COULD YOU BE THE VICTIM OF A SCAM?
Of course we all think that we would not become a victim, but read about the scams
below that have affected customers of First National Bank of Huntsville and its branches
over the recent months:
"You've won!" – Lottery winner notification emails are scams. You
can't win something you didn't enter. Tantalizing you with a letter
stating you are the winner, these lottery winner letters ultimately
seek payment for “taxes and fees” from you to get your winnings.
You may make the payment, but you will never receive winnings
from these con artists.Nigerian Fraud - In this type of scam, the
crook will write an email that describes some tragic situation.
Invariably, it states that someone is dead (sometimes claiming
they are one of your relatives; in other cases they say you are
chosen because you were recommended by a trusted friend) and
a huge sum of money is trapped in a foreign country and they need
you to help them get it -- for which they say they will handsomely
reward you. They appeal to you like you're a superhero who can
fly to the rescue, but what they're really after is your bank account
information so they can make a withdrawal -- not a deposit. In other
instances, they'll string the recipient along, promising millions, but
requiring the recipient to come up with cash along the way for various
fees and charges. There's no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.
We need your help – Another common scheme has been a solicitation for
an American contact for a foreign company who will be asked to receive
checks (or money orders) in the mail. You, the American contact, then deposit
the checks into your bank account and are asked by the foreign company to
wire (or Western Union) the money to their associates who could not receive
the money directly. Of course, the American contact would be allowed to
keep a percentage for your trouble. By the time the check you deposited
in your account is returned as fraudulent, the wire you sent is long gone and
you are out the money.
Phishing Scam – Phishing emails appear to come from a financial
institution or other company with whom the recipient may do business.
The message attempts to trick the recipient into clicking a link. The link
may take the user to a site with a malicious code, such as a keystroke
logger, that will capture confidential information and then email it secretly
to the fraudster. In other instances, the link takes the user to a Web site
that is an evil clone of the financial institution's or company's Web site,
where the user is deceived into believing they are entering information
(such as an online banking user name and password, or ATM PIN, for
example) in a safe environment when, in fact, it is a site controlled by the
criminal. It is not uncommon for the email to threaten dire consequences
if you do not immediately click the link to respond. Don't fall for it!Telephone
version of Phishing – You receive a telephone call from someone claiming
to be your bank. The person says that they need to verify your account
information for quality control or to help in fraud prevention. First National
Bank of Huntsville will NEVER call you or email you and ask for your account
number or other personal account information. If you are ever concerned
about a call or email you receive, write down the information and call the bank’s
main phone number yourself.
First National Bank of Huntsville wants your accounts to remain secure and keep your
personal information private. Therefore, we have prepared a list of suggestions to help
you feel secure in all of your online transactions. Please remember that it is our
commitment to you to never ask you for personal information via email.
If you receive anything suspicious or feel that you may be the victim of a fraud,
please contact your bank representative at (936) 295-5701.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
- Only carry the identification, credit/debit cards and checks you really need.
- Keep your social security card in a safe place, not in your wallet.
- Be careful with personal data if you have housemates, care givers or other workers in your home.
- Do not pre-print social security number, phone number or driver’s license number on checks.
- Use online banking and bill pay for secure, immediate access.
- You have the right to refuse requests for your SSN from merchants and service providers.
- Don’t click on links that appear in an email.
- Delete any email messages from banks with an urgent security warning requesting information.
- Don’t download software from any site you do not know.
- Install and update software that scans for viruses and spyware on a regular basis.
- Keep up to date on patches for your computer.
- Monitor your bank statements, credit card statements and credit report regularly.
- Use direct deposit and automatic debit services whenever possible.
- Keep list of all credit card numbers and associated phone numbers in safe place.
- Opt out of all pre-approved credit card offers by calling 888-867-8688.
- Don’t visit peer-to-peer web sites (such as Kazaa) or freeware or shareware sites.
- Don’t click anywhere on popups or even click “no”. Just close the popup using the X.
- Beware of fake messages saying your computer has a virus or needs a “tune up”.
- Stay away from Instant Messaging.
- Do not share passwords, Ids or PINs with anyone; most people tend to use the same ones over and over (ie) home alarm code same as ATM PIN which is the same as computer
- Protect your incoming and outgoing mail.
- Try to reduce the amount of mail containing personal information.
- Protect yourself from “dumpster divers”. Use a shredder.
- Use hard passwords that contain special characters, numbers and capitals.
- Under FACTA, you are allowed one free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
- Do not store passwords on your PC. In other words, if it asks to “remember” a password for you, say no.
- Don’t just throw out an old computer. Even if you delete personal information, it can still be retrieved