Alerts

BBB WARNS NETFLIX SUBSCRIBERS TARGETED BY PHISHING SCAM

Baton Rouge, LA, March 19, 2014….Scammers have found another opportunity to steal personal information from consumers.  A new phishing scam has surfaced that is targeting Netflix subscribers, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Users who are targeted will be led to a phony webpage that may resemble the Netflix login page.  The Netflix users will enter their account information, and the fake website will claim that the user's account has been suspended.  A fake customer service number is provided and a "representative" recommends the user download the "Netflix support software," which is remote login software that gives the fake representative full access to the user's computer.

"Netflix has a good reputation, and scammers are taking full advantage," says Jim Stalls, President & CEO of BBB.  "Anyone could fall for this scam."

There are three key indicators consumers should look for that show an email involved in this scam is not from Netflix.  First, the phone number is not Netflix.  Instead, the number belongs to a call center in India.  Second, the webpage is a popup.  Third, the "representative" wants to login to your computer via remote software.

Here are some tips to avoid this scam and others like it:

  • Never let someone login to your computer remotely.   When another person logs in, he/she can do anything you can do on your computer.  That person can access anything, including personal and financial information.
  • Do not click links in emails.  It is better to type the address in the search bar manually.
  • If the URL seems odd, do not continue to go to the site.  If it is a scam, it will most likely have an unusual URL.  It will likely contain a common name but be accompanied by some jumbled letters or numbers.
  • Go to the company's website to verify a phone number.  If you need to call a company, look it up on the company's official website.  You make sure you are calling a legitimate number.

Target Stores Alert 12/20/13:

Target store officials released a statement this week announcing that they had a security breach with their credit card processing.  This breach may have affected up to 40 million of their customers worldwide.  Cards used to make purchases in Target stores between November 27, 2013 and December 15, 2013 may be at risk.

Target is working with the Secret Service, the Federal Trade Commission and local authorities to find the person(s) responsible.

American Gateway Bank will reissue debit cards belonging to our customers if there is any possibility that they have been compromised at Target.  We are waiting for a list from Visa to begin the process.

In the meantime, if you are an American Gateway Bank customer and you used your bank debit card at Target during the dates mentioned above, please be diligent in monitoring your account for any suspicious activity and call us at 225-387-0011 if there are any charges to your account that you did not make.

Business Alert:  FBI Warns of Scam Linked to Email Compromises

A new take-over scam that the FBI calls a "man-in-the-mail" attack has drained $1.65 million from three Seattle businesses' accounts.  Learn what steps to take to avoid becoming the next victims.  Click here.

Consumer Alert #1

Identity Theft is on the rise.  Click here for ways to protect yourself.  Click here for "Take Charge: What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen" and other free resources from the Federal Trade Commission.

Consumer Alert #2

Text Messaging Alert

If you have received a text message concerning your account, please delete it. This is a scam! Never disclose any of your personal information unless you are certain you are speaking to a representative of American Gateway Bank. If you have any questions please contact any of our American Gateway Bank locations.

Consumer Alert #3

NACHA Phishing Alert

Fradulent emails have been received recently across the U.S. in regards to ficticious ACH transactions that were rejected. These emails have the appearance of having been sent out by NACHA, the electronic payments association. Click here for more information.

Consumer Alert #4

FDIC Special Alert

The FDIC is aware of e-mails appearing to be sent from the FDIC that ask recipients to open and review an attached file. Currently, the subject line of the e-mail states: "Funds wired into your account are stolen." The e-mail is fraudulent and was not sent by the FDIC.

The fraudulent e-mail tells the recipient that proceeds from identity theft crimes have been wire-transferred into their bank account. The e-mail then directs the recipient to open and review an attached copy of their bank account statement and to contact their bank account managers.

The attached file is actually an executable file containing malicious code or software. Recipients should consider the attached file as a malicious attempt to collect online banking credentials or other personal and confidential information that could be used to gain unauthorized access to on-line banking services or perpetrate identity theft and other criminal activities.

Recipients of the fraudulent e-mail should not reply and should not attempt to open the attached file. According to reports received by the FDIC, many antivirus software programs have been detecting and removing the malicious attachment before the e-mail is delivered. However, if a recipient does open the attachment, the FDIC recommends updating anti-virus software patches and performing a complete scan of the computer and network, if applicable. If a computer becomes infected and the user encounters difficulties removing the malicious code, users should contact their anti-virus software vendor. The FDIC highly recommends using anti-virus software.

