Identity Theft & Phishing
A Note About Identity Theft and Phishing
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. We encourage you to review this communication, which includes tips to protect your financial institution and end users.
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.
To date, large financial institutions have been the primary targets of these phishing scams. It is prudent to expect that smaller financial institutions may also be targeted.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself and Your Identity?
- Do not trust or act upon unsolicited emails that request personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, ATM PINs, social security numbers, etc.
- Fraudulent emails are typically not personalized with Peoples Bank information.
- Fraudulent email often present end users with scenarios of negative consequences if they do not act immediately on the email's instructions.
- Fraudulent email messages often contain flawed English.
- 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 https://www.peoplesbankdirect.com 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.
- 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.
- 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 www.ic3.gov.
Peoples Bank will NEVER send you an email requesting a username or password.
FDIC Special Alert Regarding Fraudulent Emails
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports from consumers who received an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The email informs the recipient that "in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments…" the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient's account "due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act." It further states deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called "IDVerify." If consumers go to the link provided in the e-mail, it is suspected they will be asked for personal or confidential information, or malicious software may be loaded onto the recipient's computer.
This e-mail is fraudulent. It was not sent by the FDIC. It is an attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mail and should NOT under any circumstances provide any personal information through this media.
The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the e-mails and disrupt the transmission. Until this is achieved, consumers are asked to report any similar attempts to obtain this information to the FDIC by sending information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information regarding conducting your transactions online, click the link below: