Important Information About Internet Security
Phishing is a scam that effects consumers everyday. The scam works like this: you receive an e-mail warning you that your account information or other personal information has been compromised and asks you to click on a link in the e-mail and provide sensitive information. You are directed to a site that looks relatively legitimate, but it is not the site of the financial institution that holds your accounts. And once you've entered and submitted the information requested, the trap has been sprung. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you don't fall victim to a phishing scam:
- Never respond to e-mails that request personal financial information. Phishers often include false but sensational messages, such as "URGENT — your account details may have been stolen" in order to get an immediate reaction. First South Financial will not ask you for passwords or account details via e-mail. Even if you think the e-mail may be legitimate, DO NOT RESPOND — contact First South Financial by phone or by e-mail. It is wise to be wary of files attached to e-mails, even if the e-mail appears to be from a trusted source.
- Visit First South Financial's Web site by typing the URL into the address bar. Phishers often use links within e-mails to direct a victim to a spoofed site that will have a similar address as the legitimate site. For example, the real site for a company may be abccompany.com, but the phishers may use the address abcompany.com or abccompanyonline.com for the spoofed site. Both the address and the fake site may look genuine, so always exercise caution in visiting links in e-mails. If you suspect an e-mail from First South Financial is false, DO NOT FOLLOW any of the links embedded within it.
- Look for the indicators that a Web site is secure before entering personal information. Legitimate sites that require you to enter personal information, such as your account details, will use encryption to protect your information. Here's how you can tell if the site is secure:
- Check the first part of the address– a secure site's URL should start with "https://". The "s" stands for security.
- Look for the lock icon – a secure site will display a lock icon in the "closed" or locked position in the lower right side of the browser window.
- Always report suspicious activity – If you receive an e-mail you suspect isn't genuine, forward to the company that supposedly sent it for verification.
If you think your First South Financial accounts have been phished, please contact us immediately.