Older gentleman wearing a plaid shirt is talking on his cell phone at home

Security | Telephone Phishing

Stay alert when you answer the telephone.

People and businesses are victimized by fraud and identity theft every year. Phishing can cause irreparable damage to those that fall victim to them. Common repercussions include financial losses due to unauthorized bank transfers or payments; compromised user accounts from stolen credentials; damage to one's reputation due to leaked confidential information, and identity theft due to the release of personal information. 

Never disclose confidential or personal information to a stranger.

Phishing, also known as vishing, happens when criminals use phone calls to lure victims into divulging financial details or other private data. Rest assured, First Northern Bank and Trust will never contact you this way.

Vishing involves criminals posing as representatives of legitimate businesses or organizations to deceive their victims. They pretend to be customer service or technical support staff who request access to personal accounts. A phishing telephone call can sound like a friendly and helpful person offering assistance with an urgent problem. You may be asked to provide banking credentials or confirm account numbers and credit card information during a call.

The caller may offer a reward or prize but request payment before providing details. Be aware of any calls during which you are asked to pay in exchange for something in return. They might say there is a problem and threaten negative consequences, like closing your account, unless you provide the requested details. 

Vishing attacks are particularly dangerous as they can occur anywhere, anytime. It can be difficult for victims to recognize a vishing attack since it begins with an apparently normal phone conversation. Individuals must remain vigilant when answering unknown calls and always verify a caller's identity before providing personal information. If something feels off about a call – even if it seems legitimate at first – we recommend hanging up without providing any information and reporting it to the appropriate authorities.

Phishing phone calls might sound like this...

“I'm calling from a fake credit card company. I need to verify some information because someone may be fraudulently charging purchases to your card. Can you please confirm the account number and expiration date? Okay, thank you. Lastly, I need the 3 digits on the back. It looks like everything checks out, and I’ve upgraded the security on your account at no charge.”

“Good morning. I represent the security department of fake bank. Our records show that your ATM card has been compromised. For your safety, we’ve frozen the account. For us to unlock your card, please verify the sixteen-digit card number.”

“This is Officer Jones calling from the Federal Consumer Agency. We have received several reports of telemarketing fraud involving attempted withdrawals from bank accounts in your area. To safeguard your account, we need to confirm your account number.”

When you answer the phone, an automated voice will greet you with a message that could sound like this one:
“Hello. I am is a representative of (bank or company’s name) and am calling for security reasons. Your credit (or debit) card has been locked and needs to be reactivated. We can re-activate your card now if you’ll please press 1.”
After you press 1, another automated system will answer and request that you confirm the card number, expiration date, and personal identification number (PIN) or CSV (the 3 or 4-digit code on a credit card).

If you have concerns, contact us immediately.

Worried about a suspicious call you received? Did someone identify themselves as a representative of First Northern Bank and Trust, but you felt like something was off? Call us at 1-800-344-2274 and report any unusual phone calls, just to be on the safe side. Your security is our top priority.