Tips to Prevent Identity and Fraud Theft
The security of your private information is very important to us. Professional Bank will never provide your confidential information to any source not affiliated with the Bank. We will also never ask you for personal information through email.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, address, Social Security number (SSN), bank, credit card account numbers, passwords, or other personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. While online banking and e-commerce are very safe with built-in security features for your protection, to avoid identity theft you should always be careful about responding to unsolicited requests for your personal financial information via the Internet, email, phone, or mail.
Remember that Professional Bank will never sell any of your personal public or non-public information.
Don’t get “Phished”
One of the most common forms of stealing your banking account information is through a process called “Phishing” (pronounced “fishing”). This scam is a form of identity theft where fraudsters use email to steal your personal information. By obtaining this information they can gain access to your accounts, steal your identity, or commit other illegal acts.
Phishing works by creating a phony email or website that appears to be legitimate, thereby providing potential victims with a false sense of security. They trick the recipient into providing sensitive information, which may later be used to commit fraud.
What does a phishing email look like?
The nature of phishing schemes has evolved and is likely to continue to do so in the future. Currently, email phishing is best described by the following characteristics:
- Emails using company logos and familiar language reporting a problem and asking you to update your account information by prompting a return email or by filling out a website form.
- Emails with attachments asking you to install software so that fraudsters can use it to record your keystrokes (called Keystroke Logging) and online activity.
- Emails that contain typographical or grammatical errors. Spelling errors allow fraudsters to bypass spam filters used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
- Windows that pop up over a legitimate company’s website asking you to enter personal information.
Remember, Professional Bank will never ask for private information by email or unsecured website.
What should I do if I receive a suspicious email?
If you receive an email that you believe could be fraudulent, do not click on any of the links and do not call any phone numbers listed on the email. Immediately contact Professional Bank for assistance.
How do I protect myself from phishing attacks?
- Contact the company through familiar communication channels if you are at all in doubt about the authenticity of the communication.
- Do not click on a link in an email when you are not sure of its legitimacy, even if it looks genuine. If you are at all in doubt, contact the company directly.
- Do not enter any personal information on a non-secure website. Look for the “s” in the websites address “https://” to be assured it is a secure website.
- Avoid emailing personal and financial information. Do not answer emails or letters in which people ask for your user ID, password, account number, social security number, credit card number, etc. Even if the email is coming from a well-known source, it does not mean it cannot be intercepted in sending. Remember that the bank will never ask for that information from you over email or by mail.
- Never open email attachments from unknown sources and delete the email in question immediately. Delete any emails from unknown sources as they may have a virus attached that will be downloaded to your computer if the email is opened.
- Regularly review your account statements
- Do not call any phone numbers appearing in the email.
- Do not share IDs/user names, passwords, or PINs.
- Regularly change your passwords.
- Install the latest anti-virus and firewall applications onto your computer.
- Update your anti-virus software regularly.
- Routinely run a full scan of your computer.
- Immediately delete a virus if detected on your computer. Depending on the type of virus, follow any additional instructions your virus protection program to make sure your personal information has not been compromised, such as changing your passwords.
- Activate your spam filters to reduce the number of fraudulent emails that you may receive in your email inbox.
- Follow your computer manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that your computer is current on its patches.
- Even though the laws are on your side, it is wise to take an active role in protecting your personal information.What is a firewall?A firewall (or internet firewall) helps make your computer invisible to online attackers and some malicious software such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. A firewall can also help prevent software on your computer from accessing the internet to accept updates and modification without your permission. Firewalls come in both software and hardware form, but hardware firewalls are intended for use in addition to a software firewall. It is important to have both a firewall and antivirus software turned on before you connect to the internet.What is antivirus software?Antivirus software helps protect your computer against specific viruses and related malicious software, such as worms and Trojan horses. Antivirus software must be kept up to date. These updates are generally available through a subscription from your antivirus vendor. It is important to have both antivirus software and a firewall turned on before you connect to the Internet.PharmingWhat is pharming?Pharming is similar to phishing, but rather than spamming you with email requests, pharming redirects your web browser to a fraudulent website. Unlike phishing, you do not have to click an email link to be directed to a spoof website.How can I protect myself from pharming?Antivirus software and spyware removal software cannot protect against pharming. In order to remove pharming as a threat, website that deliver or request private information such as online banking need to add another layer of authentication to their log in process.VishingWhat is vishing?Vishing refers to attacks in which bank customers are contacted by email or sometimes automated phone call and told that their checking account has been compromised. Instead of being referred to a website (as in phishing scams), customers are urged to call a local or toll-free number and provide their account information or their social security number to clear up the problem.How can I protect myself from vishing?It is also helpful to visit government web sites dedicated to educating consumers on privacy. Examples of these sites include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC’s) Identify Theft web site as well as the FDIC Internet scamswebsite where you may obtain further information about your rights and steps you can take yourself to protect your personal information.