Home Security Center Alerts & Fraud Tips

Alerts and Fraud Tips

Putnam Bank is dedicated to educating you about fraud by providing important security information. We hope you find this information beneficial, and encourage you to share it with your friends and family.

Here are some tips we thought might be helpful:



  • Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams –  E-mail, Fraudulent telemarketers based in Jamaica are calling people in the U.S., telling them that they've won a sweepstakes or foreign lottery. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Jamaican Constabulary Force say most of these promotions are likely to be phony — a trick to get you to part with some money — and they are working together to stop them.


    The fraudulent telemarketers typically identify themselves as lawyers, customs officials or lottery representatives, and tell people they've won vacations, cars or thousands — even millions — of dollars. “Winners" need only pay fees for shipping, insurance, customs duties or taxes before they can claim their prizes. Source: Federal Trade Commission

  • Got Backups?  – If you use a computer or mobile device long enough, something will eventually go wrong. Click here to learn more.

  • IRS and Tax Scams  –  E-mail, Phishing and Malware Schemes involve emails which are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. The phishing schemes can ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics. E-mails can seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.


    IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam is an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license. Source: Internal Revenue Services

  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)  – Protect your online activities and privacy with something called a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Click here to learn more.

  • Dark Web  – What is the Dark Web and what does it means to you. Click here to learn more.

  • A Career in Cybersecurity – There is a huge demand for people trained in cybersecurity to help defend against this growing threat. Click here to learn more.

  • Protecting Against Ransomware – Ransomware is a type of malware threat used to infect computers and encrypt files until a ransom is paid. Click here to learn more.

  • Making Passwords Simple – Passphrases: a type of strong password that uses a short sentence or random words. Click here to learn more.

  • Disposing of Your Mobile Device – What may be on your device and how you should securely wipe it before disposing of it. Click here to learn more.

  • Phishing Alert – We have been alerted to an SMS text (SMiShing) and robocall (vISHING) phishing campaign. The messages claimed to be from several different financial institutions in the central Connecticut area and indicated an urgency to respond to a callback or text number. Putnam Bank will never text or call customers and request personal information.
  • Personalized Scams – Cyber criminals find or purchase information about millions of people, and use that information to personalize their attacks. Click here to learn more.


  • Check Cashing Ring – Putnam Bank has been made aware of a very large check cashing ring in the area. The ring is based in Georgia and has stationed themselves in Pawtucket, RI. They are going to Industrial Parks, stealing business checks from mailboxes, and “washing" the checks (removing payees and encoded information, dollar amounts, etc.). Please protect yourself and be diligent in monitoring your accounts, securing your mail, and reporting any instances of fraud to us promptly.


  • Search Yourself Online – Research yourself and discover what information is publicly known about you. Click here to learn more.


  • Yes, You Are a Target – Many people mistakenly believe they are not a target for cyber attackers; that they, their systems, or accounts do not have any value. This could not be further from the truth. Click here to learn more.


  • Half of all Phishing Sites Now Have the Padlock – You can no longer "look for the padlock" as a means of telling legitimate e-Commerce sites from phishing or malware traps. Click here to learn more.


  • Am I Hacked? – Clues to help figure out if you have been hacked and, if so, what to do. The sooner you identify something bad has happened, the more likely you can fix the problem. Click here to learn more.


  • FBI Warns of Phone Scam That Uses the FBI's Name to Threaten Arrest – The FBl's Pittsburgh Division is warning the public to be on alert for a phone scam that spoofs, or fakes the FBl's name on the recipient's voice-mail. Scammers have targeted residents around the region, claiming to be the FBI stating they are an “officer" of the FBI , Department of Tax and Crime Investigation. The intended victim is told that this is their final notice and that their physical address is under investigation and an arrest warrant has been issued under their name. The public is reminded that the FBI does not call private citizens threatening arrest or requesting money and to never give out unsolicited requests for personal information to callers that you don't know. Individuals receiving such calls can file a complaint through the FBl's Internet Crime Complaint Center.


    To avoid becoming the victim of a scam:
  1. Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.
  2. Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don't have ties and did not initiate contact.
  3. Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller makes you uncomfortable or says things that don't sound right, hang up.
  4. For more information about the FBI or to reach a specific FBI Office Click here to learn more.


  • Email Oops, and How to Avoid Them – Four most common mistakes people make with email. Click here to learn more.


  • What is CEO Fraud/BEC? – Cyber attackers continue to evolve an email attack called CEO Fraud, or Business Email Compromise (BEC). Click here to learn more.


  • Smart Home Devices – Soon, almost every device in your house could be connected to the internet. While these connected devices bring a great deal of convenience, they also bring unique dangers. Click here to learn more.


  • Phone Call Attacks & Scams – Lets learn how to spot and stop these attacks. Click here to learn more.