What is phishing?
Phishing e-mails typically ask you to click a link to visit a Web site, where you're asked to enter or confirm personal financial information such as your account numbers, passwords, Social Security number or other data.
Although these Web sites may appear legitimate, they are not. Thieves can collect whatever data you enter and use it to access your personal accounts.
How can I spot a phishing scam?
- Language and tone. The message you receive may urge you to act quickly by suggesting that your account is threatened. It may say that if you fail to update, verify or confirm your personal or account information, access to your accounts will be suspended. The wording may also be sloppy and contain misspellings.
Requests for personal information. Scam e-mails typically ask for personal or account information such as:
- Account numbers
- Credit and check card numbers
- Social Security numbers
- Online banking user IDs and passwords
- Mother's maiden name
- Date of birth
- Other confidential information
E-mailed instructions to download software. All your online banking should be done through our secure Web site, and we will not send you e-mail instructions to download any banking software to your computer.
Do not install software downloads directly from e-mail messages, or from companies or Web sites you do not recognize. When in doubt, contact the company directly or call our customer service number at 503-363-3136.
- Non-secure Web pages. Clever thieves can build a fake Web site that looks nearly identical to an authentic one. They can even alter the URL (the Web address) that appears in your browser window. Watch out for non-secure Web pages that ask for sensitive information (secure sites will typically display a lock in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window).
Report an online scam
If you receive suspicious e-mail that appears to come from Pioneer Trust Bank. Please notify us immediately by forwarding the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (do not open any attachments or click any links found in the suspicious e-mail).
If you believe you have provided personal or account information in response to a fraudulent e-mail or Web site, please contact us, visit your nearest Pioneer Trust Bank location or call us at 503-363-3136. Contact any other financial institutions with which you have accounts.
How can I decrease my risk of being a phishing victim?
Be suspicious of demanding messages. Messages threatening to terminate or suspend your account without your quick response should be treated as suspicious. A legitimate bank or business should not request personal information from you over an unsecured Web site.
When in doubt, call the business' customer service number (available on your account statement) to confirm the status of your account. Do not use telephone numbers found on the suspected Web site.
- Be cautious of downloads. Installing unknown software on your computer can put your personal information at risk and potentially harm your computer's hard drive. Make sure the software comes from a legitimate Web site, not an e-mail message. If you're not sure whether you should download a program, contact a customer service representative for more information.
- Always type in the URL of the Web page you need. Phishing scams rely on embedded links that take you to fake Web sites. It's safer to type your bank's Web address directly into your browser so you know you're visiting the legitimate site.
- Protect your password. Don't write down sensitive personal information such as your password or Social Security number. Change your password frequently.
- Keep your computer secure and up-to-date. Pioneer Trust Bank recommends that you install anti-virus, firewall programs, and software patches to help keep your computer safe. Learn more
Recent phishing scams
All of these e-mail messages include links that appear to take customers to Pioneer Trust Bank website - however, the Web pages they go to are not legitimate. They actually take customers to fake Web pages where the scammers collect personal and account information. If you receive a suspicious e-mail message or are directed to an unfamiliar Web page, call a customer service representative at 503-363-3136 before giving up any personal details or downloading software.
- Customers have reported receiving an e-mail message urging them to download software programs to assist them in online banking. By clicking on a link in the message, users are taken to a fake page that appears to be part of pioneertrustbank.com, and they're given the chance to download the free software. Installing software applications from an unknown or fraudulent source can be extremely dangerous, and could give scammers access to your personal banking details.
- Some customers have recently received e-mail messages stating that "there have been a large number of identity theft attempts targeting pioneertrustbank.com customers." The e-mail requests that customers confirm their identity for personal online banking by clicking a link and logging onto their accounts.
- Another recent fraudulent e-mail pretends to be a "Security Center Advisory" that informs customers their account "has been randomly selected for maintenance," and that they need to click a link to verify their identity.
- Yet another fraudulent e-mail states that there is a pending charge (often a quite large one) to the customer's account, and in order to decline the transaction, the customer needs to click a button or a link in the e-mail.
Learn more about phishing
To learn more about phishing, read the phishing brochure provided by The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC charters, regulates and supervises all national banks.