Phishing 101

The Internet can make your life better and more convenient; however, if you’re not careful, it’s possible to fall victim to Internet criminals with the intent of stealing your personal financial information.  Seemingly, they’re getting more proficient every day at tricking unsuspecting web site and email users.

Their strategy of choice is called “phishing,” which, by no accident, is another way of spelling “fishing.”  These crooks absolutely are “fishing” for your personal financial information using a variety of tactics.

At First Commercial Bank, we continue to diligently watch for phishing scams that could affect you, our valued customers.  We’ve been proactive in taking actions against potential threats, and pledge to maintain a vigilant stance.

To that end, we are excerpting information about phishing presented on the FDIC’s web site below, along with links to additional information.

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There's a new type of Internet piracy called "phishing." It's pronounced "fishing," and that's exactly what these thieves are doing: "fishing" for your personal financial information. What they want are account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information that they can use to loot your checking account or run up bills on your credit cards.

In the worst case, you could find yourself a victim of identity theft. With the sensitive information obtained from a successful phishing scam, these thieves can take out loans or obtain credit cards and even driver's licenses in your name. They can do damage to your financial history and personal reputation that can take years to unravel. But if you understand how phishing works and how to protect yourself, you can help stop this crime.

Here's how phishing works:

In a typical case, you'll receive an e-mail that appears to come from a reputable company that you recognize and do business with, such as your financial institution. In some cases, the e-mail may appear to come from a government agency, including one of the federal financial institution regulatory agencies.

The e-mail will probably warn you of a serious problem that requires your immediate attention. It may use phrases, such as "Immediate attention required," or "Please contact us immediately about your account." The e-mail will then encourage you to click on a button to go to the institution's Web site.

In a phishing scam, you could be redirected to a phony Web site that may look exactly like the real thing. Sometimes, in fact, it may be the company's actual Web site. In those cases, a pop-up window will quickly appear for the purpose of harvesting your financial information.  In either case, you may be asked to update your account information or to provide information for verification purposes: your Social Security number, your account number, your password, or the information you use to verify your identity when speaking to a real financial institution, such as your mother’s maiden name or your place of birth.

If you provide the requested information, you may find yourself the victim of identity theft.
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The above is a portion of an article on the FDIC’s web site titled, “You Can Fight Identity Theft,” last updated 9/25/14.

LEARN MORE ABOUT PHISHING:

• FDIC > >
https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnwin16/phishing.html

• FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION > >

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing