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.

Mobile phone malware alert

RSA is reporting new malware that begins by infecting your PC and then tricks you into downloading malware to your smartphone. The malware is designed to intercept text messages that pertain to bank accounts. Here is what to watch for:

Phishing Text Message - ALERT To Customers

Criminals have been adding phishing phone calls and phishing text messaging to their methods of stealing your personal information. They are sending unexpected communications that state there is some sort of problem with your account. Then they instruct you to provide your personal information. This should not be trusted.

OCC Reports Fraudulent Communications

Fake correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds that are supposedly under the control of the OCC and other government entities is being distributed by criminals via e-mail, fax, and postal mail. Any document claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent and should not be responded to. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for any person or entity.

WARNING Keep Your Information Safe This Shopping Season

As we enter the holiday season be aware not only consumer activity will be on the rise but criminals ramp up their efforts to gain access to personal information through various channels as well; phishing e-mails prompting clicking on links, text messages prompting a return call to provide information, phony businesses on social networks with malicious code ready to be installed, and non-legitimate websites claiming to have the "hot" gift of the season.

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