First Financial warns clients about phishing scams

November 23, 2011

First Financial Bank is warning consumers not to fall victim to phishing scams. Phishing is a new twist on an old telemarketing scam, but uses e-mail. These criminals send e-mails to millions of people hoping that even a few will give away valuable information.

To avoid becoming the victim of a phishing scam, First Financial offers the following tips:

  • Never give out your personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or e-mail, no matter how official it may seem.
  • Do not respond to e-mail that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately. Contact the company to confirm the e-mail'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 have responded to an e-mail, contact your bank immediately so they can protect your account and your identity. For information on identity theft, visit ABA's consumer section.

For more information on phishing, visit the following: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the National Consumers League, the OCC Consumer Protection News and the OCC Consumer Complaints and Assistance website.