Call 1-800-264-4274 to report an ATM/Debit Card lost or
stolen after banking hours.
Fraud Alert: Consumers Beware and
Watch Out for New Phishing Scams
There has been quite a bit of recent media
attention about data breaches and card security in general, we want
to remind you to be vigilant about protecting your credit and debit
card data and beware of phishing scams that can become more
prevalent after a widely-publicized incident. As always, it
is important to remember that MasterCard does not directly contact
cardholders to request personal credit or debit card account
You've probably heard the term "phishing" but you
may not be sure how to identify if you've been targeted and what to
do if you think you may have been affected. In order to help you
become savvier about phishing scams, here are some quick tips and
resources to help you avoid getting pulled into their
Many scammers use the Internet to promote fraud through
uninvited email, commonly known as "spam". These scams include
pyramid schemes, investment opportunities, "Risk Free"
opportunities, phishing (Identity theft) and many others. New scams
come out every day. Anyone who uses a computer and connects to the
Internet needs to be familiar with spam and other types of Internet
fraud and take measures to protect themselves and their computers
against these types of attack.
Phishing - According to Webster's is "the
practice of luring unsuspecting Internet users to a fake Web site
by using authentic-looking email with the real organization's logo,
in an attempt to steal passwords, financial or personal
information, or introduce a virus attack".
Vishing - In this scenario an attempt to
persuade consumers either by email, text message, or a telephone
call, purportedly from their credit card/debit card company or
bank, to divulge their Personally Identifiable Information,
claiming their account was suspended, deactivated, or
Smishing is a form of criminal activity using
social engineering techniques similar to phishing. The name is
derived from "SMs PhISHING". SMS (Short Message Service) is the
technology used for text messages on cell phones.
Lottery & Sweepstakes Scams - The potential
victim is sent an e-mail notification that they have won money.
However, to obtain the supposed winnings the winner is told that
he/she must pay taxes up front or some other fictitious fee.
Sometimes the scammer doesn't require money up front, but asks for
the winner's account number, supposedly to deposit the winnings,
but really to steal.
Nigerian Scams - This e-mail is supposedly from
a citizen of another country (often Nigeria). He writes that he
needs your help to gain access to his funds that he cannot touch
because of the country's regulations. He offers to greatly reward
you for your help. All he needs is your account number, supposedly
to transfer the funds, but really so that he can drain your
savings. There are many versions of this scam.
Online Auction Scams - In this scenario, the
victim is the seller. The buyer sends a cashier's check to the
seller for an amount larger than the purchase price. They buyer
asks that the difference is sent back to him/her and usually tells
the seller that he/she can keep a little extra for the trouble.
Even though it is a cashier's check, that doesn't mean that it's
safe. This check is later found to be counterfeit and the seller is
out the money that they sent back to the buyer.
JURY Duty Scam - A new type of fraud has
surfaced and is growing.
The caller claims to be a jury DUTY coordinator. If you protest
that you never received a summons for jury duty, the Scammer asks
you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she
can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. If you
give out any of this information your identity was just stolen.
The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including
Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado , AZ and more. This (swindle) is
particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone
to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they
are with the court system.
The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide
alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud. Check
it out here:
Scammers are working hard at trying to fraudulently get
consumers money. Please visit the Internet Crime webpage for
details of some of the most common scams and protect yourself!
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received
numerous reports from consumers who received an e-mail that has the
appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail informs the
recipient that "in cooperation with the Department of Homeland
Security, federal, state and local governments…" the FDIC has
withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient's account "due to
account activity that violates the Patriot Act." It further states
deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account
information can be verified using a system called "IDVerify." If
consumers go to the link provided in the e-mail, it is suspected
they will be asked for personal or confidential information, or
malicious software may be loaded onto the recipient's computer.
This e-mail is fraudulent. It was not sent by the FDIC. It is an
attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial
institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided
within the body of the e-mail and should NOT under any
circumstances provide any personal information through this media.
The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the e-mails and
disrupt the transmission. Until this is achieved, consumers are
asked to report any similar attempts to obtain this information to
the FDIC by sending information to email@example.com.
The FBI and Banks are warning small business owners and
consumers to use two computers. Utilize one computer to handle
online banking activities and yet another entirely to surf the web
and for email. This approach, while not as convenient, is the best
way to prevent malicious software from infecting the computer and
makes it much harder to manipulate electronic transfers.
There are many places on the Internet that provide free
information on how to protect yourself from Internet Scams. These
are some of the sites with helpful information:
U.S. Security and Exchange Commission - Complaint Site
Federal Bureau of Investigation- list of common fraudulent
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ - Federal Trade
Commission - ID Theft Home Page
- The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) was established as a
partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and
the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to serve as a means
to receive Internet related criminal complaints and to further
research, develop, and refer the criminal complaints to federal,
state, local, or international law enforcement and/or regulatory
agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate. Your
Local Internet Service Provider should be able to provide
additional web site references regarding scams, phishing and other
types of fraud.
It is strongly recommended that everyone with a home computer
that connects to the Internet have the following on their
Anti-Virus Software - Be sure to keep your
anti-virus software active and update it frequently. New anti-virus
database updates are usually out weekly.
Spam Blocking Software - Run this software at
least weekly and update it frequently. New updates are usually
released every few weeks.
Personal Firewall - This helps prevent others
from controlling your computer remotely while connected to the
Internet. If you think you are a victim of an Internet fraud, an
Internet scam or Identity Theft, here are some suggestions: