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The health, safety and well-being of our customers, employees and communities continues to be our top priority. At this time, our branch lobbies will be available by appointment only. We encourage you to use our drive-thrus, which will be open during normal business hours, online and mobile banking and our ATM network. You can schedule an appointment by calling your local banker. Read more.

Online Fraud - How to Stay Safe

By Deb Rehorst, GWB Fraud Manager

Lately, we have seen several instances of bank websites being copied by criminals, with a similar address to the genuine bank website being used to trick customers. 

One way to end up on a cloned bank website is to click through to it from a spam email.

How do I know the difference between real and counterfeit websites? 

Online thieves often direct you to fraudulent websites via email and pop-up windows. These websites may try to collect your personal information or infect your computer with a virus. 

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. 

However, if you type, or cut and paste, the URL into a new web browser window and it does not take you to a legitimate website, or you get an error message, it was probably just a cover for a fake website. 

Another way to detect a phony website is to consider how you arrived there. Generally, these sites are accessed by a link in a fake email ("phish") requesting your account information. 

Remember, Great Western Bank will never request personal information from you via email. Any unsolicited request should be considered fraudulent and reported immediately.

Online fraud occurs when someone illegitimately obtains your sensitive personal information (such as your name, Social Security number, account numbers, or online banking login and password) and conducts unauthorized transactions on your bank, loan, or credit card accounts. 

Often called “phishing” or “spoofing,” the most current methods of online fraud are fake emails, websites and pop-up windows.

How do I report fake e-mails, websites or pop-up windows? 

If you encounter a fake website, or pop-up window, or if you responded to one of these with personal information, call us immediately at 1-800-952-2043.

For more on how to stay safe from online fraud, visit our Fraud Prevention page on our website. 


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