In our digital world, fraud seems to be everywhere. Each day, new headlines about tax scams and data breaches dominate the news. So it's important to know what common fraud tactics look like so you can safeguard your personal information and reduce the chances of it ending up in the wrong hands.
One of the easiest ways to keep your information safe is to only give it away when absolutely necessary. Don't ever be afraid to ask why someone is requesting your information. And always trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable or if you're being pressured to give your information, walk away.
How to Spot Fraudulent Email
Phishers use SPAM, malicious websites, email messages, and instant messages to trick people into disclosing personal information. A phisher often pretends to be a legitimate company, sometimes using the company logo in the email.
We and other legitimate companies will never request your personal information via email.
If it seems like the person contacting you wouldn't reasonably need the information they're requesting, you should be suspicious. Look for these common phishing tactics:
If the email requests personal information, it's likely a scam. Phisher's malicious websites can look very similar to legitimate sites, because they frequently use copyrighted images from the legitimate sites.
Check the sender's email address and see if it matches the company they claim they're from. Fraudulent emails are often not personalized and contain misspelled words.
Don't click any links in a suspicious email. Delete the email immediately and contact the legitimate business right away.
Your Emotions & Social Engineering
Another common tactic is social engineering. Victims of social engineering often don’t know what’s happened until their money or identity has already been stolen. With this tactic, fraudsters may create a sense of urgency or pressure you to respond quickly.
The use of emotional language is usually used as a social engineering tactic. For example, a criminal might say they can get you a great deal on something if you pay them in advance. Once they get the money, however, you won't hear from them again. Remember, If an offer seems too good to be true or if it's illogical, just say no.
Safeguarding Your Info
We have a powerful fraud monitoring system here that helps us combat suspicious activity. To keep an extra eye on your information, it's a good idea to request your free credit report each year and check it over carefully.
You should also get into the habit of monitoring your accounts regularly with Online Banking and Mobile Banking. If you see a transaction you don't recognize, don't panic. We're always here for you and we'll help you out.