Target Data Breach Leads to Phishing Scams

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posted 1/15/2014 in News & Articles

Target Data Breach Leads to Phishing Scams

It's important for consumers not to fall victim to phishing scams related to the Target data breach.  Phishing attacks use spoofed e-mails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data.  By hijacking the trusted brands of banks, online retailers and credit card companies, phishers are able to convince recipients to respond to them.

Victims of the Target data breach are particularly vulnerable right now to phishing.  These criminals are capable of sending very legitimate looking e-mails.  The most important things for customers to remember is that First National Bank will never ask for personal information in an e-mail.

To avoid becoming the victim of a phishing scam, we offer the following tips:

  • If you have responded to an email, contact your bank immediately so we can protect your account and identity.
  • Never give out your personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or email, no matter how official it may seem.
  • Do not respond to email that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately.  Contact the company to confirm the email's validity using a telephone number or Web address you know to be genuine.
  • Check your credit card and bank account statements regularly and look for unauthorized transactions, even small ones.  Some thieves hope small transactions will go unnoticed.  Report discrepancies immediately.
  • When submitting financial information online, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your Internet browser.  Most secure Internet addresses, though not all, use "https".
  • Report suspicious activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.

For more information on protecting yourself online, visit the American Bankers Association's consumer section on phishing.  If you have already experienced fraud, we encourage you to create an Identity Theft Report and review your Credit Report. For more information on steps you can take for Identity Theft, click here.