Identity Theft Protection: Every year, thousands of people are victimized through fraud and identity theft. Criminals may attempt to attain your confidential information in many ways, including the internet, by telephone or going through your trash. First Northern Bank & Trust is providing the following information to help you protect yourself from being a victim of identity theft.
The most common form of phishing is by e-mail. Pretending to be from your financial institution, or a legitimate retailer or government agency, the sender asks you to "confirm" your personal information for some made-up reason. Typically, the e-mail contains a link to a phony Web site that looks just like the real thing - with sophisticated graphics and images. In fact, the fake Web sites are near-replicas of the real one, making it hard even for experts to distinguish between the real and fake Web sites. You enter your personal information onto the Web site - and into the hands of identity thieves. "PayPal", "Ebay", and "Yahoo Wallet" are just a few that have been used. Using these company's websites, cardholders receive an email that states the information on file is old and out-dated. The cardholder then updates what they think is a legitimate email with their private information.
Phishers also use the phone to hunt for personal information. Some may pose as employers or a representative of your financial institution. Never divulge any confidential account information over the phone. Your bank will never contact you this way.
While phishing scams can be sophisticated, the following features are often indicators that something is "phishy." Be aware of a potential scam if:
"Is this Mr. Smith? I'm calling from XYC Bank. Do you have a mastercard / debit card? I need to verify your account number because it appears that someone may be fraudulently charging purchases to your account. Can you read me the account number and expiration date on the front? OK, now the last four digits on the back..."
"Good morning, Mr. Jones. I represent the security department of XYZ Bank and our records show that your ATM card has been compromised and in order for XYZ Bank to unlock your card please verify your sixteen digit card number..."
"This is Officer Jones calling from the Federal Consumer Agency. Are you Joan Doe? We have received several reports of telemarketing fraud involving attempted withdrawals from bank accounts in your area. In order to safeguard your account, we need to confirm your account number..."
Courtesy of First Northern Bank & Trust.
If you have any questions, please contact the Bank and ask to speak to the Bank's Security Officer or the Bank's ATM Departmen.