Important Tips for Heightened Awareness and Malware Warning Signs
Cyberattack Awareness

In light of recent cyberattacks between Russia and Ukraine and reports that phishing tactics via email and text messages are increasing, it’s crucial to be extra vigilant with emails and texts. (Phishing messages often try to lure you into clicking an email that will infect your computer or device with malicious programs to steal information and/or infect it with ransomware.)

To combat this risk, Bell’s online security team recommends taking these 5 steps to be extra vigilant and always make sure the messages you receive are coming from a legitimate source:

  1. Beware of any message that communicates a tremendous sense of urgency, as cyber criminals will try to rush you into making a mistake.
  2. Be suspicious of any emails asking you to check or renew your passwords and login credentials, even if they seem to come from a trusted source.
  3. Do not click on suspicious links or open any suspicious attachments.
  4. Don’t trust email communications for important, actionable requests. There’s been an increase in fraudulent communications where emails are being spoofed to look like legitimate email accounts by making a slight change in the email address in hopes you won’t notice.
  5. Always independently confirm important, actionable requests in person or via a telephone call to a trusted and verified phone number.

Signs you may have malware on your system: 

  • Your computer or web browser has dramatically slowed down over a period of a few days to a week
  • Frequent freezing or crashing
  • Modified or deleted files
  • New programs or desktop icons that you do not recall installing/creating
  • Programs running or closing without your consent

If you suspect you have malware on your system, download and install a good quality antivirus application or security suite, and run a scan as soon as possible. If you already have a security program, the malware must have slipped past its protection, and you should consider using a professional IT service company.

Be very suspicious if you receive an email, text message or phone call urgently requesting money – especially through a wire transfer, gift card or by loading a rechargeable money card. If you believe you have provided information about your Bell Bank accounts to a fraudulent email or website, contact us immediately by calling 701-298-1550 or toll-free 800-450-8949.

Note: If Bell’s bankers seem to be asking you more questions to validate your information, please know we are taking extra security precautions as a way of protecting you against financial loss, fraud and identity theft.

For more tips on protecting yourself – and your loved ones – against cybercriminals, imposter scams and elder scams, read these articles in the security section of Bell’s Advice Center.