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Online Fraud

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What is Online Fraud?

Online fraud, also known as Internet fraud, generally refers to any type of fraud scheme that uses online services; such as chat rooms, e-mail, message boards, or web sites, to commit crimes. According to the FBI, the most common types of online fraud involve financial crimes such as auction or retail fraud, Securities fraud, and Identity Theft.

Online fraud often occurs via e-mail, in the form of Spoofing and Phishing. Spoofing and Phishing both represent e-mail scams in which fraudsters send consumers e-mail messages that appear to come from legitimate financial institutions. Consumers are directed to what appears to be authentic bank web sites. Typically, individuals are then asked to type in their personal and account information to "verify" it with the bank.

Northern Trust will never ask you to provide, verify or update personal or account information via e-mail or an unsecured Internet web site. If you receive such a request, do not provide any information. Contact Northern Trust to report these instances as soon as possible.


How to Protect Yourself from Phishing Scams:

  • In addition to using a personal firewall, install anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and update them regularly
  • Never send personal or financial information via e-mail
  • Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges
  • Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from e-mails you receive, regardless of who sent them


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Visit the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information pages to learn more about phishing scams.
APWG is the international coalition unifying the global response to cybercrime.

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