(Wakefield, MA) – The Savings Bank is warning 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,” says Raichelle Kallery, SVP Marketing. “These criminals are capable of sending very legitimate looking e-mails. The most important thing for customers to remember is that The Savings Bank will never ask you for personal information in an e-mail.”
To avoid becoming the victim of a phishing scam, The Savings Bank offers the following tips:
If you have responded to an email, contact your bank immediately so they can protect your account and your 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 (http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
For information on protecting yourself online, visit ABA's consumer section on phishing at http://www.aba.com/Consumers/Pages/Phishing.aspx.
The Savings Bank is a $461 million community bank with offices in Wakefield, Lynnfield, North Reading, Andover, and Methuen.