11 Dec Fraud Alert Management Services
INFORMATION SECURITY IS A TOP PRIORITY OF BANK OF WALTERBORO. YOU WILL NEVER BE ASKED TO FURNISH PERSONAL INFORMATION VIA AN EMAIL OR OTHER ELECTRONIC MEANS. IF EVER ASKED TO FURNISH ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE IGNORE THE REQUEST AND DELETE THE EMAIL. AS ALWAYS, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.
Nearly 18 million Americans had their identities stolen in 2014, with about 14% of victims losing $1,000 or more, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Identity thieves preferred to rip off households making $75,000 or more and people older than 65, who may be less Internet-savvy. Although online banking is usually a safe option for customers, criminals are always rolling out new schemes to trick people with. Realizing that suspicious emails are rarely believed, hackers are trying a new scam called “smishing,” an abbreviation for SMS text phishing.
In a smishing scam, hackers send out fraudulent texts masquerading as the victim’s bank. “Warning, your account has been compromised,” “suspicious charge on your account,” or a similarly urgent message encourages the victim to act immediately. The panicked messages are accompanied by a link that solicits personal information once the victims click on it.
Victims who believe the fraudulent texts are sent from their bank are at serious risk for identity or monetary theft.
The messages are concerningly effective at eliciting personal information from the victims.
Fraudulent texts can also imitate government associations. Urgent messages such as “IRS Notice: Tax Return File Overdue! Click here to enter your information to prevent being prosecuted,” will steal any personal details you provide.
To protect yourself from scams, always verify any text, email, or phone message with your bank if it is asking for sensitive information. Reputable banks will never ask for your personal information out via email or text. To guard against hackers, always use a secure WiFi connection that is password-protected when shopping online or checking your bank account.
For an additional layer of protection, consider downloading antivirus and anti-malware apps such as AVG, Avast, ESET, and Malwarebytes for your mobile devices. These apps will help protect your smartphone from malware threats and damaging viruses that will try to steal your personal information.
At the Bank of the Lowcountry, we are committed to providing secure accounts and a safe online banking experience. We offer fraud alert management services and tips for protecting your personal information. To contact us about a suspicious message you have received or for other banking inquiries, you can reach us online or at our main office at (843) 549-2265.