With the increase of internet fraud it has become even more important that everyone who uses the internet be aware of the various ways someone can obtain your personal information without your knowledge or consent. Thus we have gathered some information in order to help you identify and detect "phishing" scams, spoofed sites, advance fee frauds, and spyware, while you are conducting business using the internet.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of deception used to steal your identity. In a phishing scam, a malicious person tries to get information like credit card numbers, passwords, account information, or other personal information from you by convincing you to give it to them under false pretenses. Phishing schemes usually come via spam email or pop-up windows.
How Do You Protect Yourself from Phishing?
- Never respond to requests for personal information via email.
- Visit Web sites by typing the URL into your address bar.
- Check to make sure the Web site is using encryption by checking the certificate (the padlock at the bottom of the screen), double click on it and the Issued To Name should match the site you are on. Also check the expiration date of the certificate.
- Routinely review your credit card and bank statements.
- Report suspected abuses to the proper authorities.
What the Bank of Weston Does
- Ask you to sign on by entering your User ID and Password.
- Provide you with links to useful information for banking, educational, and recreational purposes. These links are for your convenience and you can always type in our URL directly.
- Ask you to call us directly when giving sensitive information or to secure e-mail us from our site.
- Utilize watermarks, behavioral monitoring software, and challenge questions in order to make your online banking experience as secure as possible.
What the Bank of Weston Doesn't Do
We do NOT:
- Send urgent or time-sensitive emails or ask for your personal information such as SSN, PIN, ATM/Debit card number, or credit card number and expiration date.
- Require you to enter anything other than your User ID and Password to sign onto the Bank of Weston site.
- Ask you to provide personal information for your security by e-mail.
- Send an email with input fields that ask you for sensitive information.
What Is Spoofing?
Spoofing attacks are commonly used in conjunction with phishing. Emails sent with links in them directing you to a spoof site are often misspelled or contain a sense of urgency. The spoofed site is usually designed to look like the legitimate site, sometimes using components from the legitimate site like all or part of a real company's name.
The best way to verify whether you are at a spoofed site is to verify the certificate. Keep in mind that there are several ways to get the address bar in a browser to display something other than the site you are on.
You can contact the Federal Trade Commission when you think that you have encountered a phishing email or a spoof site at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).
What Are Advance Fee Frauds?
An advance fee fraud is a scam that hooks you with the false promise of large sums of money with little or no effort on your part. Once you're deeply involved in the scam, you're asked to pay certain amounts of money to expedite the process. You end up not making a dime and in some cases owing your financial institution the money used to expedite the process. In the U.S., advance fee frauds are investigated by the United States Secret Service.
Here are a few examples of the most popular advance fee frauds:
- A foreign government official would like your assistance in transferring funds and will pay you a hefty commission if you agree.
- You stand to inherit millions of dollars from a relative you don't remember.
- You've won a prize or a lottery (perhaps one from a foreign country) that you don't remember entering.
To report an advance fee fraud to the Kansas City United States Secret Service office, call 816-460-0600.
What is Spyware?
Spyware is a general term used for software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent.
Here a few ways to tell if you are a victim of spyware:
- You see pop-up advertisements even when you're not on the web.
- The page your web browser first opens to (your home page) or your browser search settings have changed without your knowledge.
- You notice a new toolbar in your browser that you didn't want, and find it difficult to get rid of.
- Your computer takes longer than usual to complete certain tasks.
- You experience a sudden rise in computer crashes.
You can take several steps to prevent spyware:
- Keep your browser and operating system software updated.
- Adjust your Internet Explorer or Netscape Web browser's security settings.
- Use a firewall.
- Search and download from trusted sites.
Most Internet Service Providers (ISP) offer technical support to assist you with browser configurations. However, should you have questions regarding what the Bank of Weston requests or requires for a safe and secure connection, please feel free to contact our Online Banking Department at (816) 858-5900.