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Online Fraud FAQs

Following are some frequently asked questions about online fraud.

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What is "phishing"?

Many financial institutions and companies that conduct business on the Internet, including SunTrust, have become the target of a form of online fraud called "phishing"(sounds like "fishing"). Phishes usually take the form of unsolicited emails or pop-up Web pages. To make the phishes look official, scammers often include image and logos from legitimate companies. Learn more about phishing.

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Has SunTrust been the target of online fraud?

Many financial institutions and companies that conduct business on the Internet, including SunTrust, have become the target of a form of online fraud called "phishing"(sounds like "fishing"). We're aware of online fraudulent activities and have aggressive policies in place to fight online fraud. We have a team dedicated to online fraud and we are working with law enforcement agencies, industry groups, and other financial institutions to help minimize the impact of online fraud. We're also proactively communicating with our employees and our clients about online fraud. See the latest online fraud alerts here.

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How can I protect myself from online fraud?

You can help protect yourself from online fraud by being careful with your personal and account information. Never provide your confidential information in response to unsolicited emails and pop-up Web pages. You can also download our Online Fraud and Identity Theft Guide, which includes tips on how to help protect your personal and account information.

For more information on how to safeguard your computers and personal information, review the online educational tool on FDIC's Web site.

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How is SunTrust protecting its clients from online fraud?

The security of our clients' accounts and personal information is our highest priority. We have a team dedicated to online fraud and we are working with law enforcement agencies, industry groups, and other financial institutions to help minimize the impact of online fraud. We have aggressive processes, policies and technologies in place to help us fight these scams. We're also proactively communicating with our employees and our clients about online fraud. See our latest alerts on online fraud here.

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How do scammers clone the SunTrust Web site?

The nature of the software used to browse the Internet causes images to be downloaded to each computer. Thus, images of SunTrust's Web site - as well as other Web sites - can be copied. We're proactively taking steps to make this process more difficult, but we cannot completely stop scammers from cloning our Web site.

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Is the SunTrust Web site secure?

We use secure transmission mechanisms to encrypt communications that contain your confidential information. The encryption helps prevent information from being intercepted by third parties. In addition, we use safety measures such as firewalls and pass codes to protect your accounts. Learn more about how we help protect you here.

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How do I know if the Web site is really a SunTrust Web site?

By typing the URL into your browser or using a bookmark that you previously created, you ensure that you've reached a SunTrust Web site.

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How did the scammer get my email address?

Scammers can purchase email lists through legitimate or illegitimate sources or randomly generate email addresses using computers. We assure you that your email was not obtained from SunTrust. SunTrust does not sell personal or account information - including email addresses.

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How can I prevent receiving these fraudulent emails?

Keep anti-spam, anti-spy ware and anti-virus filtering software up to date on your computers. This may reduce the number of fraudulent emails you receive. You can purchase this software through retailers such as Wal*Mart, Target and Best Buy, as well as online providers such as Symantec and McAfee.

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Where can I forward a suspicious email for your review?

You may forward the email or information about it to reportfraud@SunTrust.com.

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How do I know if the email is from SunTrust?

Fraudulent emails often include logos and images from our Web site. The important thing to remember is that SunTrust will never send emails to clients asking to provide, update or verify personal or account information, such as passwords, Social Security Numbers, PINs, credit or Check Card numbers, or other confidential information. If you did not initiate the email communication with us, you should not provide any confidential information. You can securely communicate with us by email when you log into online banking or through our secure contact form.

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Do I really have an account with SunTrust?

Please call 800.SUNTRUST and speak with a customer service representative. A representative will be able to answer your question after validating certain information.

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Should I be concerned about someone stealing my identity?

Identity theft is dangerous because it can remain hidden for a relatively long time before it's identified. SunTrust is committed to protecting your account and identity. You can learn more about online fraud and identity theft with our Online Fraud and Identity Theft Guide.

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If they obtain my information, how can I ensure that they do not steal more of my money when I change my account/Check Card numbers?

Please be reassured that no further activity can take place on a closed Check Card or account. In the future, you can take preventive measures by never providing your personal information in response to unsolicited requests by email or pop up Web pages. You should also use caution when disclosing personal or account information in response to unsolicited phone calls.

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Can the scammers open new accounts with my Social Security Number?

Your Social Security Number is one of the key pieces of your identity. That's why it's so important to use caution when disclosing your Social Security Number. If you have disclosed your Social Security Number in response to an email or Web site that you suspect is fraudulent, you should follow these steps immediately:

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How do I report a fraudulent email or Web site?
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I can't remember if I responded to an email or Web site asking for my information. What should I do?

Closely monitor your accounts for any suspicious or fraudulent activity. You can monitor your SunTrust accounts through online banking. You should also request your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies:

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What do I do if I shared information about my account?

If you suspect that you're a victim of online fraud or identity theft, follow these steps immediately:

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How can you verify that no one from SunTrust has "sold" my email address to a scammer?

SunTrust does not sell personal or account information - including email addresses. Your email was not obtained from SunTrust. Scammers can purchase email lists through legitimate or illegitimate sources or randomly generate email addresses using computer software. You can learn more about SunTrust's email practices here.

Why does the link in the fraudulent email take me to your Web site?

Fraudulent emails will often include URLs or links that look like they take you to a SunTrust Web site. Scammers are able to hide the real URL, so it's difficult to tell that the link is taking you to a fraudulent Web page. In addition, the email may also include the SunTrust logo or images from our Web site. Please remember that we will never send unsolicited emails asking clients to provide, update or verify personal or account information, such as passwords, Social Security Numbers, PINs, credit or Check Card numbers, or other confidential information.

In some cases, if you click on a link in an email, it may take you to the SunTrust Web page and a new window will pop up. Do not enter information into these pop-up windows. These are fraudulent as well. To protect yourself, never click on links in emails and do not disclose personal or account information to unsolicited emails or pop-up Web pages.

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Will I get any of my money back?

SunTrust will do everything it can to help you get your money back. To start the process of recovering your losses, you will need to fill out an Affidavit of Fraudulent Activity. You can obtain a copy of this form from a local branch or we can fax you a copy. This form must be completed, notarized, and returned to SunTrust. Once SunTrust receives the affidavit back, your account will be credited within 5 business days for Consumer Plastic Card Reg E disputes. If an affidavit is not received, a provisional credit will not be applied. The final credit will be applied after the investigation is completed, which may take up to 45 to 90 days. We'll also need:

Once we receive these documents, a SunTrust Identity Theft Investigator will contact you.

By following these steps and promptly completing and returning the forms we send you, we can better help you protect your accounts and identity.

To help prevent fraudulent activities on your account, we recommend that you close your SunTrust account and open a new one.
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Has anyone notified the Fed?

The federal government is aware of these Internet scams and is working with financial institutions to minimize the negative impact of online fraud. You can visit the Federal Trade Commission's Web site at www.ftc.gov and select the "Theft ID" link on the left side of the Web page for more information. You can also visit www.fdic.gov and select the "Consumer Protection" link to learn more about how you can help protect yourself against online fraud.

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