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Email "Phishing" Scams

There has been a steady rise in online scams recently. Many of these emails direct the recipient to a "spoof" site that mirrors the legitimate site by using logos, fonts and colors that are used on the actual site. The recipient is then asked to disclose private information like account numbers and passwords.

Here are some of the characteristics of email scams currently in circulation:

  • An email message from your financial institution informing you that their Online Banking feature has recently gone through an update. The recipients of the email are directed to a "spoof site" and requested to disclose their online account information.
  •  An email requesting that you review a fraudulent order placed on your behalf by a major national retailer. A link is provided taking you to a website that shows a large dollar amount. To resolve this false charge, you are requested to provide your personal information, Social Security Number (SSN), and credit card information. 
  •  A warning email is sent out advising you that your password for an online auction site or financial institution has been compromised and inappropriate activities has occured. Instructions are given to visit the website immediately to change all your personal information. The "spoof" website collects your credit card data and personal information for fraudulent use.
  •  Another similar email informs you that your personal information held at an online auction payment website has been lost due to server problems on their end. You are requested to reply with your personal information and credit card data to activate your account status with them.

Resist the urge to respond to an email that informs you that your account is frozen or used fraudulently. Many financial institutions will usually contact customers by phone or mail.

It is a good idea to verify that the emails you receive are from a trust-worthy source before you reply. And even then, you should also always be very cautious about giving out your personal information over the internet.

Never release your account number and personal account information such as mother's maiden name and social security number to anyone you do not know. While you may not always be able to prevent bad things from happening, being careful can help minimize the risk of becoming a victim.


New Scam as of 10-28-11

NACHA would not send an email like this. Emails like this should be deleted and people should not click on the link or visit the website. If you ever question the validity of an email, please contact your financial institution.


Payment Notification #28505652

The ACH transaction (ID:28505652 ), recently initiated from your checking account (by you or any other person), was canceled by the other financial institution.
Rejected transaction
Transaction ID: 28505652
Reason for rejection: See details
2585 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 100 Herndon, VA 20171 (703)561-1100 2011 NACHA - The Electronic Payment Association