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Beware of Phishing Scams

According the FBI’s Internet crime report, the number of phishing websites increased by 46 percent in 2018. Don’t become their next victim in 2019.  

Here are a few things you can do to prevent falling victim to these scammers. 

  • Do not be in a hurry when reading emails.  This is what the scammers are hoping will happen.  When you are in a hurry, you are less vigilant and more likely to make a mistake and click before you realize what you did. 
  • Do not click on email links or email attachments you don’t recognize.  
  • Check the sender link – you can do this by hovering your mouse over the senders email address. If the pop-up box indicates anything other than the sender’s email address, this is likely fraud or a phishing email and you should delete it immediately.
  • Check the subject line – If there are words like “urgent” or “immediate action required” or something similar, beware. Again, the scammers are hoping this will catch your attention and cause you to react quickly, before thinking.  If the email or the sender name looks suspicious, disregard the email.  Also, disregard if you have never done business with this company.  If you have, call the company yourself to verify if the immediate action claim is accurate.  
  • Check the greeting of the email – Did they use your name, if not, it probably isn’t legit.
  • Check the body of the email – Look for misspelled words and grammatical errors.  This is usually another great clue that the email is not legit.  
  • Never reply to these emails with any personal information or account logins or password information.
    • NOTE – the Bank of St. Elizabeth (and most companies) will never email you to ask for the following:
      • Any passwords or full pins.
      • To transfer any money into a “new” or “other” account.
      • Perform any type of “test” transaction.
      • Click a link to a website that will requests you to enter your online banking information.
        • Only use our bank login from our website to access our online banking to be safe.
      • Ask you to email us your personal banking information.
      • To perform any banking services through any app other than our official banking app.
        • DO NOT download our App from any source other than our website to be safe.

Always remember to be safe and cautious online and when opening or clicking on any email link or attachment. ALWAYS be careful about giving out any personal information so you don’t become a phishing victim.