Minnesota Bank & Trust wants to help you to protect yourself against online schemes. eMail fraud is one of the more common and damaging methods used to scam customers on the Internet today. By educating yourself and following some simple tips you’ll be less likely to fall victim to one of these schemes.

Always remember:

  • We will never ask you to send personal or financial information by, in response to or via a link in an email.
  • Our staff will never initiate a phone call asking for financial information such as your account numbers, social security numbers or balances.
  • When you call Minnesota Bank & Trust, we may ask you for specific information in an attempt to verify your identity before disclosing financial information.
  • If we have reason to doubt the authenticity of a caller, we are not required to provide financial information.

Common Online Fraud Schemes

By being educated and following some simple tips, you’ll be less likely to fall victim to one of these schemes:

Card Cracking

Card cracking is a form of fraud where consumers respond to an online solicitation for "easy money" and provide a debit card for withdrawal of fake check deposits. 


Phishing schemes use forged emails claiming to be from someone you trust (an individual or company). They attempt to get you to reveal sensitive information, including user IDs, passwords, account numbers or other confidential data. These criminals will then use the information to access your accounts, financial information and/or your identity.


With vishing, targets will receive a call to their cell phone, typically from a four-digit number, with a recording stating their debit card had been deactivated. The recording then asks customers to input their card number, personal identification number (PIN) and/or the card verification value (CVV). Oftentimes the caller may be armed with some of your information beforehand, leading to a false sense of security. Unless you initiated the call, simply hang up; do not provide any personal information, and contact us through our listed phone number(s). 


Many forged emails will ask you to supply, confirm or update personal information by clicking a link in the email. The link will connect you to a web page or login that appears to belong to the company mentioned, but is merely a “spoofed” site that is illegitimate. The spoof may be a pop-up window or an embedded image over the actual site. The goal of the criminals is to get you to enter your personal data, so they can steal your information.

Prevent the hassle of fraud by adhering to the following tips:

  • Do not open emails from senders you do not know.
  • Never access a website from a link in an email from someone you do not know, especially one that asks for personal information.
  • If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an email, do not respond, call the sender or type in the web address.
  • Beware of emails offering you a prize or a discount and then requesting you to choose a user ID and password. (Thieves know most people use the same access information for several accounts, which they can then use to log in to other sites, such as financial institutions and credit card sites).
  • Monitor your account closely and watch for unusual activity. By using Minnesota Bank & Trust’s Online Banking, you can review your account 24/7.
  • Change your password every 60 days.
  • Note that fraudulent emails often include misspellings and poor grammar.
  • Use common anti-virus software, such as McAfee® and Norton™, and update it regularly.
  • Beware of emails with a sense of urgency or attempting to rush you into action. Messages similar to “Update now or we’ll close your account…” are most likely fraudulent.
  • Do not include personal or sensitive data in, or in a response to, an email.