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Malicious Pop-up Messages Reported

3/18/2014 1:30 PM

Category: Alerts and Scams

We have received reports from several customers of a pop-up offering a free credit report when visiting and Online Banking. These pop-ups ARE NOT originating from Panhandle State Bank, but rather are likely caused by malware that was picked up by the user's computer from a prior website that was visited.

This malware attack uses the user's Internet browser history to launch the pop-up message, and makes it appear to have come from the bank or other financial institution. Many of these pop-up messages are generated by malware located on the person's computer. Malware is software (such as viruses, Trojans and spyware) developed for the purpose of doing harm. Having malware on a computer can compromise the privacy and security of everything done on the infected PC.

The most common ways to get malware are from visiting infected websites and through email attachments. Pop-up type malware remains dormant on the computer until the user visits any banking site; then it "wakes up" and executes the command its creator intended it to do.

If you should encounter this pop-up ad, please do not click on any associated links, nor provide any financial or other sensitive information online. The pop-up ad did not come from Panhandle State Bank, and we will never ask you to provide such information through an email or pop-up message.

This malware attack is not related to Panhandle State Bank, and has no impact on the continued safety and security of the website or Online Banking.

To help protect yourself from this type of malware attack, we recommend you run anti-malware/anti-virus tools on your computer.

Cyber Security tips to help protect you from fraud or identity theft:

  • Do not click on web links similar to the one in the example above.
  • Regularly scan your computer for viruses and malware.
  • Ensure your Antivirus program contains malware protection or buy malware protection from well-known antivirus companies such as Norton, Trend Micro, and McAfee.
  • Ensure you have the latest security patches for your computer operating system (Microsoft/Apple).
  • Do not open email messages or attachments from unknown senders.
  • Do not click on email web links from unknown senders.
  • Never reply to unsolicited emails or pop-up websites asking for sensitive personal information.

Credit reports may be obtained annually for free from one or all of the national credit reporting agencies listed below. To request your free credit report(s) go to:, or contact the agencies directly.

Additional information regarding how to protect against Identity Theft can be viewed on the FTC Website. Report incidents of Identity Theft to the FTC by completing the complaint form available on the FTC website,, or contact them via phone at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338).

If you need additional assistance or have questions, please contact your local branch office or our Customer Care Center at 1-888-275-3434 Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST.