Email From Your Bank: Real or Spam?

24
February

An ever increasing number of fraudulent activities that occur online are being reported to authorities, and many of them include emails that were supposedly sent by an individual’s bank. Most consumers are well aware of the fact that releasing private information on the internet is never a good idea, but it can be very easy to be fooled when an email looks legitimate. The following guide will help a person decide if the email from their bank is real or if it is spam.

The nature of the email is often enough to determine if it actually has come from a person’s bank or not. It is important to understand that many financial institutions do market to their customers via messages sent through email, but they are never going to alert a person to a potential danger with their account. The most common fraudulent emails state that an account may have been hacked and will require an account holder to put in some information to take the steps necessary to secure their money. The information that is gathered in this process is often enough to allow thieves to either steal an identity or clean out a customer’s accounts. A bank may send advertisements about loan rates or promotions that are going on at a local branch, but they will never request any type of information to be inputted.

Consumers need to realize that most financial institutions have developed a secure message program that is normally attached to the online banking portals on their website. If any specific questions have to be asked regarding account information, the bank will only respond via a secure message. An email may be sent to the consumer telling them that they have a secure message waiting for them, but the individual will then have to log in to their online banking at the financial institutions website and access the information in that manner. If a consumer ever receives an email that states they need to click on a link, it is always a better idea to simply navigate to the bank’s website.

Paying close attention to the email address from which the message was sent is another way to determine if the source is legitimate or not. A person sending a message from a particular bank should have an appropriate email address, and these employees are never allowed to utilize a free email provider. If there is ever any doubt, the best thing to do is call the corporate number for the bank and see if there is a employee directory available. Consumers should attempt to make offline contact with the person that supposedly sent them an email, and in many cases no such person even exists. Looking at the pictures that are included with the email can be very telling as well, and it is not uncommon to find logos and designs that appear to be slightly different. Any emails containing these types of images should be deleted or forwarded to the proper authorities.

As with any other type of potential fraud, it is always a better idea to be safe than sorry. If there are any suspicious emails sent, the best course of action is to call the bank or the local branch and ask if they specifically sent a message. The answer will almost always be no, and consumers need to understand that their financial institution will never ask them for confidential information to verify identity. Any questions should always be directed to a trusted individual at the bank, and being careful is certainly worth it in the long run. No email is going to be so important that it must be answered immediately, and a consumer would be wise to ask about the emailing policy when they set up their account. If anything ever truly is urgent and requires immediate attention, the majority of banks would rather call and speak with a person directly.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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