Pharming occurs when you enter a web address but are redirected, without your knowledge or consent, to a fraudulent site that looks similar to the legitimate site. Ecommerce and banking sites are often the target because visitors enter credit card numbers, User ID and passwords, or account information. The intent of the fraudulent site is to capture your personal information in order to commit fraud and/or identity theft.
Learn how to protect yourself
Protect your personal information, account numbers, User ID & password, card numbers and PINs. Use caution when providing this information to persons/entities over the Internet.
Keep your password confidential. Change passwords regularly using a combination of numbers, letters and special characters. Avoid using obvious passwords like mother's maiden name, children or pet names, Social Security Number or date of birth.
Install and update anti-virus software regularly. To learn more about computer security, visit the
FTC's Information Security
Install anti-spyware on your computer to help prevent your personal and account information from being collected without your knowledge.
Make sure your computer is updated with the most recent patches and security updates.
Never send personal or account information using your personal email. To send this information to us, use the secure messaging feature in Online Banking.
Immediately delete any emails from an unknown source without opening it. If you do open a suspicious email, never click on a link or attachment provided in the email.
Be cautious of emails that warn you that your account may be at risk, fraudulent activity or charges exist on your account or convey a sense of urgency. These often include details of the suspicious activity requesting you respond to the email or 'click here' to visit their site to update your information.
Prior to sending confidential information or financial transactions through a Web site, look for the lock icon on your status bar in the lower right corner. This signifies information is secure during transmission. By double clicking the padlock, you can view the security certificate. Also, look for "https" in the URL of your Web browser when engaging in financial transactions. This indicates scrambling or encryption of the communication.
Be careful when using a computer in a public area where someone could watch you enter your User ID and password.
Review your account statements promptly and report any discrepancies or suspicious transactions immediately.
Clean the hard drive of a computer before disposing of it.