First State Bank makes every effort to protect our customers from being defrauded by scam artists. One way is to educate our customers of one of the most popular and recurring scams taking place today which is phishing. The term phishing can best be described as follows:
(fish´ing) (n.) The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate organization in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for fraudulent purposes. The e-mail directs the user to click on a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit/debit card, social security, and bank account numbers that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information. For example, users may receive e-mails supposedly from eBay claiming that the user’s account was about to be suspended unless he clicked on the provided link and updated the credit card or debit card information that the genuine eBay already had. Because it is relatively simple to make a Web site look like a legitimate organizations site by mimicking the HTML code and company logos, the scam counted on people being tricked into thinking they were actually being contacted by eBay and subsequently giving out their personal account information. By spamming large groups of people, the “phisher” counted on the e-mail reaching people who actually had an account with eBay. Other legitimate business names that have been used in phishing are PayPal, Amazon.com, Fifth Third Bank, the FDIC and more.
Remember, legitimate organizations do not communicate with customers asking them to update personal information on their accounts via the email.
Emails intended for fraudulent purposes will often do one or more of the following:
- ask you to enter personal information directly into the e-mail;
- threaten to close your account if you do not take the immediate action of providing personal information;
- ask you to reply by sending personal information;
- direct you to click on a link that is not a legitimate website.
Bogus websites are set-up to appear very much like the legitimate organizations website, such as secure.fsbanks.com. (First State’s only web address is simply www.fsbanks.com).
To educate yourself more on identity theft and phishing scams please visit this FDIC website at www.fdic.gov, and click on the link Consumers and Communities.