January 6, 2016
Recent Tax Scams
The IRS website has recently issued warnings to increase the awareness about recent scams targeting taxpayers. As always, but especially during tax season, you should be on high alert when responding to phone calls, emails and text messages that claim to be from the IRS. Being able to recognize the red flags associated with tax scams could save you from becoming a victim.
IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam
- Callers claim to be IRS employees
- Fake names and badge ID numbers are used
- Callers may appear to know information about you
- The caller ID feature is altered to make the call appear to originate from the IRS
- Threats are used to create a sense of urgency
It is important to know that the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Email Phishing Scams
- Emails appear to be from the IRS or other related organizations such as the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP)
- A link may be included to direct the user to a fake IRS website
- Personal and/or financial information is requested
- Variations of these email scams are also being sent via text messaging
Also, the IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.
Please visit https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts for a complete list of recent scams and what to do if you think you have been contacted by someone impersonating the IRS.
December 1, 2016
Shop Safely This Holiday Season
It's the season for fraud! Beware of these scams especially during the holiday season:
- Be cautious before giving. Charity scams exist throughout the year, but peak during the holidays. Many fake charities will pitch you through email or social networks. Always check out the legitimacy of a charity first before making a contribution.
- Watch out for seasonal employment scams. If you're looking to make some extra cash during the holiday season be wary of offers that require money upfront, especially when accompanied with enticing phrases such as, "no experience necessary" and "work from home".
- Use social media wisely. Consumers are being targeted with malicious links and posts. Think twice before clicking on messages and posts especially if it's from someone you don't know.
- Fake retail apps used to steal information. Fraudsters are creating apps to resemble official shopping apps. Once downloaded on smart devices, malware is installed and personal information can be stolen or ransomware can lock a user's phone until they pay up. Always verify the legitimacy of an app before downloading it or go directly to the store's website to get the offical download.
- Do business with reputable vendors. Verify the legitimacy of the online merchant before supplying any information.
- Make sure your information is being encrypted. Look for URLs that begin with "https:" instead of "http:" and ensure the padlock icon is in the appropriate location for your browser.
- Be wary of emails requesting information. Legitimate businesses will not ask you to reconfirm your purchase or account information. If you receive an unsolicited email from a business, instead of clicking on the provided link, directly log on to the authentic website by typing the address yourself.
- Secure your internet connection. If shopping online, make sure you do so from a password protected Wi-Fi network. Never access online banking from a public Wi-Fi network.
- Monitor your account. Use online and mobile banking to keep an eye on your transactions. Notify the bank right away if there’s any fraudulent activity.
September 23, 2016
Yahoo Data Breach
Yahoo Inc. announced yesterday that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen from its network. The data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and hashed passwords. The extent of the compromise is still unknown and under investigation. For information about this data breach and what you should do if you have a Yahoo account, please visit Yahoo's Help Page.
September 8, 2016
This type of malware prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system's screen or by locking the users' files unless a ransom is paid.
This is a popular phone scam which appears to be from a technical support representative who claims there is a problem on your computer. They may ask you to type a command which allows them access to your computer, or they may ask you to visit a web address which will display fake reports about your computer's condition. Once you provide them with their requests, they will require payment to "fix" your computer, install malicious software or steal your financial information.
Relationship scams usually start on the Internet, often through social media. The relationship progresses with email correspondence, phone conversations and picture sharing. There may even be talk of marriage. There is always a request for money, whether it's funds for bus fare, airfare, surgery or even some type of investment. The requests start small and continue to grow, however, eventually the person disappears.
How to protect yourself:
- Do not give control of your computer to a third party or purchase software or services unless you initiated the call.
- If you doubt the legitamacy of a phone call you did not initiate, hang up. Contact the company using legitimate sources such as phone numbers found on the company’s website.
- Don’t click on links, open attachments, or provide sensitive information through a suspicious-looking email or text message.
- Keep your anti-virus software and firewall current and update all security patches for your operating system and browsers regularly.
- Back up your data regularly by syncing your files to a secure external drive.
- Enable pop-up blockers since pop-up windows can be an entry point for ransomware.
- Do not provide your personal or financial information, or online banking credentials to anyone claiming to be technical support.
August 16, 2016
IRS Phone Scam
This information was taken from the IRS website:
Phone Scams continue to be a serious threat throughout 2016. Scammers are making unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via a phishing email.
The callers who commit this fraud often:
- Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
- Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number, among other personal information.
- Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling.
- Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam.
- Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim
Visit the IRS website for more information and how to protect yourself from this type of phone scam and other IRS scams.
Counterfeit Currency Alert!
September 18, 2015
There has been an increase of counterfeit $100 bills detected in our area. For more information about currency authentication, please visit uscurrency.gov
Merchant Data Breach
April 22, 2015
On Monday, April 20, 2015, we were notified by VISA that Taylor Bank issued Visa debit card accounts were compromised due to a merchant data breach. Visa does not disclose the name of the merchant compromised, but indicates specific cards that were used at the merchant during the time of the compromise. Please be advised that the compromise was not caused by a data security breach at Taylor Bank or our systems. We have already reordered the affected cards, and if yours was involved in the breach, you will receive your new card in the mail with a letter regarding the re-issuance. Your old card will be deactivated when the new one is activated, or 7 days from the date on the letter.
As always, review your account activity often: Access your account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with our Online Banking, Mobile Banking and Bank-By-Phone. Should you discover debit card transactions to your account that you did not authorize, call 410-641-1700 during business hours, or 1-866-546-8273 after hours. You should always review your monthly statements for any discrepancies.
October 2, 2014
Security reports released the announcement of a new vulnerability called "Shellshock." This Unix-based bug affects computer operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X. At this time, Microsoft Windows users are not vulnerable to this bug.
Specific to our Online Banking, and all of our systems, we have verified there is no threat of this vulnerability. You can have confidence in Taylor Bank that your private information will remain secure. We are working with our vendors to assess any possible threats they may have, and to verify that they are taking steps to patch their systems that may be impacted, if necessary.
As always, and pertaining to any operating system you use, it is good practice to:
- Change your password frequently, and use a unique password for each site.
- Be aware of phishing scams and always and avoid clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails.
- Ensure that your personal computer has updated anti-virus firewall protections. Apply security patches for all of your programs and operating systems regularly.
- Monitor your account activity frequently using our free Bank-By-Phone, Online and Mobile App Banking services.
- Sign up for free eStatements to avoid having your paper statement sitting in an unsecure mailbox where it could be stolen.
Home Depot Data Breach
September 9, 2014
Taylor Bank is fully aware of the recent data breach involving Home Depot and is monitoring the situation closely. As soon as we are officially notified by VISA of the specific cards impacted by this breach we will reissue new cards immediately. In the meantime, if you have used your debit card at Home Depot, we recommend that you review the activity in your account for anything unusual using our electronic banking services. If you suspect a fraudulent transaction, please contact Taylor Bank immediately at 410-641-1700, or 1-866-546-8273 after hours.
In addition, it is very common to see an increase in phishing emails and social engineering attacks following a major data breach such as the Target breach, and this most recent breach of Home Depot. If you receive any correspondence via email, phone or regular mail regarding this data breach, proceed with caution! Click on our June Security Newsletter to learn more about social engineering and its dangers, and our other newsletters for valuable security information.
Recent Debit Card Fraud
July 23, 2014
On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, Taylor Bank received an alert from Visa regarding Taylor Bank issued Visa debit card accounts that may have been compromised. Please be advised that the compromise was not caused by a data security breach at Taylor Bank or our systems.
At Taylor Bank we monitor these situations closely, take them seriously, and work diligently to help our customers protect themselves. Depending upon the circumstance(s), this may require swift action by Taylor Bank to prevent fraudulent activity from occurring on our customer's account(s). These actions may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Placing restrictions on certain types of purchases inside or outside of our trade area.
- Limiting the dollar amount of transactions inside or outside our trade area
- Immediately closing the cardholder account.
In the event we must close a cardholder account immediately, it is our practice to notify every affected cardholder by phone. Such an event occurred on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 during which we were forced to close some cardholder accounts. These cardholders were given notice that their cards would be closed by the end of business Friday, July 25, 2014. To the extent that Taylor Bank had current and accurate contact information on the affected cardholder accounts, we are pleased to report that every affected cardholder was notified by the close of business on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Please help us to protect you by insuring that your customer contact information is always up to date. In addition, Taylor Bank recommends that all customers undertake the following measures to protect the security of their accounts and their identity at all times:
- Review account activity often. You can access your account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with our Online Banking, Mobile Banking and Bank-By-Phone. Should you discover transactions to your account you did not authorize, call 410-641-1700 during business hours, or 1-866-546-8273 after hours. You should always review your monthly statements for any discrepancies.
- Safeguard your information when making purchases online or over the phone. Use security software and don't open files, click on links, or download programs sent by strangers.
