Consumer Alert -"Phishing" Scam
Patriots Bank has created this webpage to inform and warn consumers about a type of fraud called "phishing". The term "Phishing" - as in fishing for confidential information - refers to a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual's personal or financial information. This is how it works:
- A consumer receives an e-mail which appears to originate from a financial institution, government agency, or other well-known/reputable entity.
- The message describes an urgent reason you must "verify" or "re-submit personal or confidential information by clicking on a link embedded in the message.
- The provided link appears to be the Web site of the financial institution, government agency or other well-known/reputable entity, but in "phishing" scams, the Web site belongs to the fraudster/scammer.
- Once inside the fraudulent Web site, the consumer may be asked to provide Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information used to identify the consumer, such as the maiden name of the consumer's mother or the consumer's place of birth.
- When the consumer provides the information, those perpetrating the fraud can begin to access consumer accounts or assume the person's identity.
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 computer.
Do not be intimidated by an e-mail
or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information.
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 e-mail.
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 closely.
Report suspicious e-mails or calls
to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet at Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Resource Center http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
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 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 1017
Allen. TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton. CA 92634
Report all suspicious contacts to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet at: www.consumer.gov/idtheft
, or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT