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Internet and Email Threats

Accessing the Internet carries the risk of infections, compromises, and attacks. Your best defense against these threats is knowledge and safe practices. We've included some basic information on our site to help get you started.

  • Protect your computer by using antivirus and antispyware programs.
    These programs can protect your computer from getting viruses and other
    malware as well as spyware and adware.
  • Avoid spoofing by typing a web address into your browser's address bar instead of clicking on a link in an email.
  • Fraudulent phishing emails have circulated the Internet asking for credit card and other personal information. Blackhawk Bank & Trust will never request sensitive information such as Social Security Number, password, PIN, or account number from you by email. Be advised that you should never reveal account information over the phone or in an email unless you have initiated the transaction.
    Your account information at Blackhawk Bank & Trust has not been compromised. Cybercriminals are "spamming," or sending out large numbers of emails, without actually knowing banking affiliations in an attempt to elicit responses. By responding, they can collect confidential information like email addresses, account numbers, and passwords.

Note: If you are a Blackhawk Bank & Trust customer and have responded to a fraudulent email, please contact the bank at 309-787-4451.

Online Shopping, Free Trial Scams

Read the fine print when shopping online. Many online merchants send emails, popups, and advertisements on social networking Web sites offering free trial product offers. To receive the free trial, you may be asked to provide a method of payment, such as a debit or credit card, to cover the shipping and handling. Before you accept a free trial, or purchase a product online, read the disclosure and make sure you completely understand what you're agreeing to. A recent trend with online merchants is to include additional services along with your free trial offer or purchase. These add-ons are often hidden in the fine print of the disclosure. In the fine print, the cardholder is agreeing to be billed and receive subsequent shipments of the product or service. If you are accepting a free trial offer, or shopping online, use caution and read the fine print carefully. If the free trial offer requires a credit or debit card to secure the offer, be aware.

Recent Fraudulent Emails & Alerts

  • July 22, 2010 Blackhawk Bank & Trust has learned that criminals have launched a major e-mail campaign to deploy the infamous ZeuS Trojan e-mail, which will send spam messages disguised as fraud alerts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Twitter account hijack warnings, or salacious Youtube.com videos.
    The fraudulent IRS e-mail uses the verbiage "Notice of Underreported Income" as the Subject Line and encourages the recipient to click a hyperlink to review their tax statement. All of the latest e-mails use a variety of URL shortening services.
    To protect yourself from these threats do not click on links in these e-mails.

  • October 28, 2009 This email purports to be from the FDIC and alerts you to check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage. It prompts you to follow a link to an assumed FDIC website after informing you that your bank has failed. The FDIC warns "This e-mail and associated Web site are fraudulent. Recipients should consider the intent of this e-mail as an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, some of which may be used to gain unauthorized access to on-line banking services or to conduct identity theft." Click here to see the full response from the FDIC.

  • October 28, 2008 The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is warning consumers, businesses and financial institutions to be aware of fraudulent e-mails allegedly from, or related to, financial institutions that have been the subject of recent news stories. Phishing e-mails often incorporate aspects of high-profile news stories - such as bank mergers, acquisitions and failures - to create a sense of urgency and legitimacy for requesting information or action. Click here for more information on this alert.

  • March 30, 2005 Visa or MasterCard fraudulent emails This email purports to be from Visa or MasterCard and requests that cardholders enroll in the Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode programs immediately by clicking a link located within the email. Neither Visa or MasterCard contact cardholders directly to request they enroll in Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode.

  • March 19, 2004 American Bankers Association (ABA) fraudulent email warning. If you receive an email claiming to be from the ABA asking for personal information, do not respond to the message. Please forward the email to alert@aba.com. If you have responded to the message, please alert Blackhawk Bank & Trust at 787-4451.


INTERNET BANKING ENHANCED SECURITY| Learn what steps Blackhawk is taking to protect you online.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM? | Learn what actions you can take if you are a victim of Identity Theft.

INTERNET RELATED THREATS | Learn more about common Internet based threats and how to protect yourself from them.
PHONE AND MAIL SCAMS| While Internet attacks are common, thieves still use traditional means to attack.
KNOW YOUR BANK | Protect yourself from fraud by learning what Blackhawk Bank & Trust will and will not do.

DEFINITIONS | Not sure what phishing and pharming are? Check our definitions page.

LINKS| Information is power. Check out additional links to information to protect yourself.

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