Fraud: Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.
Electronic identity theft can occur when you respond to a fraudulent email that asks for your personal banking information. Armed with this information, a person may be able to access your accounts or establish credit, pay for items or borrow money using your name. You can help protect yourself from electronic identity theft by following some simple precautions.
- The easiest way to tell if an email is fraudulent is to bear in mind that we will never ask you for your personal passwords, personal information numbers or login information in an email. Legitimate financial institutions do not include links to their websites in email communications to customers.
- When banking online, check the address of any pages that ask you to enter personal account information. In the toolbar at the top of the page any legitimate Internet banking web site will begin with ‘https’ to indicate that the page is secure.
- Look for the padlock found in the lower right corner of your screen. If the page is legitimate, by clicking on the padlock, you can view the security certificate details for the site. A fraudulent site will not have these details.
- Type in our web address yourself to ensure you are transacting with our server.
- Check your monthly and credit card statements regularly to ensure that all transactions are legitimate.
Contact us immediately, toll-free at 1.888.440.4480 or your local Prospera branch if you suspect someone has gained knowledge of your password/PIN, or if you suspect any loss, theft or unauthorized use of your account.
A common way for Internet scammers to obtain your personal information is through a method called phishing. Usernames, passwords, banking information and credit card details are phished through email or instant messaging. Phishing works by sending communications, which appear to be from your financial institution, but they are not. You are asked, supposedly by your financial institution, to log in to your online banking to verify account information. Often some type of security concern is cited as the issue. The fake email instructs you to click on a link that takes you to a non-legitimate version of your online banking site – one that is largely indistinguishable from the legitimate site – and you’ll be asked to enter your credentials.
Phishing emails may include:
- Warnings about account closures
- Requests to update your information
- Offers to register for a new service
- Offers for pre-approved credit cards
- Free virus-protection programs
Once you click on the link, which directs you to a phishing website, you’ll be prompted to enter personal or banking information. Phishing scams seek personal details, such as your address, social security number or mother’s maiden name. The details obtained will then be used for identity theft.
Scam emails purporting to be from your credit card company or financial institution often have some telling signs, including:
- Poor spelling or grammar
- Alarmist content, warning that your account will be closed if you don’t provide your banking or personal details immediately
- Notices that you’ve won a prize and are required to pay a fee in order to claim it
Never provide personal details or any account details in an email. Electronic messaging is not a secure form of communication. If you receive a message that you are unsure about, please contact us.
How to Avoid Phishing and Related Scams
We will never send you emails or communications asking you to verify or provide your online banking details. The best way to protect yourself is to never use a link provided in an email to access your online banking (because we don’t send those; scammers do). Do not open emails or email attachments from unknown sources. Scan email through your anti-virus software.
Always type your financial institution’s website address directly into your browser and remember to look for confirmation that you are browsing securely. The letter “s” in ‘https’ indicates you are navigating in a secure site, in comparison to the open and unprotected ‘http’ URLs. Look for the ‘https’ when online shopping, too.
Don’t feel panicked when phishing emails caution of immediate account closures if your banking details cannot be verified. Don’t believe emails warning that your account has been compromised or that you’ll miss out on a great deal if you fail to act immediately. If you are concerned, call or visit one of our customer service representatives.
Or contact us toll free at 1-888-440-4480 and speak with a customer service representative during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm and Saturday, 8am-4pm). For extended support after regular business hours please contact 1-888-277-1043.
Lost or stolen credit cards call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
VISA: Personal cards: 1-800-363-3380
VISA: Commercial cards: 1-800-266-5662