Phishing and Smishing scams are fraudulent emails or text messages that attempt to trick you into giving away your personal information or downloading malware. They can appear as messages from legitimate organizations, such as banks, government agencies or delivery services and will ask you to click on a link to provide sensitive information or call “customer service.” To best protect yourself against these attacks, we encourage you to incorporate these fraud prevention best practices.
5 Steps for staying secure:
Do not open hyperlinks – Hyperlinks are a simple but effective way for fraudsters to install malware on your device. It is good practice to use a search engine such as Google to look up information rather than clicking a hyperlink. For example: if you get a delivery notice with a hyperlink, go directly to the shipper's website rather than clicking the link.
Verify the Sender – More often phishing and smishing attempts use “spoof accounts” where the fake accounts have remarkably similar profiles or email addresses to the legitimate one. When looked at closely, however, you’ll see they are slightly different and fraudulent.
Here's a small test... Look at [email protected] and compare it to Smishing@Capecodfive.com. Can you see the difference? HINT: It's the "a"
Fraudsters are now using Cyrillic script to mimic addresses and it can be exceedingly difficult to notice. It’s just one more reason to play it safe and type an address into your search engine rather than clicking the link.
Contact your financial institution – If you receive a call or text purporting to be from your financial institution, do not respond. Instead, follow up directly using a known phone number of that institution. As a reminder, Cape Cod 5 will never contact you via phone, email or text to request information such as account number, password, social security number or other confidential information. If you are unsure of a message you received regarding accounts you have with Cape Cod 5, call 888-225-4636 (the number on the back of your debit card) and we will be happy to assist you.
Remember! Fraudsters will try to get you to rush things and not question their authenticity. Beware of triggering phrases like "Act Now!" or "Urgent!"
Beware of threats/warnings – It is quite common for these scams to use fear as a motivator. By claiming someone's finances are at risk, and they must act quickly to recover losses, fraudsters can obtain large amounts of info from people in a panic.
Stay calm – It is important to stay calm and remind yourself of these steps to protect your personal and financial information, rather than panicking and making a potential mistake.
In addition to following these rules of thumb, we encourage you to install antivirus software and keep your devices updated to prevent malware infections. We encourage you to share these habits with family, friends, and colleagues.