Phishing, Smishing, and Other Fraud Risks
What is phishing and why should I worry about it? Learn more about this and other fraud risks here.
The Internet offers you the opportunity to bank in safety at your convenience. Use it with confidence, but do not let your guard down when online. Understanding the risks posed by “phishing” can help mitigate those risks.
What is phishing?
Phishing - as in fishing for confidential information - is the name given to the practice of sending emails at random purporting to come from a genuine company operating on the Internet. The emails are an attempt to trick consumers into disclosing personal information at a false websites which may later be used to commit fraud and/or identity theft.
In a typical case, the consumer receives an email appearing to originate from a financial institution that requests personal or financial information. The email often indicates that the consumer should provide immediate attention to the situation described by clicking on a link. The provided link appears to be the Web site of the financial institution. However, in “phishing” scams, the link is not to an official website, but rather to a phony website.
Once inside that website, the consumer may be asked to provide a Social Security number, 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.
How can I prevent becoming a victim of phishing?
The key thing to remember is that you should remain alert and be suspicious of all unsolicited or unexpected emails you receive, even if they appear to originate from a trusted source. Commerce Bank may contact you by email, but we will never ask you to reconfirm your login or security password information by clicking on a link in an email. Follow the simple rule to never disclose your password or complete confidential personal information to any site which asks you for it by email.
At Commerce Bank, security is our number one priority. We have taken every precaution necessary to ensure your information is safe and secure. Commerce Bank will never request sensitive account information through email or the internet.
A few of our customers have recently received suspicious emails claiming to be from Commerce Bank. This type of fraudulent email is often referred to as a “phishing” email. The sender hopes to lead the unsuspecting person to a false website, where an attempt is made to trick customers into providing their confidential banking data.
In this particular case the email states it is a “secure email” from firstname.lastname@example.org at Commerce Bank and directs the recipient to the web site URL: email@example.com
This URL is not affiliated with Commerce Bank of Worcester, Massachusetts.
In any suspected email scams such as these, it is advised that you do not reply. Please review our identity theft page to learn more about how you can protect yourself from being a victim.
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the protection of your financial identity please don’t hesitate to call Commerce Bank at (508) 797-6800.
“Smishing” is the latest twist on the “Phishing” scam. Instead of getting an e-mail, however, you get a text message. The word “smishing” is a combination of “SMS,” for short message service, aka text messaging, and “phishing.”
The text message tells you to call a toll-free number, which is answered by a bogus interactive voice-response system that tries to fool you into providing your account number and password.
If you get a text alert about an account, don’t respond before you verify that it’s legitimate. You can do a Google search on the number to see whether it matches your financial institution. Even better, call the customer-service number at your bank or other service provider to give any needed information to a representative.