For additional information about safe online banking and avoiding online scams, visit http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/guard/.

Consumer Alert #5

Urban Myth: PIN Reversal

You may have received an email recently that is being passed around about PIN reversal at the ATM being a safety technique. There is no truth to this email It is simply another "urban myth." In this urban myth, you are lead to believe that should you find yourself in a dangerous situation (like an attempted robbery or kidnapping) while you are at an ATM, you can simply enter your PIN in reverse and the ATM will signal your diress to the financial institution and/or the authorities. Financial institutions within the U.S. have not deployed this technique despite several well circulated email chain letters that have misstated this fact

Here are the best ways to stay safe while using an ATM:

  • Always observe the ATM surroundings before conducting a transaction.
  • If an ATM is obstructed from view or poorly lit, go to another ATM.
  • It is a good idea to take another person with when using an ATM, especially at night.
  • Minimize the time spent at the ATM when conducting a transaction by having your ATM card out and ready to use and never count your money while at the ATM.
  • If you see anyone or anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and leave the area at once.

Consumer Alert #6

Vishing

"Vishing", or Voice Phishing, is the latest in financial fraud activity. In this scam, you will receive an email warning that miscount has occurred with one of your accounts. Instead of asking you to click on link that takes you to their phony website, they provide you with a phone number to call. Once you dial the number, an automated voice requests you to provide your account number so that your information may be accessed and someone can assist you. Because many numbers we now call ask for this same information before we speak to representative, this does not seem suspicious. But once you have provided your account number and the other information they request (like your phone number, zip code, PIN, etc.), the scammer now has enough information about you to make fradulent purchases with your account. To prevent this from happening to you:

  • Do not respond to an email provided phone number.
  • Look up the phone number yourself.
  • Be aware that this scam could also happen via a telephone message left on your answering machine.

Consumer Alert #7

Protect yourself from "Phishing" and "Pharming"

"Phishing" is the term used to describe e-mail and telephone scams designed to get you to reveal your personal information to unauthorized persons. "Pharming" is a technique that some phishing scammers use in which they direct you to a fraudulent website to try to obtain personal information from you. Phishing e-mails can look very convincing and pharming websites may look like the real thing, but if you are suspicious, call us at (225) 387-0011. Do not reply, click or enter any information. We may ask you to forward the e-mail to us so that we can investigate the matter.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • American Gateway Bank will never send you an e-mail asking for your account information.
  • American Gateway Bank will never call you and ask you to provide your personal account information.
  • Do not respond to any e-mails requesting your personal information.
  • Never reveal a PIN number or other bank password to an unsolicited e-mail or caller.
  • Never disclose any identifying information to an unsolicited e-mail or phone call. This includes your social security number and mother's maiden name as well as your credit card numbers or debit card number.
  • Review your bank statement each month to check for unauthorized activity.

Consumer Alert #8

Protect Your Credit

Your credit report contains information that affects whether or not you can get a loan and what interest rate you will receive on a loan. Many employers now check credit reports before making hiring decisions, too. A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you have been sued, arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy.

The Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) gives you the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These three agencies have set-up one centralized location to get your free annual credit report. To order, you may call toll free 1-877-322-8228, or visit the only authorized website of annualreport.com, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form that you can receive by writing to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348.

Be aware that there are imposter websites on the internet and fraudulent telemarketers claiming to be from annualcreditreport.com. You may also receive a scam email or computer pop-up ad. So it is important that you do not give out any personal information from anyone soliciting you. A rule of thumb would be if you did not generate the request, do not complete the form or answer any questions on the phone. To report a possible email scam, forward the email to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov.

It is important that you check your credit report every 12 months to review the activity that has been reported on you. You'll want to make sure that all of the information is accurate and up to date. This will be helpful when you apply for a new loan as well as help you guard against identity theft. If you notice any incorrect information on your credit report or find a listing for a credit card, utility, or loan that you do not have, you will need to contact that particular reporting agency.

Consumer Alert #9

Don't be the victim of a Check Scam. Click here for important information.