Identity Theift and Phishing

What is Phishing?

Phishing - pronounced fishing - is the latest form of identity theft. It's when thieves act as if they are representing a legitimate company and try to "hook" you into providing personal information. Once you're "hooked", they can trick you into providing your name, social security number, account number, credit card numbers, PIN numbers, and passwords.

How does Phishing work?

By E-mail:
Criminals will use e-mail to try and “hook” you. You may receive an e-mail that says it is from Central State Bank, asking you to "reconfirm" your personal information. This e-mail is not from us, but from a phisher pretending to be a representative of our organization.

Typically, the e-mail contains a link to a web site that looks like a near-replica of our site. If you click onto the link and add your personal information, that information goes right into the hands of identity thieves. It's important not to respond to these e-mails.

By Phone:
Phishers also use the phone to "fish" for personal information. Using automated calling, they make mass phone calls trying to get someone to give out their personal information by pretending to be from the bank or the credit card company, and asking you to verify your account number and other personal information. With today’s technology, they can even alter the name and number that shows up on your caller ID – it can look like a legitimate call! Neither Banks nor credit card companies will call you to ask you for your personal information, so don’t fall for this scam.

By Text messaging:
Yes, even your cell phone can be used by these criminals. A text message, like E-mail, appears to be from a bank or credit card company and will state that you need to update or verify your personal info. Again, do not be fooled. Neither Banks nor credit card companies will contact their customers using text messaging.

Central State Bank is doing everything we can to counter this type of criminal activity. Your account protection is our top priority. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail or phone call that seems suspicious, and is allegedly from our organization, please do not reveal any information. In fact, please call us at 205-668-0711 to report any suspicious request.

For more information to help you guard against and deal with identity theft please visit the Federal Trade Commission Website and the Free Annual Credit Report site. Both of these links are available on our resources page.

Contact Information to Credit Bureaus and local law enforcement are available on our contact page.