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Online Fraud Prevention

How we defend you – and how to protect yourself – from online threats

Protect yourself when you bank and shop online

From Phishing and Pharming to malware and work-from-home scams, there are many online threats whose goal is to steal both your identity and your money.
At Citizens Bank, your safety and security is our number-one priority. In fact, there are a number of ways to protect yourself from online fraud and identity theft:

How Citizens protects you:

  • Customizable security alerts

  • Password protected login

How to protect yourself:

  • Create a unique password for your Online Banking account that you don’t use for any other web account

  • Update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software frequently

  • Keep your computer's operating system up to date, and accept update prompts

  • Do not open or respond to emails from senders you don't know

To report any type of fraud concerning your Citizens Bank accounts, call us at 1-800-922-9999 or forward a suspect email to abuse@citizensbank.com. Then, be sure to delete the suspicious email from your mailbox.

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Understanding the types of email fraud

Of course, the best defense against identity theft is education. By understanding the types of theft schemes and following a few simple steps, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

Please be advised, Citizens Bank will never ask for you to send personal or financial information by, in response to, or via a link in an email.

Common Schemes:

Phishing
Phishing is a fraud technique commonly used to attempt to trick people into revealing their account number and password.

Here is how a phishing scam typically works: The “phisher” sends out emails that are designed to look legitimate, as though they were really from a reputable source (like Citizens). These fake emails generally either ask for security details or direct customers to a counterfeit banking site. If the use of a counterfeit site is employed, the phisher asks the customer to enter their complete security details – password, security questions, user name... ANYTHING THAT THE LEGITIMATE SITE COULD or WOULD ASK FOR. This information is captured and then used to commit fraud.

If you receive an email requesting your security details, do not reply and do not follow the instructions even if the email suggests that you need to take immediate action to stop your account being frozen or it indicates that you may incur a fine if you don't.

These are just tricks that the fraudster may be using to manipulate you into giving away your personal or account information.

If you suspect a phishing attack, call us at 1-800-922-9999 or forward the suspect email to abuse@citizensbank.com. Then, delete the suspicious email from your mailbox.

SMS Phishing
Some people are receiving text messages pretending to be from the bank. Some state that sensitive information about you has been posted onto the Internet and encourage you to visit a website. These messages are fraudulent, and visiting the link in the text is likely to result in an attempt to infect your computer or handheld device with a malicious virus.

Other messages state there is a problem with your bank account and encourage you to phone a number. These are also fraudulent, attempting to trick you into giving away your personal and security information.

Example text messages:

"Your account is closed due to unusual activity. Call us at [number removed]."
"Someone has posted your full Personal & Banking information @ http://[website address removed] You must remove it now."
"Hi, I post your full Personal and Banking information at [website address removed]. You can remove it. I am sorry" .

What can I do?

Do NOT phone the number. Fraudsters will attempt to trick you into disclosing your personal information.
Do NOT click on the link or type it into your browser, as you may be at risk of being infected with malicious software.

If you have followed the link, it is recommended that you undertake a full check of your computer system or handheld electronic device as soon as possible to determine whether any spyware, computer virus, or other malicious software has been installed. The most effective protection is to keep your computer's security up to date.

If you suspect you have received a fraudulent text message, please forward the message to abuse@citizensbank.com or call us at 1-800-922-9999. Then, DELETE the suspicious text message.

Spoofing
Many forged emails ask you to supply, confirm, or update personal information by clicking on a link in the email. The link will connect you to a Web page or login that appears to belong to the company mentioned in the email. This is referred to as a "spoofed" site. Often the site looks just like the company's site – but it's not. The spoof may be a popup window or an embedded image over the actual site. The goal of the criminals is to get you to enter your personal data so they can steal your information.

Help us help you: Forward suspicious email to us!
If you suspect you've received a fraudulent email, DO NOT RESPOND TO THE EMAIL! Instead, contact us as soon as possible: Email us at abuse@citizensbank.com.

Some useful links

Federal Reserve Press Release about phishing

Fraud Prevention Brochure

National Cyber Security Alliance Website

To view a pdf file, you need the Adobe Acrobat software: Download Adobe Acrobat now.

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