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Bank of Oklahoma Thwarts Phishing Scam

The Bank of Oklahoma (BOk) averted a major phishing attempt targeted upon itself on June 25, 2008. It shut down a bogus phone number, found in an e-mail, which was programmed to dupe customers into divulging their personal information, as reported by TULSAWORLD on June 25, 2008.

The fraudulent e-mail said that certain security changes conducted recently on the servers of the bank's online processes caused loss of personal data. Therefore, the e-mail urged its recipients to call on a phone number and submit their financial details to continue their online banking accounts. The e-mails were sent randomly, reaching customers of BOk as well as non-customers.

Jesse Boudiette, a Spokesperson for the BOk, said that within an hour of the phishing scam reports came in, they took help of a third-party security provider to shut down the fraudulent phone number, as reported by TULSA WORLD on June 25, 2008.

Boudiette also clarified that most banks do not request or send personal information either through an e-mail or a phone call. It is very rare that such a case would happen.

Hence, this e-mail phishing scam is known as "vishing" because people do not click links that take them to a fake Website, but instead call on a particular number to verify their financial account information.

Hackers try to gather personal and financial information through phishing. They lure account holders to divulge their bank account code information and routing numbers, including PINs, passwords, credit-card numbers and validation codes, social security number, etc.

Phishing e-mails often display a sense of emergency by warning customers that their accounts would either be shut down or they might be denied access if they do not immediately respond in the prescribed manner.

Boudiette cautioned that any communication from the bank's side asking for personal financial information should potentially be considered fraud. Instead, the bank should be contacted personally to address such concerns. Boudiette added that nearly 14,645 similar "phishing" scams were reported worldwide in May 2008.

Meanwhile, the BOk has asked recipients of the fraudulent emails to forward it to bokonlinefraud@bokf.com, created for this specific purpose.

Related article: Bank Issues Spam Alerts

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