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Learn about Identity Theft and Fraud Prevention

Online fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate company to obtain your personal data and illegally conducts transactions on your existing accounts. Often called “phishing” or “spoofing,” the most current methods of online fraud are fake emails, websites and pop-up windows, or any combination of these.
Frandsen Bank & Trust will never require you to send personal information to us via email or pop-up windows. Any unsolicited request you receive for your account information through emails, websites, or pop-up windows should be considered fraudulent and should be reported to us immediately by contacting your local office (click here for contact information.)
Phishing emails will often:

  • Ask you for personal information. Fake emails often contain an overly generic greeting and may claim that your information has been compromised, that your account has been frozen, or ask you to confirm the authenticity of your transactions.
  • Appear to be from a legitimate source. While some emails are easy to identify as fraudulent, others may appear to be from a legitimate address and trusted online source. However, you should not rely on the name or address in the “From” field, as this is easily altered.
  • Contain fraudulent job offers. Some fake emails appear to be from companies offering jobs. These are often work-at-home accounting positions which are actually schemes that victimize both the job applicant and other customers. Be sure to confirm that the job offer is from a known and trusted company.
  • Contain prizes or gift certificate offers. Some fake emails promise a prize or gift certificate in exchange for completing a survey or answering questions. In order to collect the alleged prize or gift certificate you may be directed to provide your personal information. Just like with job offers, be sure to confirm that prize or gift certificate is being issued from a known and trusted company.
  • Link to counterfeit web sites. Fake emails may direct you to counterfeit web sites carefully designed to look real, but which actually collect personal information for illegal use.
  • Link to real web sites. In addition to links to counterfeit web sites, some fake emails also include links to legitimate web sites. The fraudsters do this in an attempt to make a fake email appear real.
  • Contain fraudulent phone numbers. Fake emails often contain telephone numbers that are tied to the fraudsters. Never call a number featured on an email you suspect is fraudulent, and be sure to double-check any numbers you do call.
  • Contain real phone numbers. Some of the telephone numbers listed in fake emails may be legitimate, connecting to actual companies. Just like with links, fraudsters include the real phone numbers in an effort to make the email appear to be legitimate.

How is your email obtained?

Email addresses can be obtained from publicly available sources or through randomly generated lists. If you receive an email that appears to be from Frandsen Bank & Trust, this does not mean that your email address, name, or any other information has been taken from Frandsen Bank & Trust’s systems.
Pop-up windows
Pop-up windows are the small windows or ads that appear suddenly over or under the window you are currently viewing. Fraudulent pop-up windows are a type of online fraud often used to obtain personal information. Online fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate company—like a popular shopping site, your bank, or your Internet service provider—to obtain sensitive personal data and illegally conducts transactions on your existing accounts. Often called “phishing” or “spoofing,” the most current types of online fraud include fake pop-up windows, emails and web sites, or any combination of these.
Trojan horses
These fake emails may also contain a virus known as a “Trojan horse” that can record your keystrokes. The virus may live in an attachment or be accessed via a link in the email. Remember, we do not request personal information via email. Never respond to emails, open attachments, or click on links from suspicious or unknown senders. If you’re not sure an email from Frandsen Bank & Trust is legitimate, STOP, do not reply to the email. Report it to your local Frandsen Bank & Trust office immediately (click here for contact information.)
Counterfeit websites
Online thieves often direct you to fraudulent web sites via email and pop-up windows and try to collect your personal information. In many cases there is no easy way to determine that you are on a phony web site 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 web site, or you get an error message, it was probably just a cover for a fake web site.

Another way to detect a phony web site is to consider how you arrived there. Generally, you were directed by a link in a fake email requesting your account information. Frandsen Bank & Trust will not request personal information from customers via email and any unsolicited request should be considered fraudulent and reported immediately.
How to report fake "e-mails", websites and pop-up windows
If you receive a deceptive e-mail, such as a message phishing for your information forward it to the entity wrongfully being impersonated. If you think you have received a “phishing” email from Frandsen Bank & Trust, encountered a fake web site, or pop-up window, or if you responded to one of these emails with personal information report it to your local Frandsen Bank & Trust office immediately (click Here for contact information.)

For more information and a brief video tutorial, click here.

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Worry-Free Banking Services

Frandsen Bank & Trust is your one stop for convenient banking services. Easily manage your accounts, protect your important belongings and control your finances.


Frandsen Bank & Trust’s Wealth Management & Trust Department has been in operation since 1969 and assists over 1,300 individual and business investment clients throughout the upper Midwest.

Contact us today for FREE consultation. 507.233.4800 or 218.773.5491.

Steve Vranich
Stephen W. Vranich
Sr. Vice President & Trust Officer
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Kerry L. Ledin
Vice President & Trust Officer
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Kathryn L. Curry
Trust Officer
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SECURITY NOTICE: Frandsen Bank will never ask you to send non-public private information through e-mail, such as your PIN,
Social Security Numbers, or Account Numbers. Please do not respond to any email requesting this type of information.
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We are aware of an automated telephone scam where the call indicates it's from Frandsen Bank & Trust and telling them their account is frozen, and they need to provide their card number and PIN to reactivate their account. Please know that Frandsen Bank & Trust would NEVER call a customer and request their card number or PIN (or other personal information).  Please DO NOT provide any information if you receive a call like's a scam.