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Customer Awareness Bulletin

Identity theft is on the rise, so consumers need to take extra precaution to protect their financial privacy. Recently, a number of fake emails have been circulating on the Internet. These emails appear to be from Financial Institutions requesting that personal account information be submitted. The Citizens National Bank of Southwestern Ohio will never request personal account information, such as Account Numbers, Social Security Numbers or Personal Identification Numbers, by regular email or by telephone. Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited email, telephone call or fax.

The Latest Phishing News

What is "Phishing"?
The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user's information.

These emails can look quite convincing, with company logos and banners copied from actual Web sites. Often, the con artists will tell you that their security procedure has changed or that they need to update (or validate) your information, and then direct you to a look-alike Web site. If you respond, the thieves use your information to order goods and services or obtain credit.

If you are ever unsure whether you have received a legitimate email or are directed to a Website that looks suspicious, you should first contact The Citizens National Bank of Southwestern Ohio by phone before following the given information

Consumer Tips

To avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam, the American Bankers Association offers these tips:

  • Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or email, no matter how official it may seem.
  • Do not respond to email that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately. Contact the company to confirm the email's validity using a telephone number or Web address you know to be genuine.
  • Check your credit card and bank account statements regularly and look for unauthorized transactions, even small ones. Some thieves hope small transactions will go unnoticed. Report discrepancies immediately.
  • When submitting financial information to a Web site, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with "https." This signals that your information is secure during transmission.
  • If you have responded to an email, contact The Citizens National Bank of Southwestern Ohio immediately so we can protect your account and your identity.

For more information on Phishing, please click on the following links:

Account Statements Online

If you have signed up to receive your account statement online, you will receive an email from each month indicating that you can retrieve your statement by going to This is a valid website where you can retrieve your statement via a username and password.