E-mail Fraud Information
What is e-mail fraud?
Phony e-mail messages sent to you for the purpose of stealing personal and financial information are among the most common types of e-mail fraud. E-mails disguised as legitimate e-mail or claiming to be from a source you trust, attempt to entice you to provide various types of personal and confidential information, including online customer numbers and passwords, Social Security numbers and account numbers.
These types of fraud are also known as phishing or spoofing. The practice of e-mail fraud is commonly used by criminals to gain access to your existing accounts or to use your personal and financial information to open new accounts.
To learn more about phishing click on the following FDIC phishing link.
FDIC Phishing Information
Here are some tips for spotting phony e-mails:
- Frequently, these e-mails claim that your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information immediately.
- Look for requests for security information. Fraudulent e-mails often claim that the bank has lost important security information that needs to be updated. The e-mail may request that the user visit and update this information online, either by clicking on a link or visiting a website listed in the e-mail.
- Fraudulent e-mails and Web sites may contain typographical or grammatical errors. The writing may also be awkward, stilted or inappropriate. The visual or design quality may be poor.
Protecting yourself against e-mail or online fraud
- Make sure the security features, including software patches and updates of your computer’s software, including your Web browser, are up-to-date. Software companies continuously provide security updates to their products. To learn more about keeping your computer security current, get tips and information from Microsoft or visit the National Cyber Security Alliance.
- Confirm the validity of all requests for sensitive personal, financial or account information, particularly if they are made with an urgent or threatening tone.
- Call the company directly to confirm requests for updating or verifying personal or account information.
- Confirm requests for personal or account information by going to the company Web site directly. Open a new browser window, type the Web address and check to see if you must actually perform any activity that an e-mail may be asking you to do, such as change a password or pin number.
- Do not share your IDs or passwords with anyone. Choose passwords that are difficult for others to guess. Use both letters and numbers and a combination of lowercase and capital letters. Change your password often.
- If you think you may have provided personal or account information in response to a fraudulent e-mail or Web site, report the fraud immediately, change your passwords and monitor your account activity frequently.
- Always sign off Web sites or secure areas of Web sites (for example, Online Banking) for which you use an ID and passcode to enter.
- When your computer is not in use, shut it down or disconnect it from the Internet.
- Be careful and selective before providing your e-mail address to a questionable Web site. Sharing your e-mail address makes you more likely to receive fraudulent e-mails.
- Review your monthly credit card and bank account statements thoroughly. Investigate suspicious items immediately to take care of any possible fraud before it occurs.
Protecting against online viruses
- Anti-virus protection. If your computer becomes infected with a virus, you could possibly lose information and incur repair expenses. Make sure your computer has an anti-virus protection program installed to reduce the risk of your computer becoming infected. Make sure the anti-virus that you purchase is made by a company that has a good reputation in the market.
- We recommend that you purchase a program that automatically upgrades your virus protection on a recurring basis. If you do not have this automatic upgrade feature, make sure you update your virus detection program weekly and when you hear of a new virus.
- We advise you not to open attachments or diskettes unless you are certain that you can trust the source. Learn how to manually screen diskettes and attachments if your anti-virus software does not automatically screen for viruses.
- Your Internet service provider (ISP) may have additional recommendations and technical support for protecting yourself against online viruses, e-mail fraud and spam. We suggest that you contact your ISP for recommendations specific to your computer and network.