Don't Be an On-line Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams. (This link will take you to a third party website, the FDIC, which is not affiliated with City National Bank of Florida)

E-mail scams and Online Frauds

There have recently been an increasing number of attempts on the Internet to trick people into revealing sensitive and private information about themselves to con artists who use that information to defraud them. The latest scam, popularly called 'phishing', uses replicas of existing web pages to deceive users. These replicated pages prompt the user to enter personal, financial or password data.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a term coined by Internet hackers who use email lures to 'fish' passwords and financial data from the sea of Internet users. Email messages designed to look like they came from a merchant or financial institution are mailed to Internet users. The emails direct the recipient to update or provide information back to the company's web site by instructing the user to click on a URL embedded within the email. The embedded URL links the user to a counterfeit web site designed to look like the company's legitimate web site. Passwords and other personal information are then solicited and collected by the web site and used by the scammer to defraud the user. The good news is that consumers have the power to stop them. A new brochure, prepared by the OCC and the federal bank, thrift and credit union regulatory agencies, explains how. Click here to read the brochure, or here to go to the OCC website to read even more about Phishing. (These links take you to third party websites and are not affiliated with City National Bank of Florida)

Recognize e-mail fraud

Spotting phony e-mail messages is not always easy. And the criminals who use them are becoming more and more sophisticated in creating them.

Phony e-mail messages may ask you to reply to them directly or they may ask you to click on a link that takes you to a bogus web site that appears legitimate. In either case, they will generally ask you to provide sensitive personal, financial or account information. Here are some things you should know about phony e-mails and some tips for spotting them:

What can you do to protect yourself?

Do not trust or act upon unsolicited emails that request personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, ATM PINs, social security numbers, etc.

Do not fill out forms contained in email messages requesting sensitive information.

Keep your web browser patches up to date.

Regularly log in to your online accounts. If you see anything unusual, report it immediately to your financial institution.

Pay close attention to your bank, credit card and debit card statements. If you see anything suspicious, immediately contact your financial institution and the card issuer.

If you receive an email claiming to be from your financial institution, but which you suspect is aimed at defrauding you, contact your financial institution and the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center at (This link takes you to a third party website that is not affiliated with City National Bank of Florida)

Protecting against online viruses

In addition to protecting yourself against e-mail and online fraud, you should also be aware of the danger of online viruses to damage or compromise the security of your computer.