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How to protect yourself from PHISHING

The term “phishing” refers to a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual’s personal or financial information. This is how it works:


  • A consumer receives an e-mail which appears to originate from a financial institution, government agency, or other well-known/reputable entity. 
  • The message describes an urgent reason you must “verify” or “re-submit” personal or confidential information by clicking on a link embedded in the message.
  • The provided link appears to be the Web site of the financial institution, government agency or other well-known/reputable entity, but in “phishing” scams, the Web site belongs to the fraudster/scammer.
  • Once inside the fraudulent Web site, the consumer may be asked to provide Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information used to identify the consumer, such as the maiden name of the consumer’s mother or the consumer’s place of birth.
  • When the consumer provides the information, those perpetrating the fraud can begin to access consumer accounts or assume the person’s identity.

Tips on how to avoid Phishing:

The following links may direct you away from the OSB website.

  • If you receive an unexpected e-mail saying your account will be shut down unless you confirm your billing information, do not reply or click any links in the e-mail body.
  • Before submitting financial information through a Web site, look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar. It means your information is secure during transmission.
  • If you are uncertain about the information, contact the company through an address or telephone number you know to be genuine.
  • If you unknowingly supplied personal or financial information, contact your bank and credit card company immediately.
  • Suspicious e-mail can be forwarded to [email protected], and complaints should be filed with the state attorney general’s office or through the FTC at
  • Additional information can be obtained at

Other important links:

Protect Your Computer and Your Privacy

Federal Trade Commission – Fighting Back Against Identity Theft

Stay Safe Online

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to establish credit, purchase items or borrow money in your name. Here are ways to protect yourself:

The following links may direct you away from the OSB website.

  • Protect your Social Security number (SSN), credit card and debit card numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), passwords
  •  and other personal information.
  • Report lost or stolen checks immediately.
  • Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquires such as those asking for account information to “verify a statement” or “award a prize”.
  • Shred financial solicitations or statements before disposing of them.
  • Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
  • Keep your financial trash “clean.”
  • Keep a close watch on your bank account statements and credit card bills, if regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why.
  • If your bills include questionable items, investigate immediately.
  • Avoid phishing scams. Never reply directly or click on a link in response to an email that asks for personal or financial information. Remember-we will never contact you via email to ask for personal financial information.
  • Get your free credit report at or call 877-322-8228.
  • For additional information go to


Avoid Scams!

Beware! Financial scams are on the rise.

Don’t fall victim to these scammers. Here are just a few of the common financial scams we see. There are more and more being perpetrated every day. If you feel you may be the victim of a scam, call your local police to discuss the matter with them.


How it Works:

Someone sends you a check with instructions to deposit it and wire some of the money back.

The check is fake but may look legitimate

You may get cash before the bank finds out the check is fake because it could take several days for the check to be returned.

You are responsible for checks you deposit, and if a check turns out to be fraudulent, you will owe the bank any money you withdrew.


Common Fake Check Scams We See

Overpayment – You’re selling something on-line or in the newspaper. The buyer “accidentally” sends or gives you a check for more than the selling price. He/She asks you to deposit the check and wire back the difference. The check is returned as fraudulent, you have to pay the bank back the money you withdrew and you’ve lost whatever item you “sold”.


How to Avoid Becoming A Victim of the Fake Check Scam

First ask yourself “Did I play the Lottery or enter the Sweepstakes I’ve won?” If the answer is “No”, the check is probably a fake.

Never give the item you’re selling to the buyer until you know that their check is legitimate and has cleared their bank.

Whenever possible, have them pay in cash or wire the funds to you. If a person gives you a check for more than the agreed upon selling price, have them void that check and issue you one for the correct amount, and verify that the check has cleared before giving them possession of the item.

Do not withdraw any funds relating to the check until you’re certain it has cleared the purchaser’s bank.




How it Works:

A grandparent receives a call from someone claiming to be their grandchild in distress. Maybe they’ve been arrested and they’re afraid to call their parents. Maybe their car has broken down and they can’t reach their parents.

When the grandparent doesn’t recognize their grandchild’s voice, the caller claims a bad connection or they’ve got a cold or allergies.

The caller asks the grandparent to wire them money, typically using Western Union or MoneyGram.

The caller asks the grandparent not to notify other family members.




How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of the Grandparent Scam

Before wiring money, verify the information with other family members.

Develop a family password that only you and your other family members know. Make sure the caller gives you the password before talking to them.

If they can’t give you the password or the call makes no sense, tell the caller you’re going to call the police and hang up.



How it Works:

You receive a call from someone claiming to be a member of law enforcement such as the local or state police, FBI or DEA telling you you’re going to be arrested if you don’t wire money to pay your fine or court costs.

You receive a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent telling you that you owe taxes and telling you to wire money immediately or your house and property will be seized and you’ll be arrested.

The caller may know a lot about you making the call seem legitimate.


How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of the Law Enforcement/IRS Scam


Do not engage in any conversation with the caller during which you could possibly provide personal information that the scammer could use to steal your identity.

Tell the caller that you’re calling the police and hang up.