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Target Data Breach Leads to Phishing Scams: Lakeside Bank Offers Tips to Help Consumers - Friday, February 07, 2014

Lakeside Bank is warning customers to be careful of phishing scams related to the Target data breach that happened in November of last year.

"These attacks use spoofed e-mails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data,” said Matt Fruge, vice president and IT officer for Lakeside Bank. "Phishers highjack the trusted brands of banks, online retailers and credit card companies to convince recipients to respond to them.”

Victims of the Target data breach are especially vulnerable right now to phishing added Fruge. "These criminals have the ability to send legitimate looking e-mails. The most important thing for customers to know is their bank will never ask for their personal information in via e-mail.”

To avoid becoming the victim of a phishing scam, Fruge suggests following these tips:

  • If you have already responded to an e-mail, contact your bank so they can protect your account.
  • Refrain from giving out your personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or e-mail. It doesn’t matter how official it may seem.
  • Do not respond to e-mails that warning of serious consequences unless you validate your information immediately. Reach out to the company to confirm the validity of the e-mail using a phone number or Web address you know is legitimate.
  • Regularly check your credit card and bank statements, looking for unauthorized transactions, even small ones. Some thieves count on small transactions going unnoticed. Report any discrepancies immediately.
  • If you are submitting financial information online, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your Internet browser. Most Internet addresses that are secure, though not all, use "https” at the beginning of the address in the URL bar.

For more information, contact Lakeside Bank at (337) 474-3766 or visit www.lakesidebanking.com.