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Recognize and Report Fraud

Online fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate company to obtain sensitive personal data and illegally conducts transactions on your existing accounts. Often called "phishing" or "spoofing", the most current methods of online fraud are fake emails, Web sites and pop-up windows, or any combination of these.

Always keep in mind that American Bank  will never send unsolicited email containing attachments, or require customers to send personal information to us via email or pop-up windows. Any unsolicited request for American Bank account information you receive through emails, Web sites, or pop-up windows should be considered fraudulent and reported immediately.

Fake emails will often:

  • Ask you for personal information. Fake emails often contain an overly generic greeting and may claim that your information has been compromised, that your account has been frozen, or ask you to confirm the authenticity of your transactions.

  • Appear to be from a legitimate source. While some emails are easy to identify as fraudulent, others may appear to be from a legitimate address and trusted online source. However, you should not rely on the name or address in the "From" field, as this is easily altered.

  • Contain fraudulent job offers. Some fake emails appear to be from companies offering jobs. These are often work-at-home accounting positions which are actually schemes that victimize both the job applicant and other customers. Be sure to confirm that the job offer is from a known and trusted company.

  • Contain prizes or gift certificate offers. Some fake emails promise a prize or gift certificate in exchange for completing a survey or answering questions. In order to collect the alleged prize or gift certificate you may be directed to provide your personal information. Just like with job offers, be sure to confirm that prize or gift certificate is being issued from a known and trusted company.

  • Link to counterfeit Web sites. Fake emails may direct you to counterfeit Web sites carefully designed to look real, but which actually collect personal information for illegal use.

  • Link to real Web sites. In addition to links to counterfeit Web sites, some fake emails also include links to legitimate Web sites. The fraudsters do this in an attempt to make a fake email appear real.

  • Contain fraudulent phone numbers. Fake emails often contain telephone numbers that are tied to the fraudsters. Never call a number featured on an email you suspect is fraudulent, and be sure to double-check any numbers you do call.

  • Contain real phone numbers. Some of the telephone numbers listed in fake emails may be legitimate, connecting to actual companies. Just like with links, fraudsters include the real phone numbers in an effort to make the email appear to be legitimate.

Trojan horses
These fake emails may also contain a virus known as a "Trojan horse" that can record your keystrokes. The virus may live in an attachment or be accessed via a link in the email.

Again, American Bank customers should keep in mind that we do not request personal information via email or send unsolicited email attachments. Never respond to emails, open attachments, or click on links from suspicious or unknown senders.

If you're not sure if an American Bank email is legitimate, report it to us without replying to the email.

How is my email address obtained?
Email addresses can be obtained from publicly available sources or through randomly generated lists. Therefore, if you receive a fake email that appears to be from American Bank, this does not mean that your email address, name, or any other information has been taken from American Bank's systems.

Counterfeit Web sites
Online thieves often direct you to fraudulent Web sites via email and pop-up windows and try to collect your personal information. In many cases, there is no easy way to determine that you are on a phony Web site because the URL will contain the name of the institution it is spoofing. However, if you type, or cut and paste, the URL into a new Web browser window and it does not take you to a legitimate Web site, or you get an error message, it was probably just a cover for a fake Web site.

Another way to detect a phony Web site is to consider how you arrived there. Generally, you were directed by a link in a fake email requesting your account information. Again, American Bank will not request personal information from customers via email and any unsolicited request should be considered fraudulent and reported immediately.

How can I help protect myself?
With a few simple steps, you can help protect your American Bank accounts and personal information from fake emails and Web sites:

  • Delete suspicious emails without opening them. If you do open a suspicious email, do not open any attachments or click on any links it may contain.

  • Never provide sensitive account or personal information in response to an email. If you have entered personal information, immediately call American Bank Customer Service at (651) 628-5909.

  • Install and regularly update virus protection software.

  • Keep your computer operating system and Web browser current.

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