E-Mail & Internet Fraud

Keep Your Personal Information Safe

E-mail spoofing is the forgery of an e-mail header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Distributors of spam often use spoofing in an attempt to get recipients to open (and possibly respond to) their fraudulent solicitations.

It’s often hard to detect fraudulent e-mails because the e-mail address of the sender appears genuine (even the design and graphics). However, there are often signs to assist you in ascertaining whether an e-mail is fraudulent.

E-mails asking you to provide any personal data should always be suspect. NEVER reply to unsolicited e-mails from anyone, regardless of whether or not you have legitimate business with them. If you have questions regarding your account, call the company direct, or start with a clean Web browser, type in the company’s name and contact them directly. Do not click on any links provided in the text.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation hosts a very informative site where you can learn about some of the newest E-Scams and Warnings. This site also provides a link to report E-Scam attempts.

Requests for information on your Mission Valley Bank Cash Management and Internet Banking sites are secured with SSL technology. To confirm you are on a secured site, there should be a “padlock” icon at the bottom of your screen. You can click on the padlock or other secure identifier, such as the VeriSign logo. The Internet page’s security information can then be viewed so you can make sure the certificate for the site is authentic and valid.

Identity Theft Today – A Constantly Changing Landscape

June 30, 2017

hands with black gloves stealing a telephone in concept of crime onlineby Marianne Cederlind 
Executive Vice President & Chief Business Banking Officer
Mission Valley Bank

As cyber criminals get craftier, individuals need to arm themselves with facts on identity theft and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

Mobile phones and social media are the new frontier -- Fraudsters are expected to introduce as many as 1,000 different phone/social media scams this year, according to one expert. In fact, a social media identity may be more valuable to cyber criminals than credit cards since it offers them the opportunity to manipulate friends. Safety tip: Keep smart phone operating systems up-to-date. Use passwords to gain access to your phone and install apps that enable remote deletion of phone data if it is lost or stolen. (READ MORE…)

Tax return fraud costing billions -- Identity thieves file fake returns using stolen social security numbers and claim refunds worth billions. These taxpayer-victims only learn of the fraud when the Internal Revenue Service rejects their own return because someone already received the money using their identity. This type of fraud has doubled in the last year – now at $24 billion – and cases can take up to a year to clear up. Safety tip: File your tax return early. Don’t answer any emails allegedly from the IRS since they will never contact you via email.

ID theft prevention -- Experts say that while financial institutions are continually improving security – through layered security, multi-factor authentication and other measures – many consumers are still not changing bad habits that leave them at extreme risk. Without personal diligence, cyber criminals will find new, innovative ways to steal consumers’ hard-earned money. Safety tip: Upgrade your electronic security, and make sure computers and phones are locked and password protected when not in use. Do not share personal information unless you know the other party, and monitor your accounts regularly.

Business Travelers Beware!

May 5, 2017

There is a new spin on an existing phishing scam you need to be aware of.  Bad guys are doing research on you personally using social media and find out where and when you (might) travel for business. Next, they craft an email especially forYoung woman in airport looking at flight information board you with an airline reservation or receipt that looks just like the real thing, sent with a spoofed "From" email address that also looks legit. (more…)

Safeguarding Your Business: Cyber Security

June 15, 2016

Door w LOCKSSmall businesses are frequent targets of criminal attacks and hostile threats to systems, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Owners face serious challenges in protecting their business information, as well as safeguarding their clients and employees privacy. As small businesses become increasingly dependent on online tools for day-to-day operations, protecting confidential information in cyberspace is crucial.

Cybercriminals target small businesses with sophisticated attacks. Criminals use spoofed emails, malicious software and online social networks to obtain login credentials to businesses’ accounts, transfer funds from the accounts and steal private information.

Fraud with increased sophistication like corporate account takeovers are on the rise. This type of fraud is where thieves gain access to a business’ finances to make unauthorized transactions, including transferring funds from the company, creating and adding new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable.

Combating account takeover is a shared responsibility between businesses and financial institutions. Bankers can explain the safeguards small businesses need and the numerous programs available that help ensure fund transfers, payroll requests and withdrawals are legitimate and accurate.  As a starting point, here are several tips to help prevent account takeover:

Educate employees.     Cyber protection is a team effort. Employees are the first line of defense against an account takeover. Employees should know the warning signs, safe practices and responses to a suspected takeover. They should be on alert for strange network activity, instructed not to open suspicious emails and should never share account information.

Protect your online environment.     Just as physical locations and assets are protected, virtual environments should be protected as well. Do not use unprotected Internet connections, and be sure to encrypt sensitive data and keep reputable anti-virus and anti-spyware programs updated. Passwords should be complex and updated periodically.

Partner with your bank for payment authentication.     Talk to your banker about services that prevent unauthorized transactions, such as call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes, batch limits and other tools that increase protection against account takeover.

Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly.     Unexplained account transactions, unauthorized network activity, pop ups or suspicious emails can all indicate cybercrime. If detected, stop all online activity, keep records of all suspicious transactions, and contact your financial institution immediately. Remove any systems or computers that may have been compromised from the rest of your network.

Understand your responsibilities and liabilities.     An account agreement with your financial institution details what commercially reasonable security measures are required for your business. Understanding in full detail what security safeguards are required in the agreement is critical to maintaining adequate cyber protection. Failure to do so means you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover. Effectively implementing these safeguards ensures your cyber security can withstand and prevent hacks and attacks. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities.

by Marianne Cederlind /Senior Vice President and Chief Business Banking Officer /Mission Valley Bank

IMPORTANT: If you are a customer of Mission Valley Bank and have already responded to a suspicious e-mail, and provided any personal or sensitive information, please contact us immediately at (818) 394-2300.