At BankProv, we’re dedicated to protecting our customers from cyber-crime, identity theft and fraud. That’s why we’ve implemented multiple layers of security and fraud controls designed to safeguard your personal information and funds.
Every year, thousands of people like you lose money to phishing and identity theft. If a hacker were pretending to be your bank, would you be able to tell? As part of American Bankers Association campaign, #banksneveraskthat, we want to make sure you know how to spot a scam. We’re breaking down common red flags and steps you can take to safeguard your information.
Americans lost $3.3 billion to phishing and other fraud in 2020, a 2x increase from 2019.*
What is phishing?
Phishing is a type of online scam where criminals make fraudulent emails, phone calls and texts that appear to come from a legitimate bank. Every year, people lose hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to these scams. The communication is designed to trick you into entering confidential information (like account numbers, passwords, PINs or birthdays) into a fake website by clicking on a link, or to tell it to someone imitating your bank on the phone.
Common Red Flags to be Aware of:
- The use of high-pressure language or a sense of urgency
- Asking for sensitive account info, your PIN or passwords, or your social security number
- Asking you to visit an unfamiliar website, or suspicious links
- Asking you to call a number different than the one listed on your card or statements
- Using incorrect grammar, multiple typos, or using unprofessional language
What to do if you Receive a Scam Email, Call or Text
Email or Text
If you suspect that an email or text you receive is a phishing attempt:
- Take a deep breath. In most cases, it’s perfectly safe to open a scam email or text. Modern mail apps, like Gmail, detect and block any code or malware from running when you open an email. The key is not to click links or download any attachments.
- Do not download any attachments in the message. Attachments may contain malware such as viruses, worms or spyware.
- Do not click links that appear in the message. Links in phishing messages direct you to fraudulent websites.
- Do not reply to the sender. Ignore any requests from the sender and do not call any phone numbers provided in the message.
- Report it. Help fight scammers by reporting them. Forward suspected phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at [email protected]. If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726). Then, report the phishing attack to the FTC at reportfraud.ftc.gov.
If you receive a phone call that seems to be a phishing attempt:
- Hang up or end the call. Be aware that area codes can be misleading. If your Caller ID displays a local area code, this does not guarantee that the caller is local.
- Do not respond to the caller’s requests. Financial institutions and legitimate companies will never call you to request your personal information. Never give personal information to the incoming caller.
- If you feel you’ve been the victim of a scam, and you did provide personal or financial information, contact your bank immediately at their publicly listed customer service number. Often, this is found on the back of your bank card. Be sure to include any relevant details, such as whether the suspicious caller attempted to impersonate your bank and whether you provided any personal or financial information to the suspicious caller.
How can you prevent a scam?
- Set up multi-factor authentication on your bank and email login.
- Use random or complex passwords.
- Call your bank directly, or log in to your account, to verify messages or emails received.
- Keep your browser up-to-date with the latest defenses, like virus protection and malware alerts.
Just know, if we ever reach out to you, we won’t ask for personal or financial information, or access codes through email, text, or unsolicited calls. If you believe that an unauthorized transaction(s) has occurred from your Online Banking or bill pay account(s), contact the Bank immediately at 888-806-7768, or email us.
For more resources and tips to protect your business from fraud and cybercrime, visit bankprov.com/security.
For more tips on how to spot a scam, and what to do if you fall victim, visit Identitytheft.gov.
*Source: Federal Trade Commission 2021