Recognizing Fraudulent Emails and Websites
Fraudulent Website Alerts:
- 11/7/2017. Continental National Bank would like to alert all customers and the public that the bank has no connection with the fraudulent website www.continentalnbs.com.
Please read the information below on how to identify and report phishing emails and other suspicious messages.
Every day, scam artists target millions of people in an attempt to steal money or confidential banking information. At Continental National Bank, we are committed to keeping your personal and financial information safe and secure. Learn how to identify and report phishing emails and other suspicious messages.
Phishing and spoof emails aim to obtain your sensitive information, passwords, address, account numbers, etc. These emails use deceptive means to try and trick you, like forging the sender’s address. Often, they ask for the reader to reply, call a phone number, or click on a web link to steal personal information.
There are some hints about identifying scam email below, but it’s often difficult to be sure if something is real or fake since scammers adjust their tactics. So, if you have the slightest doubt, send it to our experts for investigation.
Ways to identify phishing and spoofing emails include:
- Links that appear to be Continental National Bank links but aren’t. If you place your cursor over a link in a suspicious email, your email program most likely shows you the destination URL. Do not click the link, but look closely at the URL: A URL that is formatted continentalbank.fakewebsite.com is taking you to a location on fakewebsite.com. Just because “continentalbank” is part of the URL does not guarantee that the site is an official Continental National Bank site.
- Requests for personal information. Continental National Bank emails will never ask you to reply in an email with any personal information such as your Social Security number, ATM or PIN.
- Urgent appeals. We will never claim your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information via email.
- Messages about system and security updates. We will never claim the need to confirm important information via email due to system upgrades.
- Offers that sound too good to be true. We will never ask you to fill out a customer service survey in exchange for money, then ask you to provide your account number so you can receive the money.
- Obvious typos and other errors. These are often the mark of fraudulent emails and websites. Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors, awkward writing and poor visual design.
What is phishing?
“Phishing” is an attempt to steal your information. Criminals pretend to be a legitimate business to get you to disclose sensitive personal information, such as credit and debit card numbers, bank information, account passwords, or Social Security numbers. One of the most common phishing scams involves sending an email that pretends to be from a well-known company. However, it can also be carried out in person, over the phone, via malicious pop-up windows, and "spoof" (fake) websites.
1. A criminal sends emails to people that appear to be from a well-known company. A common tactic involves a made-up story designed to lure you into clicking on a link or calling a phone number.
2. The phishing email may ask you to fill out a form, or click on a link or button that takes you to a fraudulent website.
3. The fraudulent website mimics the company referenced in the email, and aims to trick you into volunteering sensitive, personal data.
In essence, you think you're giving your information to a trusted company when, in fact, you're giving it to a criminal.
Note that phishing emails can also lure you to open suspicious attachments or visit websites that can infect your computer with malicious software or malware.
Smishing can come through your phone via voice or SMS. Smishing is when a scammer sends an SMS message to your phone number with a bogus phone number or URL. The message is usually urgent like: “Your Continental National Bank account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. Please contact us immediately at phone number (1-xxx-xxx-xxxx). It is imperative that we speak to you immediately.”
“You spent a number of dollars at The Home Depot. If you did not make this transaction, please call us immediately at a phone number (1-xxx-xxx-xxxx). Thank You.”
If you call the number, you’re confirming that you have an account. You'll be talking to a fraudster who will ask for your account information so he can steal from your account.
Fraudsters sometimes use an automated system to make voice calls, reporting urgent account problems and asking for account information. This is called Vishing. Here’s an example of what a vishing call might sound like:
"This is Continental National Bank calling about a possible fraudulent transaction on your account. Please enter your PIN now to hear the transaction details. We need your immediate response to block this transaction."
When users enter their PIN or password, scammers get vital information to access the account. So never provide any account information unless you initiated the phone call.
Caller ID can’t be trusted. Even if the Caller ID says “Continental National Bank,” it’s not enough for you to trust the call. Scammers can easily fake a Caller ID, and it’s impossible to be sure the call is coming from where it says it is.
Sometimes automated calls will ask you to call back. They leave a number or make it simple to click-call from your smartphone. Don’t call these numbers.
If you need to contact us, visit the Contact Us link on our home page www.continentalbank.com for the real phone number.