Staying Safe Online
Avoiding online financial fraud
In recent months, customers have reported receiving an increasing number of fraudulent emails purporting to be from legitimate government agencies and credible institutions or companies with which they may do business. The perpetrators use these emails to attempt to obtain personal or financial information by appearing to be from a legitimate source. The emails often describe an urgent reason that you must verify or re-submit personal or confidential information by responding in electronic format via a link provided in the email.
To protect against these scams, often called "phishing," we suggest that you take the following precautions.
1. Keep your computer operating system up-to-date.
2. Install anti-virus software and anti-spyware software. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Anti-virus software can help protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files.
3. Install a firewall on your computer. A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. It is especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection.
4. Do not reply if you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information. Legitimate companies and government agencies do not ask for this information via email. Always beware of any message that asks for your personal information or messages that refer you to a web page asking for these details.
- Never enter your password after following a link in an email that you don't trust. It is always better to go directly to the site using a trusted bookmark.
- Never send your password via email.
- Only sign into your account when you are 100% certain you are on the real site.
5. Be cautious about opening attachments or downloading files from unfamiliar sources. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer's security.
6. Report to Grandpoint any suspicious emails you receive that request your financial information.
Sources: Federal Trade Commission, Google
"Deter-Detect-Defend: Avoid ID Theft"
Federal Trade Commission brochure with tips to avoid having your personal information stolen by identity thieves View
- Telephone Phishing Scam (Mar. 14, 2014) Grandpoint has learned of a widespread telephone phishing scam. Cardholders may receive what appear to be automated phone calls or texts telling them that their ATM/Debit cards are locked. The automated message requests call recipients to "Press 1" where they are to enter their 16-digit card number into their telephone key pad. Once this is entered, the scammers are then requesting the card's Personal Identification Number (PIN). The scam artists are attempting to obtain customer card numbers and PINs in order to gain access to customer accounts via ATMs or POS (point of sale) purchases. Please note that Grandpoint will not request card, account information or PIN numbers from cardholders over the phone.
- Target Payment Card Security Breach (Dec. 19, 2013) Target announced that hackers have stolen data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards of shoppers who made purchases at its stores between November 27, 2013, and December 15, 2013. All customers are being advised to check their card statements carefully to detect any fraudulent activity. Grandpoint customers who used their debit cards for a POS credit transaction at Target during this period, may call their local branch to check their transaction records. Grandpoint customers who used their Grandpoint Bank-issued credit card, may call the phone number listed on the back of their card. Customers who used a Target Red Card that debits their checking account directly may cancel their card by calling 866-852-8680. For more information from Target, click here.
"Man-in-the-email" scam (Dec. 4, 2013) There have been reports that fraudsters have intercepted emails between businesses and their suppliers and then spoofed subsequent emails impersonating each company to the other, according to a Dec. 2 warning issued by the FBI. Businesses thought they were sending money to a supply partner when, in fact, the money was being sent to bank accounts managed by the fraudsters. In light of this current email scam, please be extra cautious when receiving wire transfer instructions via email. If you receive an email request from someone to send a wire transfer, please call them to confirm that the request is legitimate. Grandpoint Bank's Treasury Management team is available to respond to your questions or concerns regarding online wire transactions by calling 213-542-2702, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.