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Farmers State Bank and Trust Company Customer Education

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Personal and Business Banking

Farmers State Bank and Trust Company Customer Education

22/05/2024 12:00 am

What We Are Protecting

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of networks, systems, devices, and data from unauthorized access and use. It is the practice of protecting systems, networks, programs, and data from digital attacks.

There are three elements to protecting information systems:

1. Confidentiality: Protecting information from unauthorized disclosure to people or processes.
2. Integrity: Assuring the reliability and accuracy of data and information technology (IT) resources.
3. Availability: Defending information systems and resources from malicious and unauthorized users to ensure accessibility by authorized users.

Password Attack

Password attacks refer to various methods that attackers use to maliciously access a password protected system by compromising a legitimate user account. Some of the most common types of password attacks include dictionary attacks, credential stuffing, and brute force attacks.

• Dictionary Attacks: The use of commonly used passwords, such as words found in the dictionary.
• Credential Stuffing: The use of previously compromised passwords on multiple accounts belonging to a user.
• Brute Force: Using computing power to try all possible combinations of passwords for a system.

To help prevent password attacks, you should use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication when it is available. You should also never use the same password for multiple accounts.

Password Protection

When multi-factor authentication is not available, passwords provide a critical defense against access to your equipment and accounts.
Creating a strong password is one of the best ways to help protect your accounts and sensitive information.
You should always create long and strong passwords to help prevent unauthorized access to your computer or accounts.

Passwords should contain three of the following:

• English uppercase letters (A through Z)
• English lowercase letters (a through z)
• Arabic numerals (0 through 9)
• Punctuation and other special characters (! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + | ~ ` – = \ { } [ ] : ” ; ’ < > ? , . / )

Changing your password regularly is a way to keep your account safe and reduces your risk of exposure to being hacked. You should change your password every 90 days. You should not reuse your previous ten (10) passwords when you change your password.

Recognizing AI Voice Scams

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has become increasingly more popular among individuals and businesses looking to simplify methods of operation and automate repetitive tasks. There are many positives that the rise of AI brings to society, such as: advancements in healthcare, improvements in research and data analysis and increasing business efficiency. However, criminals have also found ways to weaponize this technology to conduct scams such as voice impersonations.

What are AI Voice Scams?

AI voice scams are created and utilized by criminals using AI software programs that mimic or impersonate someone else’s voice. Often with the intention of stealing personal/financial information, criminals develop this impression by stealing a sample of another person’s voice (usually found online via social media) and uploading it into the AI software program. The software then allows the criminal to manipulate the sampled voice to say anything that they desire.

Criminals will then use this voice manipulation to create fake audio recordings pretending to be a victim’s family member/loved one. Usually, the criminals will try to trick their victim into thinking that their loved one is in urgent danger or is in dire need of financial assistance. They may also attempt to impersonate someone the victim might trust with personal or sensitive information, such as a family member or financial representative.

How to prevent AI Voice Scam attacks

  • Hang up the phone and call the party back if you believe anything to be suspicious about the call
  • Ask the caller specific questions that only the person calling would know the answer to
  • Utilize identity monitoring services to determine if your personal information had been previously exposed in a data breach
  • Set all social media accounts to private and, if possible, limit the amount of content in which your voice may be stolen
  • Protect your social media accounts with strong and unique passwords
  • Establish a safe word among your loved ones and business associates if they ever legitimately need urgent help

How These Voice Cloning Scams Work

Voice ID offers a convenient way to verify your identity over the phone. However, with the advancements in artificial intelligence and voice cloning, its level of security has diminished significantly compared to the past. Understanding the inner workings of voice cloning scams becomes crucial in order to protect yourself from potential risks. Here are the steps that scammers follow to carry out voice cloning scams:

  1. Initial Contact

Scammers initiate the scam by making unsolicited phone calls. They may use automated dialing systems or target you directly. The phone number displayed on your caller ID may be spoofed to appear as a legitimate entity or an unknown number.

  1. Voice Recording

During the conversation, scammers seek to obtain a voice recording. They may ask seemingly innocent questions like “Can you hear me?” or engage in casual conversation, with the intention of capturing your voice. These short audio snippets can be used later for voice cloning purposes.

  1. Information Gathering

Once the scammers have a recording of your voice to use for voice cloning purposes, they attempt to obtain your sensitive information. This can include account numbers, passwords, PINs or other personal identification details. They may email, text message or call you posing as a bank representative who is conducting security checks, claiming there has been suspicious activity on your account, or creating a sense of urgency that requires immediate action.

  1. Exploiting the Cloned Voice

Using voice cloning technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, scammers manipulate the recorded voice samples to replicate your voice. This cloned voice can be used in combination with the sensitive information they collected to gain access to your bank account.

  1. Unauthorized Transactions

With the cloned voice, scammers can bypass your biometric authentication method and transfer funds to their own accounts, change your account settings or gather additional information that can be used for further fraud.

How to Protect Yourself From Voice Cloning Scams

To protect yourself from voice cloning scams and similar fraudulent activities, here are some essential precautions:

Let unknown calls go to voicemail

Exercise caution when receiving unsolicited calls, especially from unknown numbers. Consider letting unknown calls go to voicemail and listen to the message before returning the call. This allows you to screen the call and verify the caller’s identity before engaging in conversation and potentially providing a scammer with a voice sample.

Guard your sensitive information

Refrain from sharing personal or financial details unless you initiated communication and are confident about the recipient’s authenticity. Legitimate organizations typically won’t request sensitive information through unsolicited calls, emails or text messages.

Use additional authentication methods

Consider using additional authentication methods, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) or biometric authentication (e.g., fingerprint or facial recognition), in conjunction with voice ID. These additional layers of security can enhance the overall protection of your accounts and make it more difficult for fraudsters to gain unauthorized access.

Stay informed about the latest scams

Keep yourself updated about the latest scams and fraud techniques. Stay informed through official sources, news updates and communication from your bank or financial institution. Awareness is key to recognizing and avoiding potential scams.

Report suspicious activity

If you encounter a suspected voice cloning scam or any other fraudulent activity, immediately contact your bank and report it to the appropriate authorities. By doing so, you contribute to their efforts to investigate and prevent such scams.


Voice cloning scams pose a significant threat in today’s digital landscape, as scammers exploit the power of artificial intelligence and voice manipulation techniques to gain unauthorized access to our sensitive information and important accounts. While banks have introduced voice ID as a convenient method of authentication, the rapid advancements in technology have made it less secure than before. Understanding the mechanics of voice cloning scams is crucial for safeguarding yourself against potential risks. By remaining vigilant and taking proactive measures, you can minimize the risks and ensure the security of your financial accounts.