Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #389 9/13/2017

Question: Should I answer emails about bank accounts?


No, you should not click on links in emails about bank accounts. There are lots of phishing emails that look like they are from real banks. These emails are trying to get you to give them information that they can use to hack in your bank accounts or do other identity theft.

The emails generally have a logo for the bank and then tell you that there is a problem with your account or that the bank has updated their security system and need you to update your information. This is to be done by clicking on a link that appears in the email to be at the bank.

If you were to click on the link in the email at least one of two things will happen. First is that it will ask for personal identifying information such as account number, passwords, address, etc. With this information, they are then able to log in at the bank and get all the money in your accounts. Even if you have little money in the account they could overdraw your account or doing identify theft proceed to take out loans appearing to be you or use the information to get in credit cards, debit cards, etc.

Second it may load your machine down with malware that one aggravates you or more dangerously is used to observe your entries for other accounts and be able to get in and steal from those accounts.

Do not click on links in these emails. If you are on a computer if you hover over them you will see that the start of the real link is to some strange location. In some cases, they have put a folder structure there so the last part of the link (the right side) includes the real address but it does not go there as it is part of this malicious link. If you do ever click on a link and enter any information immediately notify all your financial institutions and credit cards and banks even if you do not have an account where email claimed from.

You can also report these to most banks by forwarding to abuse@the name of the bank.com They will generally let you know if it was fraudulent. If you think from your real bank, still do not answer links, they will not use that way to get info and besides they know your personal info even if updating systems. Call or physically visit them.