Understanding Phishing

Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) might sound harmless – it’s not. Phishing is an act of attempted online identity theft. Victims are tricked into revealing personal information, including account, PIN and Social Security numbers. Email is often the lure.

Know how to recognize email spam. You are not required to open every email you receive. Do not click on links, download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.

Identify the warning signs. Did the email come from an unrecognized sender? Was it from a person or business who wouldn’t normally send you an email? Does the language seem “off?”

If it seems too dramatic… It probably is. Urgent requests for money, the confirmation of personal or financial information, promises of a huge prize – all common phishing techniques.

You need to update your personal info? Don’t believe it. Legitimate businesses will not request personal information to be sent via email.

Do not call phone numbers listed in suspicious emails. If you suspect the email is phony, why would the customer hotline be valid? Contact a known representative at the business to get the truth.

Avoid providing personal or financial information through email, even if you know the recipient.

If you have any questions about online banking safety or want to be sure your Northwest emails are legitimate, please call us at 1-877-672-5678, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.