Chatham Square Association

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FDIC Issues Scam Alert - January 2011

January, 2011

 

SCAM ALERT from the FDIC:  The FDIC said it has received numerous reports of fraudulent emails being sent to consumers that claim deposit insurance has been withdrawn due to activity that violates the Patriot Act.  The emails are phony. 

 To learn how to protect yourself against this fraud, visit the FDIC website:  

http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2011/sa11010.html

 

Here are some common scams and the names they go by.  Be alert at all times, and keep your private information PRIVATE.

 

PHISHING

Phishing is the term that describes fake emails that claim to be from a legitimate business such as a bank.  Scam artists recreate web pages that they copy from real websites to try to fool consumers into providing their personal information.

 

Even though the email has a bank’s logo on it, or name on it, and looks like it comes from the bank, it may be a fraud.  The email may ask you to “validate” information by filling in items such as your log-in information, ID, password, debit card number, security codes or PINS.

 

Watch out for emails that are marked “Urgent” or say that your account may be closed if you do not respond – those are typical strategies to try to get information.  Watch out for emails that provide only a general greeting and do not identify you by name.  Be careful of emails that have spelling or typing errors.

 

Start Community Bank and all other bonafide financial institutions have a policy that they will NEVER ask you for your personal information or account information via email.

 

PHARMING

Pharming involves sending Internet users to a fake website, even when they entered the correct address.

 

These fake sites often look real, but secretly collect any personal information and passwords entered. Users end up at fraudulent sites by having spyware or a virus loaded on their computer, or by sophisticated hacking tricks.

 

Beware of any changes to the logon screen. If you are asked for anything out of the ordinary, do not enter any information.

 

VISHING

Vishing is a combination of the words “voice” and Phishing”.  The person committing the fraud sends an email asking for personal or account information, but then says “we know you are concerned about safety, so please call this number”.  When you call, the person at the other end is part of the scam.  This scheme is trying to get your debit card or credit card number.

 

Always be highly suspicious of any call that asks for account numbers or card numbers.

 

Contact your financial institution directly to verify the validity of any message you might receive.  Do not use the number given to you via any email or phone call – look the number up in the phone book or via an online directory.

 

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