questions before you give them your Social Security number:
- Why do you need it?
- How will you protect it?
- Can you use a different identifier?
- Can you use just the last four digits of my Social Security number?
Protect your information from scammers online and on your phone
If you’re logging in to an online account, use a strong password.
Add multi-factor authentication for accounts that offer it. Multi-factor authentication offers extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in to your account. The additional credentials you need to log in to your account fall into two categories: something you have — like a passcode you get via text message or an authentication app, or something you are — like a scan of your fingerprint, your retina, or your face. Multi-factor authentication makes it harder for scammers to log in to your accounts if they do get your username and password.
Do not give your personal information to someone who calls, emails, or texts you. It could be a scammer trying to steal your information.
What you can do to detect identity theft?
Here’s what you can do to spot identity theft:
- Track what bills you owe and when they’re due. If you stop getting a bill, that could be a sign that someone changed your billing address.
- Review your bills. Charges for things you didn’t buy could be a sign of identity theft. So could a new bill you didn’t expect.
- Check your bank account statement. Withdrawals you didn’t make could be a sign of identity theft.
- Get and review your credit reports. Accounts in your name that you don’t recognize could be a sign of identity theft. Here’s how you can get your free credit reports.
If you discover that someone is misusing your personal information, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report and recover from identity theft.
Warning Signs of Identity Theft
What Do Thieves Do With Your Information?
Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.
Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your Information
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You don’t get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.