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)
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.
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)
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:
- Urgent appeals. Frequently these e-mails make some form of urgent appeal, for example, stating that your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information immediately.
- General greetings. Bogus e-mails often provide a general greeting and don't identify you by name.
- Typos and other errors. Fraudulent e-mails or Web sites may contain typographical or grammatical errors. The writing may also be awkward and inappropriate. The visual or design quality may be poor.
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.
- Personal information should be provided by calling your financial institution directly or by logging onto their secure web site by typing the URL (web address) into your browser.
- Type your financial institution's URL (web address) into your browser and bookmark it. Use the bookmark derived from hand-typing the address for all subsequent visits to your financial institution's website.
- Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal financial information if the website is not secure. To ensure you are on a secure web server, check the beginning of the web address in your browser's address bar. It should read "https://" rather than "http://". Also, look for the mini padlock icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the web page.
Keep your web browser patches up to date.
- Regularly access your browser's website to download security patches. Patching your browser regularly will protect you against a variety of software vulnerabilities. If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, visit www.microsoft.com/security (This link takes you to a third party website that is not affiliated with City National Bank of Florida) to download special patches related to "phishing" scams.
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) www.ifccfbi.gov.
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.
- Anti-virus protection. If your computer becomes infected with a virus, you could possibly lose information and incur repair expense. Make sure your computer has an anti-virus protection program installed to reduce the risk of your computer becoming infected.
- Automatic upgrades. We recommend that you purchase a program that automatically upgrades your virus protection on a recurring basis. If you currently do not have this automatic upgrade feature, make sure you update your virus detection program weekly and when you hear of a new virus.
- Attachments. We advise that you not open attachments or diskettes unless you are certain that you can trust the source. Learn how to manually screen diskettes and attachments if your anti-virus software does not automatically screen for viruses.