Northwest Bank Offers Tips to Stay Vigilant for Identity Theft Awareness Week

January 30, 2023

Columbus, Ohio – Northwest Bank, a full-service financial institution offering a complete line of business and personal banking products, shares scams and spoofs that are on the rise, as well as tips for consumers to be mindful of in alignment with Identity Theft Awareness Week, which runs each year between Jan. 30 – Feb.3.

One popular form of identity theft is through phishing. Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails or other messages, claiming to be from reputable companies, where the victim is then duped into typing their username and password unknowingly providing the fraudsters with their account credentials. Phishing can occur through several different channels including emails and website links.

“Smishing” is a phishing method via SMS, where scammers deceive you into clicking a fraudulent link in a text message that sends the attacker sensitive personal information or downloads malware to your phone. According to the Northwest Bank Security Operations Team, “smishing” attacks are on the rise.

“These types of fraudulent text messages often impersonate a financial institution, and while they are crafted to appear authentic at first glance, they contain malicious links where if clicked, direct the recipient to a fraudulent website,” said Lance Spencer, senior vice president, chief information security officer, Northwest Bank. “One way to avoid falling victim is to always contact your financial institution directly to verify the authenticity of SMS text messaging that is prompting you to take some form of action. It is also wise to set up multi-factor authentication options for online accounts.”

Another vector where an individual’s identity may be prone to theft or fraudulent misuse is via social media. While social media is intended for sharing, people tend to “overshare” personal information, often not thinking about the potential consequences.

“Fraudsters leverage information that they find on social media postings to establish personas that aid them in their fraudulent activities,” advised Spencer. “Be aware of what information is shared within your content, and ask yourself prior to clicking the ‘post’ button if this material is something you would want potentially everyone on the internet to read.”

Taking a moment to routinely review your social media account security settings ensures they are set appropriately. In many cases, users permit way too much information that can be accessed by far too many people.  

To learn more about Northwest Banks cyber security tips, please visit:

About Northwest

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Northwest Bancshares, Inc. is the bank holding company of Northwest Bank. Founded in 1896 and headquartered in Warren, Pennsylvania, Northwest Bank is a full-service financial institution offering a complete line of business and personal banking products, as well as treasury management solutions and wealth management services. As of December 31, 2022, Northwest operated 142 full-service community banking offices and eight free standing drive-through facilities in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Indiana. The common stock of Northwest Bancshares, Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market ("NWBI"). Additional information regarding Northwest Bancshares, Inc. and Northwest Bank can be accessed on-line at