Last Updated: 4/1/22
Online safety in a time of conflict
As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, cybersecurity attacks have become a threat to individuals and businesses around the world.
The U.S. government is anticipating retaliatory cyber-attacks following sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. Financial institutions and their customers may be at higher risk of such attacks from Russia, whose intention is to cause disruption and wavering confidence in our institutions.
What to look for:
As cybersecurity concerns increasingly spill over into daily life, here's a few examples of common fraud tactics:
- Threats; this often includes notices that your account has already been compromised when it has not.
- Ransomware: malicious software that prevents you from accessing your computer files, systems, or networks and demands you pay a ransom in return.
- Time sensitive prompts to take action to maintain control over accounts or reset passwords.
- Alarming "news" that prompts immediate action.
- Unknown links to websites that require you to enter credentials.
- Unexpected phone calls asking for personal or account information.
- Unrecognized text messages asking you to click an unknown link.
Defensive steps you can take:
- NEVER enter your user name and password into unfamiliar systems, regardless of how convincing a message may seem.
- ALWAYS contact your bank if you are unsure, and immediately alert us should you enter information into such a system.
- Be wary of emails that include unexpected links or attachments.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date.
- Enable Multi-factor authentication (MFA) on as many accounts as possible (especially bank and credit cards).
- Check your accounts regularly for any suspicious activity or unauthorized charges and set up notification alerts.
- Connect only to trusted Wi-Fi networks whenever possible.
Last Updated: 1/12/22
Common scams during tax season
Start off the new year with confidence and keep your personal information safe from scammers, fraudsters and other con artists. With tax season quickly approaching, con artists will use a combination of tactics to gather confidential and personal tax information, including spoofing email addresses and caller ID numbers. Here's how to stay safe:
Do not provide any confidential or personal information over the phone or email.
In most cases, the IRS will first notify taxpayers of any tax related issues via mailed correspondence. If you are not expecting an email or call from the IRS, hang up immediately and do not click any links or open any attachments in the email or text message.
Remember, the IRS and their collection partners will never:
- Leave pre-recorded, urgent, or threatening messages on an answering system.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to arrest the taxpayer for not paying, deport them or revoke their licenses.
- Call to demand immediate payment with a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- Ask for checks to third parties.
- Demand payment without giving the taxpayer an opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
Report any suspicious emails, phone calls, or text messages.
If you think you've received a suspicious email, phone call, or text message, it's a good idea to call your bank and notify the IRS via their website, or using the IRS Office Locator tool at: https://apps.irs.gov/app/officeLocator/index.jsp. At 1st Security Bank we will review your account for suspicious activity and help make sure your security settings are up to date.
Notice: If you believe you are a victim of a scam or fraud attempt, please contact us right away.
October is the start of National Cyber Security Awareness Month and a great reminder for your business to update passwords and review basic scam and fraud prevention tips, such as how to spot a phishing red flag.
There are some things we will never ask you for by text, phone or email. Do you know how to spot which questions or requests are real and which are a scam?