IC3 and FBI warn of Business Email Compromise

According to an online statement from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the FBI, nearly 2,000 individuals have fallen victim to a wire payment scam across 45 countries, which has led to an estimated loss of $215 million.

In response to the wire payment scam, law enforcement agencies are issuing a widespread warning about a large scale operation that is tricking employees at both small and large businesses, called the Business Email Compromise.

OCC Warns of Phishing Attempt

MUNCIE, Ind. - The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued a phishing warning regarding the following excerpt:

Fictitious correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC and possibly other government entities, is in circulation. Correspondence may be distributed via email, fax, or postal mail.

Phone Scam Tactic on the Rise

MUNCIE, Ind. - Be aware that the criminals calling your cell phones and home phones are adding a new feature to their attempts to get your information. They are masking the phone number to show your own number; it looks like your phone is calling you.  They are betting that you’ll be more likely  to answer and respond to a call if it is your own phone number if for no other reason other than curiosity.

FBI Warns of Fraudulent Invoice Scam

MUNCIE, Ind. - The FBI and Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) are warning businesses that a specific email fraud scam is escalating. This scam normally involves a person receiving an email at their business address that seems to be a legitimate invoice from a vendor requesting payment via a wire transfer to a designated bank account. The FBI reports that the emails are altered to make it difficult to identify the true sender of the email and is usually not caught until after the money has been transferred. 

Latest Fraud Scheme Targets Businesses

Be aware that a recent increase has been detected in individuals attempting to gain businesses' bank account information in an effort to commit fraud in the future. These attempts do not necessarily involve Business Online Banking credentials.

Cryptowall Malware Appearing More Frequently

MUNCIE, Ind. - Be aware that malware called Cryptowall is showing up with increasing frequency. Cryptowall, an updated version of an older type of malware, will encrypt the hard drive on the PC (or tablet or phone or server) you are working on and will demand a ransom payment via Bitcoin (non-traceable) to decrypt it. If your device is compromised, the only way to fix it is to completely wipe the hard drive and start over. Any data not backed up will be lost.

Concerned About the Heartbleed Bug? Our Systems Are Not at Risk

MUNCIE, Ind. - Many of you have read the  media reports about the Heartbleed bug, an OpenSSL vulnerability that can be used to expose user names and passwords through the use of the Internet.

First Merchants bank has assessed this vulnerability and can assure you that our systems are not at risk to this vulnerability.

Information About Apple's Security Flaw

MUNCIE, Ind. - You may have read information regarding the very serious security flaw in iPhones, iPods, and iPads.  The flaw allows hackers to intercept any encrypted data from a user when on a Wi-Fi network and other connections.  This includes e-mails, log in credential, and credit card information.  This possibly affects Mac computers as well.  Apple has released a patch for this flaw for iPhones, iPods, and iPads (Mac’s will be updated soon), but you should take some steps to ensure you are protected.

On the positive side, many iPhones and iPads are set to auto update. 

Debit Card Fraudulent Phone Calls

MUNCIE, Ind. - Be aware that criminals have been making phone calls to customers and non-customers claiming to be First Merchants Bank regarding their FMB Debit Card. The caller, which may be a computer automated call, identifies themselves as a representative of First Merchants Bank and is calling to tell the customer that there is an issue with their debit card and proceeds to ask for the debit card number and expiration date. 

Phishing Phone Call Alert

There are reports of fraudulent phone calls being placed by criminals purporting to be from the Social Security Office.  The criminals have some information (i.e. name, account number) to make the calls sound legitimate but are requesting verification in regards to the customer’s financial institution in order to send the card out in the mail. 

This would not be normal practice of the Social Security Office or a financial institution.