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Social engineering

WHAT IT IS: The use of fraud or deception to manipulate people into performing actions or divulging information that they would normally not share
has been dubbed social engineering. A social engineer is a scam artist who contacts people via e-mail, text message, phone, or even in person to
gather information for the purposes of fraud, data access, identity theft, and more. Social engineers sometimes practice pretexting—impersonating
someone with authority (such as posing to be a Frandsen Bank employee) and creating a fake scenario to trick you into sharing private information.


• Never give out personal or financial information unless you can verify the identity of the person or organization contacting you. Frandsen Bank
& Trust will never require you to send personal information to us via e-mail or pop-up windows. Any unsolicited request you receive for account
information through e-mails, websites, or pop-up windows should be considered fraudulent and should be reported to us immediately by contacting
your local Frandsen Bank & Trust office (click here for contact information).

• Keep an eye on your monthly statements. If your account information is stolen, fraudsters can charge purchases or commit crimes in your name.
Watch for unusual charges such as “membership fees” and other goods or services you didn’t authorize. If you see a charge you don’t recognize,
contact your local Frandsen Bank & Trust office immediately.

• Don’t send money to strangers; scam artists often insist that you wire money, especially overseas, because it’s difficult to trace the transaction.
Money laundering is a crime; don’t transfer money for anyone you don’t know. If you buy something online, pay with a credit card or PayPal.

• If you suspect that your information has been compromised, contact our Lost or Stolen Card Hotline at 1-800-554-8969. If in doubt, call us first!

• Social engineering affects all organizations, so follow these guidelines for all of your financial accounts.


• Refusal to provide contact or call-back information

• Acting rushed, pressed for time, or intimidating

• Name-dropping

• Extremely friendly

• May seem to know some personal information already, but is asking for more

• Poor grammar or spelling

• The links or attachments in an e-mail seem suspicious


WHAT IT IS: Scam artists send out “bait” in the form of an e-mail that looks like it’s from a legitimate business, but it’s actually fake. These
e-mails can have the name of a real business in their “From” field (for example, even though they were not
generated from that business. Phishing e-mails often include personal details so it appears the sender knows you. The goal is to trick recipients
into giving up credit card information, passwords, or other sensitive data.


• Taking the “bait” of a phishing scam could at the very least result in putting your e-mail address into an unwanted list, worse could result
in malware coming into your computer, or at the very worst could cause your private information to fall into the wrong hands.

• Frandsen Bank will never ask for confidential information in an unsolicited e-mail—ever! Any attempt to get this information from you by
e-mail is a scam.

• E-mail addresses can be obtained from publicly available sources or through randomly generated lists. If you receive an e-mail that appears
to be from Frandsen Bank & Trust, this does not mean that your e-mail address, name, or any other information has been taken from Frandsen
Bank & Trust’s systems.

• A phishing e-mail may claim that your information has been compromised, that your account has been frozen, or ask you to confirm the
authenticity of your transactions. They may ask you to call a toll-free number and “verify” private information by entering it on the keypad
of your phone.

• If you receive an e-mail asking you to verify financial information, do not open it, do not reply to it, do not open or download any attachment,
do not visit any website linked to it, and do not call any phone number listed in it.

• Instead, call a phone number you know belongs to your local Frandsen Bank office and ask if we sent the e-mail in question. If we did not,
immediately delete it.


Asks you for personal information. Fake e-mails often contain an overly generic greeting and may claim that your information has been
compromised, your account has been frozen, or ask you to confirm the authenticity of your transactions.

Appears to be from a legitimate source. While some e-mails are easy to identify as fraudulent, others may appear to be from a legitimate
address and trusted online source. However, you should not rely on the name or address in the “From” field, as this is easily altered.

Contains fraudulent job offers. Some fake e-mails appear to be from companies offering jobs. These are often work-at-home accounting
positions which are actually schemes that victimize both the job applicant and other customers. Be sure to confirm that the job offer is from
a known and trusted company.

Contains prizes or gift certificate offers. Some fake e-mails promise a prize or gift certificate in exchange for completing a survey or answering
questions. In order to collect the alleged prize or gift certificate, you may be directed to provide your personal information. Just like with job
offers, be sure to confirm that the prize or gift certificate is being issued from a known and trusted company.

Links to counterfeit websites. Fake e-mails may direct you to counterfeit websites carefully designed to look real, but which actually collect
personal information for illegal use. (NOTE: In addition to links to counterfeit websites, some fake e-mails also include links to legitimate websites.
The fraudsters do this in an attempt to make a fake e-mail appear real.)

Contains fraudulent phone numbers. Fake e-mails often contain telephone numbers that are tied to the fraudsters. Never call a number featured
in an e-mail you suspect is fraudulent, and be sure to double-check any numbers you do call. (NOTE: Some of the telephone numbers listed in
fake e-mails may be legitimate, connecting to actual companies. Just like with links, fraudsters include the real phone numbers in an effort to
make the e-mail appear to be legitimate.)


WHAT IT IS: Also called SMS phishing, smishing is when a social engineer sends a fake Short Message Service (SMS) text message to your
cell phone. The message may announce that you’ve won a prize or offer from a trusted company or bank if you follow a link to a website and
enter a code. Clicking the link can expose your phone to malware.


• Don’t respond to texts from contacts you don't recognize, and don’t click on links. Instead, if you need to check on your account, type the
Frandsen Mobiliti site address into your browser and securely log into your account.

• Don’t respond to any text message requesting personal information.

