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First Community Bank Alerts Customers About Phishing E-mail

An e-mail saying that it has been sent by First Community Bank based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA and requests recipients to enter their PIN (Personal Identification Number) and bank card number is naturally a scam, according to William Bane, Vice-President of First Community, as reported by WXII12 on January 2, 2008.

The bank said that several of its customers had notified its officials about the scam e-mail. The message, which seems to be a formal communication sent by the First Community Bank, informs recipients that as the bank is in the process of updating its database, it requires customers to confirm their personal banking details.

The message further warns that customers who fail to respond with the information would find their account closed. However, the official looking e-mail has several grammatical errors and stresses customers to enter their login details immediately into a given site.

According to the bank authorities, spam poses severe legal liability problems and undermines corporate reputation. The problem is still more acute for financial institutions as spam could impact customer service and loyalty, brand equity and consumer confidence, said the officials.

Security experts further said that e-mail scams spoofing banks are common these days while the most common method by which fraudsters capture personal financial data is through the technique called phishing. In this, attackers divert consumers via e-mail or IM (Instant Messaging) to a trustworthy appearing website where they are encouraged to feed in their user ID, password and other sensitive information, usually through promises of big deals.

Hence, to keep off prying eyes from personal information, the best way is to secure the system and closely supervise accounts. Most experts advise users to avoid sharing personal details with anyone.

Furthermore, a bank or any financial institution doesn't get in touch with a customer over e-mail to acquire, confirm or reinitiate account particulars. If anyone receives such e-mail, he should ignore it without giving in bank account or personal information, First Community Bank said.

Additionally, phishing attacks of small size do not get much publicity. Consequently, scammers' utilization of personal details to exploit users' trust increases.

Related article: FIRST Reveals Staggering Rise in Computer Hacking in China

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