There's a new type of email and internet scheme called "phishing", such as thieves "fishing" for your personal information.
How it works
Typically, you will receive an email that appears to come from a legitimate and trusted source with which you have an established business relationship, such as a bank. The email will probably warn you of a serious problem that requires your immediate attention. The email will then encourage you to click on a link or button to go to the institution's Web site. Techniques such as a false "from" address or the use of seemingly legitimate bank logos, Web links and graphics may be used to mislead you into thinking you are at the bank's legitimate Web site.
In a phishing scam, you are then re-directed to a phony Web site that may look exactly like the real thing. At times, you may actually be on the company's legitimate Web site and a pop-up window will quickly appear for the purpose of taking your financial information. In either case, you will then be asked to update or validate your financial or personal information such as bank account information, social security numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), or the information you use to verify your identity over the phone, such as your mother's maiden name or your place of birth. Remember: California Bank & Trust emails will never ask you for personal information or data, or any other sensitive information.
Banks have been the target of these email and Internet-related fraudulent schemes. For example, a fake email message advises recipients that their Internet Banking Service session has timed out and their services will be suspended unless they update their account information. The email message includes a hyperlink to a fraudulent Web site that looks similar to the banks legitimate Web site and asks for confidential information, including bank account information and Social Security numbers. Consumers who fall prey to such email and Internet-related fraudulent schemes face real and immediate risks. These thieves will act quickly to gain unauthorized access to financial accounts, commit identity theft, or engage in other illegal acts before the victim realizes that fraud has occurred and can take action to stop it.
Reporting suspicious emails
To report a suspicious email that uses California Bank & Trust's name, please forward it to CBTQuestions and then delete the email.
Protecting against email and internet-related fraud schemes
California Bank & Trust's Web page should never be accessed from a link provided by a suspicious email. It should only be accessed by typing the Web site name, or URL address, into the Web browser or by using a page previously bookmarked that directs the Web browser to the California Bank & Trust's Web site.
Never provide personal information. California Bank & Trust emails will never ask you for personal information or data, such as your Social Security number, ATM or Check Card PIN, or any other sensitive information.
Beware of an email that makes some form of urgent appeal so that you will respond quickly.Beware of requests for updating security information online or claims that the bank has lost important security information. For example, the email may claim that your account may be closed or suspended if you fail to confirm, verify, or authenticate your personal information immediately. California Bank & Trust and most other financial institutions will never ask you to verify information in this way.
Look out for typos or poor grammar. Typographical or spelling errors, poor grammar or writing and lack of design quality may be the mark of fraudulent emails or phony websites.
Don't fall for too-good-to-be-true advertisements or offers of cash. Fraudulent activity may be perpetuated by emails or web advertisements that offer you money or cash bonuses for transferring cash or engaging in other financial transactions.
Don't respond to an email claiming to be from California Bank & Trust that appears to be suspicious. If you receive a suspicious email using California Bank & Trust's name and asking for personal information or California Bank & Trust account information, please forward the email to CBTQuestions. Do not click on any links it provides or reply to it - simply delete it.
What to do if you become a victim of an email or internet-related scheme
Contact us immediately at 1-800-254-2265 (Select 0 to speak to an Agent) or your local branch.
If you have disclosed sensitive information in a phishing attack, you should contact one of the three major credit bureaus and discuss whether you need to place a fraud alert on your file, which will help prevent thieves from opening a new account in your name.