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Types of Fraud

Your trust is one of our greatest assets and keeping your personal financial information secure is one of our highest priorities. To maintain your trust, we make sure our online services and mobile products receive the very latest in security and technology updates. We use industry accepted best practices and continue to invest in these products to ensure whether you conduct business with us at our branches, ATMs, by telephone, online or our mobile apps, your information is secure.

We also encourage you, our customer, to be proactive about protecting your personal information. Please review the information in this Security section for tips on maintaining your personal information.

Don't become a victim of fraud! Click here for tips PDF on how to protect your personal information.


Phishing

The term "Phishing" - as in fishing for confidential information - refers to a socially engineered scam that consists of fraudulently obtaining and using an individual's personal or financial information through an electronic mean.

Example: A consumer receives an email which appears to originate from a financial institution, government agency or other well-known/reputable entity. These messages describe an urgent reason you must "verify" or re-submit personal or confidential information by clicking on a link embedded in the message. The provided link appears to be the web site of the financial institution, government entity or well-known/reputable entity, but in "phishing" scams, the web site belongs to the fraudster/scammer.

Once inside the fraudulent web site, the consumer may be asked to provide social security numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information used to identify the consumer, such as the maiden name of the consumer's mother or the consumer's place of birth.

Vishing

Voice phishing is the criminal practice of using social engineering over the telephone system to gain access to private personal and financial information from consumers for the purpose of financial reward. The term vishing is a combination of "voice" and "phishing". Voice phishing exploits the public's trust in landline telephone services and is typically used to steal credit card numbers or other information used in identity theft schemes.

Some fraudsters utilize features facilitated by Voice over IP (VoIP). Features such as caller ID spoofing (to display a number of their choosing on the recipients phone line), and automated systems.

Example: A consumer receives and answers the call, an automated recording, often generated with a text to speech synthesizer, is played to alert the consumer that their credit card has had fraudulent activity or that their bank account has had unusual activity. The message instructs the consumer to call the following phone number immediately. The same phone number is often shown in the spoofed caller ID and given the same name as the financial company they are pretending to represent. Consumers unknowingly provide personal financial information to the fraudsters while believing they are working to protect their accounts.

Voice phishing is difficult for legal authorities to monitor or trace. To protect themselves, consumers are advised to be highly suspicious when receiving messages directing them to call and provide credit card or bank information. When in doubt, calling a company's telephone number listed on billing statements or other official sources is recommended as opposed to calling numbers received from messages or suspicious callers.

Smishing

Smishing is a form of criminal activity using social engineering techniques similar to phishing. The name is derived from "SMS Phishing" SMS (Short Message Service) is the technology used for text messages on cell phones.

Similar to phishing, smishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver the "bait" to get a consumer to divulge their personal information. The smishing messages used to capture consumer information may contain a web site URL or phone number that connects to an automated voice response system.

Example: A consumer receives the following SMS phishing message: "Notice - this is an automated message from (a local bank), your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call us at 866-XXX-XXXX."

In many cases, the SMS phishing message will show that it came from "5000" instead of displaying an actual telephone number. This usually indicates the SMS message was sent by email to the cell phone rather than from another cell phone. This information can then be used to create duplicate credit/debit/ATM cards.

Money Wiring Scams

Wiring money is like sending cash and once a wire is sent, you cannot get the money back.

How to spot a money wiring scam?

Scammers and fraudsters are tricky - they might say:

  • You won a prize, or inherited money, but you have to pay fees first.
  • You won the lottery, but you have to pay some taxes first.
  • A friend or family member is in trouble and needs you to send money to help.
  • You need to pay for something you just bought online before they send it.
  • You received a check for too much money and need to send back the extra.

These are all tricks. When you hear stories like these, you have spotted a money wiring scam. You can avoid a money wiring scam by never wiring money to someone you do not know. Even if you feel like you know the person, take the extra steps to contact them before ever sending any money.