Protect yourself from phishing scams

Today we are warning consumers not to fall victim to phishing scams related to the Target data breach. Phishing attacks use spoofed e-mails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data. By hijacking the trusted brands of banks, online retailers and credit card companies, phishers are able to convince recipients to respond to them.

“Industry experts warn that victims of the Target data breach are particularly vulnerable right now to phishing.,” says VCNB  Head of Operations Joe Griffith. “These criminals are capable of sending very legitimate looking e-mails. The most important thing for customers to remember is that we will never ask you for personal information in an e-mail.”

To avoid becoming the victim of a phishing scam, we offer the following tips:

• If you have responded to an email, contact  your  bank  immediately so they can protect your account and your identity.

• Never give out your personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or email, no matter how official it may seem.

•  Do not respond to email that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately.  Contact the company to confirm the email’s validity using a telephone number or Web address you know to be genuine.

•  Check your credit card and bank account statements regularly and look for unauthorized transactions, even small ones.  Some thieves hope small transactions will go unnoticed.  Report discrepancies immediately.

•  When submitting financial information online, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your Internet browser. Most secure Internet addresses, though not all, use “https.”

•  Report suspicious activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.

If you receive suspicious communication from someone claiming to be from VCNB or representing VCNB, please contact customer service immediately. Customer service representatives are available to help you at 1-800-542-5004 or you can chat with a representative from our website at www.vintoncountybank.com.

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