NEWS & HELPFUL LINKS
Prairie Mountain Bank wants you to be safe.
We want to help you protect your personal and business online activities. Click here to learn more about How to Protect Your Computer, Keep Your Business Safe Online, and Protect Your Personal Information.
How do I protect myself from fraud?
Following an event like a data breach, it’s common to see fraudsters use emails, texts, phone calls and fake websites to try to steal your personal information.
What kind of scams do I need to watch out for?
- Social Engineering: Using fraud or deception to manipulate people into performing actions or divulging information that they would normally not share.
- Social Engineer: A scam artist who contacts individuals via phone, email, text message or even in person to gather information for the purposes of fraud, data system access, identity theft and more.
- Phishing: A social engineer uses a fake email to trick recipients into giving up credit card information, passwords or other sensitive information. The email may appear to come from a trusted source, such as a reputable company or bank, and often includes personal details so it appears the sender knows you.
- Smishing: Similar to Phishing (see above), a social engineer sends a fake Short Message Service (SMS) text message to your cell phone, announcing that you’ve won a prize or offer from a trusted company or bank if you follow a link to a website and enter a code. Clicking the link can expose your phone to malware.
- Pretexting: When a social engineer impersonates someone with authority and creates a fake scenario to trick unsuspecting individuals into sharing private or sensitive information.
- Spoofing: The practice of deceiving people into believing an email or Web site originates from a source that it does not. The most common type of spoofing is email spoofing, but Web page spoofing and IP spoofing are also very common.
What are some things I can do to avoid social engineering scams?
- Never give out private or personal information, including financial details, unless you can verify the identity of the person or organization contacting you.
- Don’t respond to texts or emails coming from a contact you don’t recognize, and don’t click on links. Instead, if you need to check on your account, type the site address you want visit into your browser and securely log into your account.
- Don’t send money to strangers; scam artists often insist that you wire money, especially overseas, because it’s difficult to trace the transaction.
- Keep an eye on your monthly statements. If your account information is stolen, fraudsters can use it to charge purchases or commit crimes in your name. Watch for unusual charges such as “membership fees” and other goods or services you didn’t authorize. If you see a charge you don’t recognize, contact your account provider immediately.
What are some red flags that indicate I might be dealing with a social engineer?
Some common red flags that help identify a social engineer include:
- Refusal to provide contact or call-back information
- Acting rushed, pressed for time or intimidating
- Extremely friendly
- May seem to know some personal information already, but is asking for more
- Poor grammar or spelling
- The links or attachments in an email seem suspicious
What should I do if I suspect I’ve been contacted by a social engineer?
If you think you may have been scammed, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself:
- Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission, or, if you live outside the U.S., file a complaint at econsumer.gov. You can also report scams to your state Attorney General.
- Forward email spam to firstname.lastname@example.org .