Scam alert. Who's REALLY contacting you?
posted by Ryan Dutton on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in SHAZAM Blog
There’s been an uptick in scammers posing as financial institutions and other service companies in hopes of stealing sensitive information – including account information and Social Security numbers. These ploys often occur by phone, email, and text. Help us keep your accountholders, family, and friends safe by sharing this information with them. Fighting crime is a joint effort.
How it works
- Phone. A phony call from someone claiming to be from your bank or other service provider warning you of suspicious account activity. The caller may have some personal information, like the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- Email. You receive a message that looks legitimate – complete with the bank’s logo, directing you to click a link to clear up an urgent matter.
- Text. A message seemingly from your bank urges you to click a link to address an issue.
What you should know
- Between social media and data breaches, there’s enough information floating around to help a scammer craft a personalized, legitimate sounding message.
- Scammers often use scare tactics to get people to react emotionally, like claiming they’ve detected fraud on your account. Fear sometimes makes it difficult to access our logical thinking processes. Step back and take a deep breath before reacting.
What you should do
- Greet any message from your bank with caution and ask yourself, is this the type of communication my financial institution would really send?
- If you do get an email, a text or a phone call claiming to be from your bank, be cautious of the information the caller asks about. It’s fine to refuse if you feel uneasy. A trusted financial partner will not ask for any sensitive information on an outbound contact to you. If unsure, call the phone number on an account statement, or the back of your credit or debit card to determine if the bank is actually trying to reach you. Do NOT call back using a phone number given by the caller.
- If you bank online, protect your accounts by using unique passwords or a passphrase. If your online banking offers it, enable two-factor authentication, the bank will send you a one-time code when logging in to ensure it’s you accessing the account.
What to do if you are scammed
If you feel you have been scammed, contact your financial institution and the police. Then, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. When you report a scam, the FTC can use the information to build cases against scammers. Remember, fighting crime is a joint effort.
About the Author
Ryan is an experienced fraud strategy manager with a 15-year history of working in the fraud detection industry. His particular focus is the management of payment card fraud, and his work at SHAZAM gives Ryan a front row seat to the challenges facing community financial institutions.
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