Banking Briefs

  • Internet Schemes & Scams

    On-Line fraud is growing. As an internet user, you need to be aware and watchful for such fraud and scams.

    Phishing - fraudulent e-mails, appearing to be from a trusted source that direct you to other websites. Once there, you are asked to verify personal information such as name, account and credit card numbers and passwords. These sites are often designed to look exactly like the site they are imitating.

    Spoofing - Web spoofing allows an attacker to create a "shadow copy" of any legitimate website. This process allows the attacker to monitor all of your activities, including any passwords or account numbers you enter.

    • If you get an email that warns you, with little or no notice, that your account will be shut down unless you reconfirm certain information, DO NOT click on the email link. Instead, use a phone number or enter the web address yourself. Clicking on a link that looks legitimate may in fact direct you to a fraudulent website where crooks will steal your personal information. Remember, your bank or a government agency will NEVER send you an alert asking you to disclose your personal information.
    • Before submitting any financial information to a legitimate website, look for the "lock" icon on the browser status bar, or look for "https" in the web address. Both are indications that the information is secure and encrypted during transmission.
    General Tips Against Cyber-Fraud
    • Don't judge by initial appearances.
    • Be careful about giving out personal data online.
    • Be especially wary of emails concealing their true identity
    • Review credit card and account statements as soon as you receive them to determine
      whether there are any unauthorized charges or suspicious charges/transactions.
    • Watch out for "advance-fee" demands.
    • Use common sense.
    Consumer Resources

    The internet is a great tool for information, and to conduct on-line business, as long as consumers take appropriate precautions and are aware of the possibility that someone may be trying to scam them. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center
    You can file a complaint with the FTC against a company or organization that you believe has cheated you by contacting the Consumer Response Center by phone: toll free 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) - TTY:202-326-2502

    Identity Theft Resource Center
    Phone 858-693-7935

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