Guidance for Our Customers Against E-Mail and Internet-Related Fraudulent Schemes
E-mail and Internet-related fraudulent schemes, such as “phishing” (pronounced “fishing”), are being perpetrated with increasing frequency, creativity and intensity. Phishing involves the use of seemingly legitimate e-mail messages and websites to deceive consumers into disclosing sensitive information, such as bank or loan account information, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, and personal identification numbers (PINs). The perpetrator of the fraudulent e-mail message may use various means to convince the recipient that the message is legitimate and from a trusted source with which the recipient has an established business relationship. Techniques such as a false “from” address or the use of seemingly legitimate company logos, weblinks and graphics may be used to mislead e-mail recipients.
In most phishing schemes, the fraudulent e-mail message will request that recipients “update” or “validate” their financial or personal information in order to maintain their accounts, and direct them to a fraudulent website that may look very similar to the website of the legitimate business. These websites may include copied or “spoofed” pages from legitimate websites to further trick consumers into thinking they are responding to a bona fide request. Some consumers will mistakenly submit financial and personal information to the perpetrator who will use it to gain access to financial records or accounts, commit identity theft or engage in other illegal acts.
Ways We Are Working Protect Your Information from Fraud and Identity Theft
- We will never send e-mail messages that request confidential information, such as account numbers, passwords, or PINs;
- We will work to notify Internet service providers, domain name-issuing companies, and law enforcement to shut down fraudulent websites and other Internet resources that may be used to facilitate phishing or other e-mail and Internet-related fraudulent schemes directed towards our customers;
- We maintain suspicious activity monitoring and employ additional identity verification controls;
- We will offer our customers assistance when fraud is detected in connection with customer accounts; and
- As appropriate, we will notify the proper authorities when e-mail and Internet-related fraudulent schemes are detected.
Additional Tips in Protecting Yourself from Fraud and Identity Theft
- The safest approach is to immediately delete e-mail from unknown sources, before opening the e-mail.
- Avoid clicking on any links in unsolicited e-mail, particularly e-mails that ask (either directly or by pointing to a website) for personal, financial, or identity information. Instead, directly type the website destination into your browser or use a trusted bookmark to verify the site or to log into your account directly.
- Always access our website by using a trusted bookmark of our site or by directly typing our website address into your browser. Check to ensure you have typed the address correctly before providing personal information on the site.
- When using Key Command On Line Banking, check to ensure that the padlock icon appears in your browser’s status bar. It indicates that your information is secure during transmission.
- When you click on the VeriSign logo on our log-in page, it should take you to a site indicating that www.pcsbanking.net” is a VeriSign Secure Site.