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Educate Yourself About Online Fraud

Anyone can fall victim to online fraud, but we want to help you to be more educated on this subject, so that you can protect yourself to the best of your abilities.

Online fraud occurs when someone illegitimately obtains your private, personal information [name, birthday, account numbers, online banking login information, or social security number] and uses any of this information in order to perform unauthorized transactions in your name. The most current form of this is called “phishing”, and most people fall victim to this with fake emails or websites. Please be aware the The Cottonport Bank will never contact you via email and request your personal information.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a form of online fraud, in which someone will send an illegitimate email, posing as someone important needing, claiming to need your personal information for legitimate business.

Signs of Phishing

  • An email that is asking for your personal information. These emails often contain very generic greetings, and might claim you’re your information has already been compromised. They may also tell you that your assets or accounts have been frozen.
  • These emails also may appear to be legitimate. Some of these emails are extremely easy to identify as fraudulent, but others may seem to be from a trusted source. Do not rely on the “from” field in an email, as this can easily be altered by the attacker.
  • Sometimes, phishing may include fake job offers. These can be emails appearing to be from companies offering jobs to you. These are very often “work-from-home” positions that offer you a significant amount of money, but will hurt the applicant and other customers.
  • These can also offer you prizes or gifts. Some of these fake emails promise a large prize or gift certificate in exchange for completing a survey. In these surveys, you may be prompted to submit your personal information.
  • Contain fake phone numbers. Many phishing tools contain fraudulent phone numbers that are connected to the attacker. Never call a number that is featured on a suspicious email.
  • Some of these can even contain real website links and phone numbers. They use this form of phishing to confuse the recipient of the email. Including real information can make the email appear legitimate.