E-mail & Online Fraud
Please be aware that Cornerstone Bank will never ask you to divulge sensitive personal information in an e-mail. If you are a Cornerstone Bank customer and you think you are a victim of fraud, immediately contact Cornerstone Bank by calling 253-2265 (local) or 1-800-301-4466.
Internet scammers casting about for people's financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims: They go "phishing." Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam email or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.
Phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal with -- for example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message usually says that you need to "update" or "validate" your account information. It might threaten some dire consequence if you don't respond. The message directs you to a Web site that looks just like a legitimate organization's site, but it isn't. The purpose of the bogus site? To trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.
Recognizing E-mail Fraud
Spotting phony or fraudulent emails is not always easy. The criminals who are using them are becoming more and more sophisticated about creating them.
Some tips for spotting phony e-mails:
Urgent appeals - These messages often convey a sense of urgency so that you'll respond immediately without thinking. They may often claim that your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information immediately.
Requests for security information - Fraudulent e-mails often claim that the bank has lost important security information that needs to be updated. They also may request that the user visit and update this information online. The links that you are urged to click may contain all or part of a real company's name and are usually "masked," meaning that the link you see does not take you to that address but somewhere different, usually a phony Web site.
Generic addressing - Phishing e-mail messages are usually sent out in bulk and do not contain your first or last name. Although, it is possible that con artists have this information. Most legitimate companies (but not all) should address you by first and last name. An example of this would be an email sent to "Dear Valued Customer".
Typos and other errors - Fraudulent e-mails or Web sites may contain typographical or grammatical errors. The writing may also be awkward, stilted or inappropriate. The visual or design quality may be poor.
Protect yourself against e-mail or online fraud:
Beware of unsolicited emails - particularly if they appear to be from companies with which you do business and are requesting that you re-validate personal information or that link web sites that request you re-validate personal information.
Be wary of clicking on links in email messages - Links in phishing emails often appear legitimate but take you to phony sites where you could unwittingly transmit personal or financial information to con artists. Avoid clicking a link in an email unless you are sure of the destination. Even if the address bar displays the correct web address, don't be fooled. There are several ways for con artists to display a fake URL in the address bar on your browser.
Type addresses directly into your browser - If you think you need to update your account information or change your password, visit the web site by typing the URL directly into the browser or by using your personal bookmark.
Don't enter personal or financial information into pop-up windows - A common phishing technique is to launch a fake pop-up window when someone clicks a link in a phishing email message. To make it appear more legitimate, it may be displayed over a window or web site you trust.
Check the security certificate of a site when you are entering personal or financial information - To make sure the site is secure check to see if there is a lock or security icon in the bottom bar of your browser as well as that the site is going to an https: address and uses encryption.
Review your monthly account statements - Investigate suspicious activity immediately to prevent any possible fraud before it occurs.
Do not share your ID, password or PIN