At Sunshine State Federal, we take Internet security seriously. We value the relationships we have built with you and your family and hope that you never become the victim of Cyber-Fraud or Identity Theft. But, because Cyber-Fraud and Identity Theft are such fast-growing crimes, we want you to be aware of the basic precautions you can take to protect yourself.
On-Line Fraud Is Growing
Internet fraud can be any type of scheme that uses the Internet—chat rooms, email, message boards or websites—to deceive prospective victims. These schemes, scams and frauds take advantage of the Internet's unique capabilities—sending email messages worldwide in seconds or posting website information that is readily accessible from anywhere in the world — to carry out fraud quicker than ever possible in the past.
As a bank customer, you need to be especially vigilant to some of the newer frauds at work in cyberspace.
Fraudulent emails, appearing to be from a trusted source such as your bank, or a government agency, direct you to websites. Once there, you are asked to verify personal information such as name, account and credit card numbers and passwords. These sites are often designed to look exactly like the site they are imitating.
If you receive an email that warns you, with little or no notice, that your account will be shut down unless you reconfirm certain information, do not click on the email link. Instead, use a phone number or enter the web address yourself. Clicking on a link that looks legitimate may in fact direct you to a fraudulent website where crooks will steal your personal information. Remember, your bank or a government agency will never send you an alert asking you to disclose your personal information.
Before submitting any financial information to a legitimate website, look for the “lock” icon on the browser status bar, or look for “https” in the web address. Both are indications that the information is secure and encrypted during transmission.
Report suspicious activity to the FTC (see resources section of this page).
Web spoofing allows an attacker to create a “shadow copy” of any legitimate website. Access to the shadow web is funneled through the attacker's machine, allowing the attacker to monitor all of the victim's activities, including any passwords or account numbers the victim enters. The attacker can also cause false or misleading data to be sent to web servers in the victim's name, or to the victim in the name of any web server. In spoofing, an attacker gains unauthorized access to a computer or a network by making it appear that a malicious message has come from a trusted machine by “spoofing” the address of that machine. Phishing and spoofing often go hand-in hand in Internet fraud.
Be wary of unsolicited or unexpected emails from all sources.
If an unsolicited email arrives, treat it as you would a phishing source.
Identity Theft Frauds
Internet fraudsters often use identity theft as a starting point for larger crimes. In one case, criminals obtained the names and social security numbers of military personnel then used them to apply to a bank over the Internet for credit cards. In another case, stolen personal data was used to submit car loan applications online.
Keep a close eye on your account activity at your bank, either through statements or using their online services. Report anything that looks suspicious.
Your personal information can be obtained by “phishing,” “spoofing,” or the old fashioned way —dumpster diving. Make sure your unused checks, bills, and statements are shredded before discarding.
General Tips Against Cyber-Fraud
Don't Judge By Initial Appearances. Just because something appears on the Internet—no matter how impressive or professional the website looks—doesn't mean it's real. The ready availability of software that allows anyone, at minimal cost, to set up a professional-looking website means that criminals can make their websites look as impressive as those of legitimate businesses, banks or government agencies.
Be Careful About Giving Out Personal Data Online. If you receive emails from someone you don't know asking for personal data—don't send the data without knowing more about who's asking. While secure transactions with known ecommerce sites should be safe, especially if you use a credit card, non-secure messages to both known and unknown recipients are not safe.
Be Especially Wary Of Emails Concealing Their True Identity. If someone sends you an email using a mail header that has no useful identifying data (e.g., W6T7S8@provider.com), that may be an indication that the person is hiding something and is not legitimate.
Review Credit Card and Account Statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges or suspicious charges/transactions. If your statement is late by more than a few days, call your Credit Card Company or bank to confirm your billing address/account balances, and determine whether they have mailed your statement.
Watch Out For “Advance-Fee” Demands. Look carefully at any online seller of goods or services that wants you to send checks or money orders immediately to a post office box before you receive the goods or services you've been promised.
Use Anti-Virus Software and keep it up to date. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Anti-virus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for anti-virus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; that can effectively reverse the damage; and that updates automatically.
A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. It's especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection. Finally, your operating system (like Windows or Linux) may offer free software “patches” to close holes in the system that hackers or phishers could exploit.
Use Common Sense.
The Internet is a great tool...for information, and to conduct on-line business, as long as consumers take appropriate precautions and are aware of the possibility that someone may be trying to scam them. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The consumer information links below exist to assist customers in locating information and providing guidance on how to file complaints when appropriate.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center
You can file a complaint with the FTC against a company or organization that you believe has cheated you by contacting the Consumer Response Center by phone: toll free 877-FTCHELP (382-4357) – TTY: 202-326-2502.
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
The IC3's mission is to combat fraud committed over the Internet through a unique partnership between the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The IFCC website allows consumers to report Internet fraud, among other services.
Department of Justice
Department of Justice Homepage.
FirstGov (Your First Click to the U.S. Government)
“FirstGov” is a free-access website designed to give a centralized place to find information from local, state, and U.S. Government Agency websites. Consumers may call the toll-free number at 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636).
“Consumer.gov” is a “one-stop” link to a broad range of federal information resources available online.
Social Security Administration
Report Fraud: 800-269-0271
Identity Theft Resource Center
Sunshine State Federal's Internet Banking is Now More Secure
INTRODUCING PASSMARK™ A NEW LAYER OF SECURITY
Sunshine State Federal is working hard to secure our online banking services so that our customers have the confidence that their information is being protected.
Sunshine State Federal is proud to deliver the highest level of security for our internet banking customers.
Sunshine State Federal has added an additional layer of security that will change the way you log into our internet banking service. These changes will provide even greater levels of protection against fraudulent attacks such as phishing, spoofing, key logging and identify theft. All users will be required to select challenge questions and answers, select a unique image and create a personal description for the image that is only known by you. Each time you log in thereafter, the image will appear to verify to you that you are on Sunshine State Federal's website before entering your password. You will not have to select a new password during this process.
The final level of the new security is the authentication of your computer. Sunshine State Federal has the ability to recognize the computer or computers from which you usually log on. If our system detects a suspicious login due to an unfamiliar computer, it will automatically present you with challenge questions that were previously selected.
GETTING STARTED IS EASY!
Step: 1 Login using your access ID.
Step: 2 Select a picture from the image library.
Step: 3 Create a personal description (PassMark phrase) to the image.
Step: 4 Select your challenge questions and provide your answers.
Step: 5 Select whether to register this computer.
Note: Only register personal computers that you frequently use and are not available for public use.
The next time you log onto our internet banking service, Sunshine State will recognize you and display the image and personal description (PassMark phrase) you selected.