The Best Line of Defense Against Fraud Begins
Farmers State Bank is
committed to helping its customers combat identity fraud. One of the best
ways to combat this type of fraud is to be aware of a possible scam before
it happens. Please take a moment to read the following message from the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
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.
You Can Fight Identity Theft. Here's How:
Never provide personal financial information,
including your Social Security number, account numbers or passwords, over
the phone or the Internet if you did not initiate the contact.
Never click on the link provided in an e-mail you
believe is fraudulent. It may contain a virus that can contaminate your
Do not be intimidated by an e-mail or caller who
suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify
If you believe the contact is legitimate, go to
the company’s Web site by typing in the site address directly or using a
page you have previously book marked, instead of a link provided in the
Review account statements regularly to ensure all
charges are correct. If your account statement is late in arriving,
call your financial institution to find out why.
If you fall victim to an attack, act immediately
to protect yourself. Alert your financial institution. Place fraud alerts
on your credit files. Monitor your credit files and account statements
Report suspicious e-mails or calls to the Federal
Trade Commission through the Internet
What To Do If You Fall Victim
• Contact your financial institution immediately and
alert it to the situation.
• If you have disclosed sensitive information in a
phishing attack, you should also contact one of the three major credit
bureaus and discuss whether you need to place a fraud alert on your file,
which will help prevent thieves from opening a new account in your name.
Here is the contact information for each bureau’s fraud division:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Report all suspicious contacts to
the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet at
www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by