The prevalence of phishing scams is at an all-time high. Phishing is when a hacker sends an email that looks legitimate, but has a link or attachment that will download malware with the intent to steal personal information such as passwords, etc. Because you are the key to preventing a cyberattack, it is important to question the legitimacy of every email you receive. Below is a list of questions to ask yourself about the email that may help you realize that you are being phished.
Recent phishing attacks reported by ACB customers:
- Emails received with Adams Community Bank in the title asking customer to click on a link, which would sign them into their online banking (OLB).
- Emails received that appear to be from our Customer Care Department in reference to a credit card payment asking customer to click on a link, which would sign them into their online banking (OLB).
ACB will never send an email with a link embedded asking our customers to click the link to access their OLB. If we need to contact customers about their OLB, we will do so through secure messaging within the OLB platform.
- Emails sent to business customers from Community Bank & Trust regarding a pre-qualified Line of Credit asking them to fax company information for a free quote or to click “unsubscribe.”
By clicking “unsubscribe”, you may end up giving the sender a lot more information about yourself, and an opportunity to infect you with malware. Rather than click on “unsubscribe” you should mark the unwanted email as spam, this will not only delete the email but also it teaches your email software about what you consider spam so that it can better detect and block suspicious messages in the future.
- Emails sent supposedly from Microsoft to customers, stating their Microsoft account has been compromised so they needed to call an 800 number or log into their online account while remaining on the phone.
It is highly unlikely that Microsoft, or any other large software company, will call you directly. Never give account or online banking information over the phone to someone who calls you.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN EMAIL:
Review the content of the email:
- Is the sender asking you to click on a link or open an attachment to avoid a negative consequence, or to gain something of value?
- Is the email out of the ordinary, or does it have bad grammar or spelling errors?
- Is the sender asking you to click a link or open up an attachment that seems odd or illogical?
- Do you have an uncomfortable gut feeling about the sender’s request to open an attachment or click a link?
Review the From and To lines of the email:
- Do you know the sender … is this someone you ordinarily communicate with?
- Is the email out of character for the sender?
- Was the email sent to an unusual mix of people?
Review the date and time of the email:
- Was the email sent at an unusual time such as 3am?
If you notice anything about the email that alarms you, do not click links, open attachments, or reply. You are the last line of defense to prevent cyber criminals from succeeding and making you susceptible to phishing attacks. Always call the sender to ensure the email is valid.