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Email Scams 101: How to Help Protect Yourself and Your Assets

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Email Scams 101: How to Help Protect Yourself and Your Assets

Jan 31, 2024

Scammers know how valuable your personal and financial information is — and they’ll do or say almost anything to get it. Whether impersonating representatives of a company or government agencies, scammers can contact you requesting your security information. They may even try to get you to process a payment through a Wire Transfer or other payment method. They'll look for specific security information, such as your username and password, debit card PIN, or an authorization code sent to you so that they can send transactions to themselves.

Here’s how to keep your information safe from scammers:

Be cautious of unexpected emails and messages:

  • Emails may contain a header in the subject line or phrases in the content of the email, such as “urgent” or “confidential.”
  • Any subject line conveying urgency is often a red flag.
  • If you receive an email marked urgent or confidential, please review it carefully for accuracy and reach out directly to the individual through a separate means of communication. Do not respond to the original message, instead call the phone number listed on the company website.

Check the email sender’s validation:

  • Check for spelling errors or typos in the email address or message.
  • Always verify and confirm details with the parties involved, especially with messages regarding funds transfers. Some email scammers use hacked email accounts, so it’s important to use a different method to verify that the sender is not a scammer.
  • Scammers can also use fraudulent email addresses that closely resemble a legitimate email address that you may have been communicating with previously.
  • If you get an email from a company or organization you know and do business with, contact them using a website you trust. Or call the number listed directly on the company’s official website or on the back of your debit card.

Don’t click on any links:

  • If any of these red flags discussed above appear in the email, do not click the link.
  • If the link itself looks suspicious, do not click on it.
  • Suspicious links often have misspelled words, strange characters, or dashes.

When asked for security information, it's important to know:

  • DO NOT SHARE your online banking credentials, passwords, or PIN numbers.
  • If Peoples Bank contacts you, you'll never be required to provide an authorization code, banking credentials, or debit card number.
  • If you receive an authorization code to your phone or through email, it's extremely important to read the entire message that came with it. The full context may help you understand why you received the code and acceptable channels through which to provide it.
  • You should never provide your debit card PIN verbally to a person or send it through an email.
  • Never wire transfer funds or send funds through digital payment apps to anyone claiming your account is compromised, anyone asking you to send money to yourself, or anyone asking you to send money to "reverse a transaction" or "protect your money."

Email scams are a growing concern in today's digital world. It is essential to recognize and avoid these scams to protect personal and financial information. By being cautious of unexpected emails and messages, checking the sender's email address, looking for spelling and grammatical errors, and avoiding clicking on suspicious links, you can protect yourself from these types of attacks.

Remember: When in doubt, do not act. Visit your local branch or call the Peoples Bank Customer Care Center at 1.800.374.6123 from Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. ET & Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET.

Email Scams 101
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