- Look for skimming devices on any ATMs, gas pumps or other electronic card reading devices you may use. If something looks broken or out of place, don't use it.
If suspicious charges outside of the norm appear on your card, our Fraud Alert Service may phone you directly on our behalf to confirm the charges. This could occur during non-banking hours. If they are unable to reach you, they will leave a message asking you to call them back to verify your card activity before allowing further purchases.
Travel and Your Taylor Bank Debit Card
June 30, 2014
In addition to restricting international debit card purchases, Taylor Bank is taking extra precautions to protect its customers from domestic card fraud. From time to time, we may block signature-based transactions from a particular type of merchant or area of the country if we are experiencing high volumes of debit card fraud. Due to a heavy increase in fraudulent activity in the U.S. recently, Taylor Bank has applied temporary restrictions to non-PIN based purchases in multiple states. When traveling to an area that is heavy with card fraud, such as California, you may find your debit card (if ran as credit), is declined when you know it shouldn't be. If a signature-based debit card transaction doesn't go through at a merchant location, try it as a PIN-based transaction (enter your PIN as part of the transaction). Again, the purpose of these restrictions is to stop any fraud before it occurs, which protects you and the bank. As always, check your account online frequently, and alert us to any suspicious activity as soon as possible. Taylor Bank customers with questions regarding any of these restrictions can contact the Electronic Services Department at 410-641-1700.
Recent Debit Card Fraud
June 19, 2014
Taylor Bank recently became aware of fraudulent activities committed on debit/ATM cards. This activity was limited to signature based transactions using fraudulent debit/ATM cards in the states of Georgia and Texas. As a precaution, Taylor Bank has blocked all signature based transactions in Georgia and Texas. However, any transactions authorized using your personal identification number (PIN) will process normally. This includes cash withdrawn at ATMs or purchases at stores where you use your PIN to authorize a transaction. If you have any questions regarding this message please contact the Electronic Services Department at 410-641-1700.
Windows XP and Taylor Bank Online Banking
Windows XP and Taylor Bank Online Banking
May 30, 2014
As a result of Microsoft's discontinuation of support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014, Online Banking support for Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) will also cease June 26, 2014. It will still be possible to log into Online Banking, but you may experience limited functionality, or an altered site appearance. Since Windows XP computers cannot upgrade past IE8, it is recommended that XP users upgrade to a new operating system as soon as possible. Other users can check their browser version by going to the Help menu in the browser tool bar and clicking on About Internet Explorer. If your Operating system supports it, you can upgrade your IE browser, or switch to another supported browser such as Firefox, Safari, or Google Chrome.
Microsoft Internet Explorer Zero-Day Vulnerability
April 30, 2014
Microsoft has released information on a zero-day vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer. This vulnerability, if exploited, would allow an attacker remote control of a workstation with the same rights as the user. All Windows users running Internet Explorer are at risk when visiting compromised websites containing malicious code to exploit this vulnerability. As always, never click on links in unexpected emails and do not visit unknown, untrusted websites. Microsoft indicates that they are working on a security patch, but do not have an estimated release date. Taylor Bank's websites are not affected by this vulnerability. Microsoft has some suggestions here to help protect yourself from questionable websites until the patch becomes available. Be aware that the patch, when issued, will not include updates for Windows XP. In effect, this means Internet Explorer should no longer be used on Windows XP.
Notice to Windows XP users
April 30, 2014
Taylor Bank would like to alert our customers to the fact that Microsoft has ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. For the past 12 years Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP, but that support has ended April 8, 2014. Microsoft will no longer offer technical assistance for Windows XP. In addition, they will no longer offer automatic updates that help protect your computer. Software updates from Microsoft, including security updates that help protect your computer from harmful viruses, spyware, and malicious software will no longer be available. If you continue to use Windows XP after April 8, 2014 your computer may continue to work, but it will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. In order to protect yourself you should upgrade your current PC to a newer version of Windows, if your computer is compatible.
April 11, 2014
A new security bug, "Heartbleed" has been discovered in recent versions of OpenSSL, a technology that allows web sites to encrypt communications with its visitors. You can be assured that TaylorBank.com has not been affected by this vulnerability, and it is safe to use all of our electronic banking services. Though our sites are not affected by this vulnerability, we encourage you to protect your personal information by making sure other sites you frequent, by logging in, have patched the problem. Once you've received confirmation of a security patch, change the passwords for your sensitive accounts and monitor your bank statements.