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Fraudulent emails and phishing attacks

See the most common Phishing email examples as of 24 September 2006

Phishing Email Example: Update your profile.

Below is a sample of a fraudulent email sent to Butterfield’s customers purporting to be from Butterfield,
but it is not. Its aim is to get you to re-enter your account information and then to use this information to
commit fraud.


The email link appears to be genuine but its actual URL address is not. To ensure a legitimate and safe
sign on, always enter or in your browser and
never click on a link within an email.


Every Internet user should know about spoof, phishing, pharming or hoax emails that
purport to be from Butterfield Bank. Watch out - some emails look surprisingly genuine.


PLEASE REMEMBER – We will never ask you to disclose your security and personal details by

What to do if you receive a fraudulent email.

If you receive one of these emails, please forward it to




How scams work

You’ll first notice scams when you get an unsolicited email requesting an urgent response. The email
usually claims to be from a bank, credit card company or some other financial service you might use. It
usually asks you to send your account details and sometimes your password, either by return email or
through a website.


These scams are known as 'phishing'. This is the process by which you are tricked into disclosing your
password, pin number or bank account details to criminals using the internet.


They often use the excuse that a large transaction has recently passed through your account and they
require your details to verify its validity. Other tricks are used to lower your guard, such as 'security and
maintenance upgrades', 'investigation of irregular account activity' or 'bills or charges due'.


Online Fraud can also be in the form of ‘Pharming’, which occurs when you type in a web address and it redirects you to a fraudulent website without your knowledge or consent. The website will try and look similar to the legitimate site in hopes of capturing your confidential information.


Why these frauds look genuine

Fraudsters scan the internet for email addresses or generate them at random. They don't need online
service provider's mailing lists. They may send just a few dozen emails but sometimes thousands. Even if
only a few unsuspecting people respond, it can be worth the effort. These attempted frauds can look genuine by using:

  • the names of real people.
  • the right logos and branding.
  • links to pages from the real website.
  • official-looking fine print.
  • a site that mimics the real thing. Technically, it's quite easy to copy and paste genuine pages to a new
    fake address.


How to spot a fraud

The success of each fraudulent email depends entirely on fooling the recipient. However with closer
attention, you can easily pick out warning signs:

  • Website address: this can be easily faked. Is the address spelt accurately? You should only access
    our official websites i.e.:
  • Contact details: does the email address look legitimate? Bear in mind anything before the ‘@’ sign
    can be faked.
  • Shipping address: frauds often originate from areas such as Western Africa so avoid any requests
    to ship goods there.
  • General appearance: fraud emails will often have poor spelling, bad grammar, generally look
    sloppy and state a false sense of urgency to follow their instructions. 


Safety checks to protect yourself


a) Stay calm: It's natural to be alarmed by an email claiming your account has been frozen or your
credit card information has been stolen. Resist your first impulse to reply. Never follow the instructions in the email.


b) Suspect a scam if you’re asked for your account details or your passwords by email: We will never
ask for your account details or your passwords by email. If you get this kind of email, it's almost
certainly a scam.


c) Only go to the official Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited website using your bookmark or by
typing its URL in the address bar of your web browser: Never click any hyperlink in an email as you
cannot be certain where it directs you to.


d) Keep your computer secure: Some frauds can lure you into opening an email or attachment that secretly installs 'trojan' software. Trojan software allows fraudsters to monitor your computer and access your accounts. Install effective protection on your computer and keep it up to date. You can keep your computer secure by:

  • Ensuring your computer software has the latest security updates.
  • Getting an effective virus protection program and update it regularly.
  • Getting a 'firewall' to protect your computer from unauthorised access.
  • Deleting suspicious emails without opening them. Avoid opening dubious attachments, even if the
    email seems to come from someone you trust.


e) Take a few privacy precautions
Avoid personal transactions at Internet cafes, community centres and libraries. In some places, criminals
have loaded software that records keystrokes. Check that nobody is looking over your shoulder and
keep private information out of chat rooms or email. Where possible use a secure website address
starting with “https”. Protect your email address accordingly.


f) Act quickly if you think you’ve been conned
If you get a suspicious email contact us directly via our contact details posted on the website. Do not
respond to any contact details in the email as they are probably false. If you're still uncertain or if you
have sent any details through an email or website you’re a bit worried about, contact us and ask to
confirm the email's authenticity. Monitor your account statements for any suspicious activity.

What to do if you receive a fraudulent email

If you suspect that an email appearing to be from Butterfield Bank is fraudulent, please forward it immediately to


An Internet Security Specialist will investigate immediately. If you have replied to an email with personal information, and now believe the email was fraudulent, call us at +1 (345) 949-7055.


Tel: +1 (345) 949-7055
Fax: +1 (345) 949-7004





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The Banking Code

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited subscribes to the Code of Conduct for Retail Banks in the Cayman Islands.