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COVID-19 Information Security Tips

Beware of COVID-19 Scams

Published April 21, 2020

Be cautious of emails and texts received concerning COVID-19. Hackers can take advantage of current events by infecting electronic devices via phishing emails and texts. They will make any drastic claim they can think of to get you to open their email or text message.

Some COVID-19 related tactics that have been used to scam people include:

  • Offers to sell the cure to or a vaccine for the coronavirus or a test to you. 
  • Impersonating the government and asking for personal and financial information.
  • Impersonating or claiming to be a real charity or organization contributing to COVID-19 relief efforts to solicit money or personal/financial information from you.
  • Using sensational headlines/subject lines such as “Cure to COVID-19 found” to get you to click on insecure links that deliver malware to your devices.
  • Claiming to be an organization that is researching a cure for the Coronavirus to solicit money or personal/financial information from you.

Unfortunately, many people and companies sending you unsolicited information about COVID-19 and other topics of interest have ulterior motives.

Use these tips to protect yourself from scammers:

  • Do not open unsolicited emails or emails from people and companies you don’t recognize.
  • Do not use the links inserted into emails or open attachments from anyone you don’t know and trust directly.
  • Keep up to date with the Coronavirus and related scams by visiting trustworthy sources such as cdc.gov/coronavirus and ftc.gov/coronavirus.
  • Report suspected or known scams to the FBI online at ic3.gov
  • Do not give your passwords, PIN or social security number to anyone!
  • Review your account transactions frequently and report any unauthorized transactions to our customer care center as soon as you notice them.
  • Do not post pictures of your vaccination card on social media.

Our standards practices regarding your account(s) with us are still in place.

  • We will never call you to ask for verification of identity, account numbers, card numbers, PIN, social security number, usernames, passwords or any other personally-identifying information.
  • We will never tell you to call a number that is not a branch line (these can be found at my100bank.com/locations) or our customer care center line (888) 372-9788.
  • We will never tell, ask or recommend you transfer money or withdraw it.

For your safety and security please know:

  • Scammers can learn a lot about you online and through social media.
  • Your phone can be tricked into believing a call is coming from one of our branches.

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, please use online* and mobile** banking for transactions when possible.

*Certain transaction fees, limitations and requirements may apply. Refer to product terms and conditions or see Bank for details.
**Message and data rates may apply from your wireless carrier.  

Tips for Working Remotely

Due to COVID-19, some people have chosen or been forced to begin working from home. Hackers are already trying to take advantage of this situation in various ways. To better protect the personal and work-related data you collect, view and share, implement the following precautions.

  • Ensure that your router password is not the default one and that it is a strong password with an unpredictable mix of letters, numbers and special characters. For instance, a predictable password such as Stickykeys9! could become unpredictable by changing it to 9$ticky!keys.
  • Update your security and anti-malware software. Hackers can infiltrate outdated software more easily than up-to-date software. Don’t forget to apply security updates and patches to your applications and operating system.
  • Don’t work on public internet or WiFi. Other people on these networks can see what you’re doing! Stick to your personal internet or networks you know to be secure.
  • If you are sharing a space with other people while you work, be sure to lock your screen whenever you move away from it.

When it comes to information about COVID-19, the most complete and accurate information can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Known perpetrators of COVID-19 related scams can be found at ftc.gov/coronavirus.

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