ID Theft: Online Banking Risks

Calif. Woman Says Phishing Almost Overtook Her Online Banking Account
Quick action kept Barbara Baron from suffering financial losses after a phishing attack, but she says the experience has taught her quite a few lessons about banking online.Baron is luckier than most who fall victim to phishing attacks. The 73-year-old California therapist saved her identity and her online banking account by quickly following up with her bank after she responded to a phishy e-mail request.

"The red flag was when they asked me for my PIN number," she says. "I paused, but sent it anyway." Had Baron not been quick to follow-up, within minutes, with her bank, she likely would have fallen in line with many victims of identity theft, who spend months, sometimes years, trying to clean up the mess.

This is the fourth in a series of identity theft interviews with real victims. Hear their stories, their struggles and their lessons learned.

In this exclusive interview with Information Security Media Group, Baron shares the lessons she's learned and what banks and credit unions could to better help consumers protect themselves. Baron suggests:

  • Banks and credit unions tell all of their customers and members about steps they can take to protect themselves through the Identity Theft Assistance Center before breaches occur;
  • Banking institutions should not rely solely on e-mail correspondence to notify customers and members of phishing risks; and
  • Banks and credit unions need to educated consumers, letting them know that they should never give their PINs out to anyone or anything.

Barbara Helena Baron, 73, lives in Ojai, Calif., where she works as a massage therapist, counselor and energy worker.

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