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Phishing - Frequently Asked Questions


What is "Phishing"?

"Phishing" is a common type of Internet fraud aimed at stealing your valuable personal information – like credit cards numbers, social security numbers, account data, and passwords.

In a typical phishing scam, the scam artists create a fictitious similar to that of a legitimate organization, typically a financial institution such as a bank or credit union. Then the scam artists attempt to lure victims by sending e-mails that request the recipient to access the fictitious website (which is usually a replica of the trusted site) and to enter their personal details, such as your user ID, password and PIN code.

Phishing e-mails are often sent to large lists of people. The scam artists expect that some percentage of the recipients will actually have an account with the real organization and fall for the deception.

The term "Phishing" comes from "fishing" where bait is used to catch a fish. In phishing, the fictitious e-mail is the bait!


Is Pacific Mercantile Bank doing anything to help customer avoid "Phishing" scams?

Yes, you can expect us to follow the following business practices:

  • We will never ask you to send personal information back to us via e-mail.
  • We will never ask you to download software for your account to work.

How can I recognize a "phishing" e-mail?

Here are a few signs that an e-mail message you have received might just be a Phishing expedition. Be suspicions of any e-mail message that:

  • Urges you to act immediately or suggests dire consequences if you don’t. The scam artists are hoping to get you react quickly before the fraud is detected.

  • Requests that you verify your information, and provide a link for you to do so. The link will take you to the scam artists' fake website in the hope that you disclosure your personal information.

  • Includes an attachment. The attachment may contain spyware which could allow the scam artists to spy on your activities or take control of your computer. Attachments may also contain dangerous programs such as computer viruses, Trojans horses, or worms.

  • Contains misspellings, unprofessional or poor grammar, or inconsistent wording.

  • Contains a generic message. Phishing e-mail are typically not personalized since they are sent to thousands of people.


How do I report a suspicious e-mail?

If you suspect an e-mail from Pacific Mercantile Bank is not authentic, notify us by calling
(866) 450-5600.


Where can I find more information about phishing?

You can find more information about phishing from the Anti-Phishing Work Group, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and from FTC's OnGuardOnline web site.

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