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In Today's World

scams, breaches, and account takeovers are commonplace. Learn how to protect you and your business below

Security and Fraud Information Series

Cyber Fraud

What is it?

• Commonly referred to as “online account takeover”.

• Criminals “take over” your online banking sessions in an attempt to steal your money.

How does it happen?

•Phishing – wide spread “net” email.

• Drive by download – your computer becomes infected just by visiting a website which contains malicious code. Cybercriminals search the Internet looking for vulnerable web servers that can be hacked.

• Fake Anti-Virus software – Alarms user with false infection warning to trick them into downloading malware.

• Fake websites – fraudsters con users into surrendering passwords and other private info by creating fake websites that mimic a legitimate log-on screen.

• Bank impersonations by phone or text – requesting security credentials which often occurs after an earlier phishing e-mail.

How do you protect yourself and your company?

• Review your accounts daily.

• Never click on links or open emails from unknown sources.

• Create strong passwords, memorize them and do not share them with anyone.

• Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer and keep it up to date.

• Do not use unsecured networks (Internet cafes, public Wi-Fi hotspots at the airport or hotels, etc.) when entering personal information.

• Business customers should manage online account access levels carefully, segregate employee duties and require dual control.

• Know what your employees are doing with their workstations and limit access to sites with high potential for fraud such as social networking, shopping, online gaming etc.


 If you think your account information has been compromised, please contact Westfield Bank immediately at 413-568-1911.


What is it?

Phishing is a common tactic used by fraudsters to gain your personal sensitive information including usernames, passwords, credit and debit card numbers etc. in order to steal money from you. In this second edition of Protecting You and Your Money we examine popular Phishing attacks and present you with tips to help prevent you and your company from becoming a victim of fraud.

How does it happen?

 • You receive an email that a friend has sent you an “e-card”. When you click on the link a virus is downloaded to your computer.

• You receive an email from a shipping company to confirm the shipping details – once again a virus is downloaded to your computer.

• You receive an email from your bank that your debit card info or online banking credentials are compromised and ask you to confirm your information. HINT: most banks WILL NOT contact you in this manner – the bank already has this information!


Check Fraud

What is it?

Fraud professionals have become increasingly skilled and sophisticated, thanks to advances in readily available technology such as personal computers, scanners and color photocopiers. Criminals today can defraud you quite easily in a variety of ways in order to steal money from you. In this third edition of Protecting You and Your Money we examine popular check fraud techniques and present you with tips to help prevent you and your company from becoming a victim of fraud.

How does it happen? 

• You receive a check from an item you sold on the Internet and the amount of the check is more than the item’s selling price.

• You receive a check from someone you have been communicating with by email.

• You receive a check drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product.

• You have been informed that you are the winner of a lottery such as the Canadian, Australian, El Gordo, El Mundo or Publisher’s Clearing House that you did not enter.

• You have been instructed to either “wire” “send” or “ship” money as soon as possible to a large U.S. city or to another country, such as Canada, England or Nigeria.

• You are receiving pay or commission to facilitate money transfers through your account.

• You responded to an email requesting you to “confirm, update or provide” your account information.

How do I protect Myself?

• Contact the Bank where the check is drawn on directly by researching the contact information yourself – never call a telephone number listed on the front of the check or in a letter.

• Bring the check and any accompanying letters or emails to your Bank and ask your Banker. They are very familiar with many fraud schemes and want to help protect you from fraud.

• Be wary of any checks received where you are requested to not tell anyone about the check received or about your “good fortune”.

• In a legitimate lottery you will never be asked to pay the taxes up front in order to collect your winnings.

• Ask yourself why someone would send you a check unsolicited.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!