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Avoid Phishing, Spoofing, and Other Internet Scams

Recent internet and email scams, such as "phishing", (pronounced fishing) or "spoofing", have prompted us to alert you of potential scams.

These scams involve the use of seemingly legitimate email addresses and websites to deceive consumers into disclosing sensitive information, such as bank account information, social security numbers, PINS, etc. In most phishing schemes, the fraudulent email message will request that recipients "update" their financial or personal information, and then direct them to a fraudulent website, through a 3rd party link, that may look very similar to the web site of the legitimate business.

These web sites may include copied or "spoofed" pages from legitimate websites to further trick consumers into thinking they are responding to a bona fide request. Some customers will mistakenly submit financial and personal information to the perpetrator who will use it to gain access to financial records or accounts, commit identity theft or engage in other illegal acts.

The First State Bank of Bigfork would NEVER ask for you to verify your account number, social security number, or any other type of banking information by electronic means. It is also highly unlikely that we would send you an email with an attachment. If you are ever in doubt please don't hesitate to call us before opening any such email. To avoid getting caught by one of these scams, the FTC, the nation's consumer protection agency, offers this guidance:

  • If you get an email that warns you, with little or no notice, that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. Instead, contact the company cited in the email using a telephone number or Web site address you know to be genuine. Be cautious connecting from a 3rd party link.
  • Avoid emailing personal and financial information. Always look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar. It signals that your information is secure during transmission.
  • Review your credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges.
  • Report suspicious activity to the FTC. Send the actual spam via email to [email protected]. If you believe you've been scammed, file your complaint at Then learn how to minimize your risk of damage from identity theft.

If you receive an email with an attached file from someone unknown to you, or even if the address looks familiar (such as [email protected] or [email protected]), please be extremely cautious. This is a common way to receive viruses.

For more information regarding consumer awareness, please view the following video presentation, produced by the FDIC. Don't Be an On-line Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams.

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