Please be aware that SNB will never ask you to divulge sensitive personal information in an e-mail. If you are a SNB customer and you think you are a victim of fraud, immediately contact SNB by calling toll-free at 1.866.762.4762.
Internet scammers casting about for people's financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims. They go "phishing."
Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam e-mail or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords or other sensitive information.
Phishers send an e-mail or pop-up message claiming to be from a business or organization you deal with -- for example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service or even a government agency. The message usually says you need to "update" or "validate" your account information. It might threaten some dire consequence if you don't respond. The message directs you to a website which looks just like a legitimate website, but is not. What's the purpose of this bogus website? To trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity, run up bills and commit crimes in your name.
Recognizing e-mail fraud
Spotting phony or fradulent e-mails is not always easy. The criminals who are using them are becoming more and more sophisticated about creating them.
Some tips for spotting phony e-mails:
- These messages often convey a sense of urgency so you will respond immediately without thinking. They may often claim your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information immediately.
Requests for security information
- Fraudulent e-mails often claim your bank has lost important security information that needs to be updated. They also may request the user visit and update this information online. The links you are urged to click on may contain all or part of a real company's name and are usually "masked," meaning that the link you see does not take you to the specific address but somewhere different, usually a phony website.
- Phishing e-mail messages are usually sent out in bulk and do not contain your first or last name. Although, it is possible con artists have this information. Most legitimate companies (but not all) should address you by first and last name. An example of this would be an e-mail sent to "Dear Valued Customer."
Typos and other errors
- Fraudulent e-mails or websites may contain typographical or grammatical errors. The writing may also be awkward, stilted or inappropriate. The visual or design quality may be poor.
How to protect your self against e-mail or online fraud:
Beware of unsolicited e-mails
- Particularly if they appear to be from companies with which you do business. These emails are normally requesting you revalidate personal information or link to websites that request you revalidate personal information.
Be wary of clicking on links in e-mail messages
- Links in phishing e-mails often appear legitimate, but take you to phony websites where you could unwittingly transmit personal or financial information to con artists. Avoid clicking a link in an e-mail unless you are sure of the destination. Even if the address bar displays the correct web address, don't be fooled. There are several ways for con artists to display a fake URL in the address bar on your browser.
Type addresses directly into your browser
- If you think you need to update your account information or change your password, visit the website by typing the URL directly into the browser or by using your personal bookmark.
Don't enter personal or financial information into pop-up windows
- A common phishing technique is to launch a fake pop-up window when someone clicks a link in a phishing e-mail message. To make it appear more legitimate, it may be displayed over a window or website you trust.
Check the security certificate of a website when you are entering personal or financial information
- To make sure the website is secure, check to see if there is a lock or security icon in the bottom bar of your browser, as well as, that the website is going to an https: address and uses encryption.
Do not share your ID, password or PIN
Review your monthly account statements
- Investigate suspicious activity immediately to prevent any possible fraud before it occurs.