• For added security, download a comprehensive mobile security app that includes SMS (text) filtering as well as anti-theft, antivirus, and web


WHAT IT IS: Vishing is the voice counterpart of phishing, and these scams are on the rise. Phone scammers possess technology, called spoofing,
that allows them to show up on your Caller ID as a legitimate bank with whom you have an account. A recorded or live message falsely tells
people of some type of problem with their account. The call prompts them to key in a credit or debit card number and other private information,
or may ask the customer to call an 800 number and give that information. The thief now has access to your bank or credit account using your
own name and confidential information.


• Please know that Frandsen Bank & Trust will NEVER ask for your account or card information in an unsolicited call.

• Be cautious of any phone call asking to confirm your account or personal information. Instead, tell the caller that you will return the call to a
phone number you know belongs to the organization the caller claims to represent.


WHAT IT IS: A fraudulent website, pop-up window, or e-mail will prompt you to click on a link that takes you to a website that once again looks
like a real company you know. Here you may be asked to provide confidential information such as to “verify” account numbers, passwords, or
security codes. This practice of illegally obtaining personal information from a fake website is called pharming.


Counterfeit websites. Online thieves often direct you to fraudulent websites via e-mail and pop-up windows and try to collect your personal
information. Online fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate company—like a popular shopping site, your bank, or your Internet service
provider—to obtain sensitive personal data and illegally conduct transactions on your existing accounts. In many cases there is no easy way to
determine that you are on a phony website because the URL will contain the name of the institution it is spoofing, or posing as.

Pop-up windows. These are the small windows or ads that appear suddenly over or under the window you are currently viewing. Fraudulent
pop-up windows are a type of online fraud often used to obtain personal information.

Trojan horses. Fake e-mails may contain a computer virus known as a “Trojan horse” that can record your keystrokes. The virus may come in
an attachment or be accessed via a link in the e-mail. Remember, Frandsen Bank will never request personal information via e-mail. Never respond
to e-mails, open attachments, or click on links from suspicious or unknown senders. If you’re not sure an e-mail from Frandsen Bank & Trust is
legitimate, STOP—do not reply to the e-mail. Report it to your local Frandsen Bank & Trust office immediately (click here for contact information.)


• Unlike fake e-mails, fake websites cannot be displayed using an exact domain name that is currently owned by a legitimate business—but
fraudsters can be very creative!

• Type, or cut and paste, the URL in question into a new web browser window. If it does not take you to a legitimate website, or you get an
error message, it was probably a cover for a fake website.

• When browsing or conducting business online, always find and identify the actual URL for the web page you are on. This will be displayed in
the URL bar located at the top left of your browser window. Locate the domain name in the URL and make sure it is legitimate. For example,
a page on the real Frandsen Bank website will display the domain name in the browser’s URL bar. There may often be a string
of letters before and after, but the domain name will always be in the center. For example, the Frandsen Bank mortgage application portal displays

• Be aware of close look-alikes such as,,, or Some characters that
are commonly found in the URLs of spoofed web pages are %00, %01, and @. Sometimes spoofed websites can differ by just one letter or number
in the URL.

• Make sure you are able to see the full URL for any hyperlink you click on, so that you can examine that address as well.

• Another way to detect a phony website is to consider how you arrived there. If you were directed by a link in an e-mail requesting account
information, beware of that website! Frandsen Bank & Trust will not request personal information from customers via e-mail, and any unsolicited
request should be considered fraudulent and reported immediately.

• Set your Internet security level to high to help protect your computer from spoofed sites.

• If you have any concern about the confidentiality of a website, leave the page immediately.

Card skimming

WHAT IT IS: Some thieves capture your financial information the old-fashioned way—by physically gaining access to it. The difference nowadays
is that they have high-tech tools to do it with. Card skimming is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit, debit, or
ATM card. Thieves can use this information to run charges through your account or borrow money in your name. This can happen as close as
your own mailbox or places where you shop or dine.


• Be wary if a store clerk takes your card out of your sight in order to process a transaction, or swipes the card through more than one machine.
If you see this happen, demand your card back immediately and either pay with a check or cash, or cancel the purchase.

• Be alert when using ATMs. Skimming devices can be mounted over the scanning portion of the ATM. They can read the account information
stored on your card, and even record your PIN as you punch it in on the ATM keypad. Look for attached devices such as extra scanners or hidden
cameras. If anything looks suspicious, do not use the machine.

• If you swipe your card in an ATM and get an error message and no cash, contact Frandsen Bank immediately to report the incident. We will have
the machine checked out to make sure it has not been tampered with.

• If you use an outdoor mailbox, remove mail from your box as soon as possible after it arrives, and never leave it in the box overnight. Consider
getting a lockable mailbox.

For more information and a brief video tutorial, click here.


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Frandsen Bank & Trust is your one stop for convenient banking services. Easily manage your accounts, protect your important belongings and control your finances.

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Worry-Free Banking Services

Frandsen Bank & Trust is your one stop for convenient banking services. Easily manage your accounts, protect your important belongings and control your finances.


Frandsen Bank & Trust’s Wealth Management & Trust Department has been in operation since 1969 and assists over 1,300 individual and business investment clients throughout the upper Midwest.

Contact us today for FREE consultation. 507.233.4800 or 218.773.5491.

Steve Vranich
Stephen W. Vranich
Sr. Vice President & Trust Officer
email Steve

Kerry L. Ledin
Vice President & Trust Officer
email Kerry 

Kathryn L. Curry
Trust Officer
email Kathryn 

For more information on the services we provide, watch a video.

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SECURITY NOTICE: Frandsen Bank will never ask you to send non-public private information through e-mail, such as your PIN,
Social Security Numbers, or Account Numbers. Please do not respond to any email requesting this type of information.
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