Recent phishing emails have purportedly come from government agencies, legitimate financial sector firms, Internet auction sites, and electronic payment services. Individuals and organizations in the U.S. and other nations are receiving emails that fraudulently claim to come from NACHA regarding ACH payment transactions. Perpetrators are conducting similar phishing attacks in which they are sending fraudulent emails that claim to be from the Federal Reserve Bank, IRS, other federal agencies, as well as commercial financial institutions, other payment organizations, technology companies, and businesses.
View the Phishing examples via the links on the right.
In order to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam, you need to know what to look for.
- In a typical phishing case, you will receive an email that appears to come from a reputable company such as your financial institution, government agency, or a credit card company. Fraudulent emails (phish) and Web sites can be very sophisticated, and may look identical to National Penn’s emails and Web sites. Fraudsters can even tamper with the sender information in an email to make their phish look even more legitimate.
- Email addresses are harvested from publicly available sources or through randomly generated lists. Phishers send out millions of e-mails at a time hoping to catch the customers of a targeted company by pure chance.
- While some emails are easily identified as fraudulent, including some containing tabloid-style headlines to get the user to open them, others may appear to come from a legitimate address and trusted online source. Do not rely on the name or e-mail address in the "from" field, as this is easily forged.
- The message will describe an urgent reason you must "verify" or "re-submit" personal or confidential information by clicking on a link embedded in the message. Note: With the high volume of mergers within the financial services industry, phishers will often try to get your personal information by insisting they need it in order to transfer your accounts from one institution to another.
- Once inside the fraudulent Web site, you may be asked to provide Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords, or other information used to verify your identity such as mother's maiden name or place of birth.
- Fraudulent email may also include links and/or attachments that contain computer viruses and/or keystroke loggers and should not be clicked on or opened.
- Other typical phishing scams include fake job offers, surveys, bogus prize awards, gift certificate offers, or money laundering schemes.