How To Spot A Bank Fraud Scam
Over the past few weeks, the FBI has been getting more and more reports of fraudsters targeting the bank accounts of people in Oregon.
Here’s how it usually starts: the bank customer receives a text asking if she approved an unusual transaction. Of course, she didn’t – so she clicks on the phone number listed in the text to report the fraud. That number, however, is spoofed. It looks like the real number for the bank, but it is a fake – and the customer gets routed to the scammer.
The person who answers the phone poses as a bank employee, telling the customer that someone has changed the username on the account… which, of course, generates fear that a bad guy has already accessed the account. While the customer is panicked, the fake bank employee asks the customer to share her real user ID and the password verification code. He offers to send her a new debit card before hanging up.
Even if you realize immediately that something is not right, the scam artists are in your account and transferring money out in a matter of seconds.
Here’s how to protect yourself:
- Familiarize yourself with what fraud alerts from your bank look like and what actions your bank may request from you.
- When in doubt, DO NOT click on a link or dial a phone number directly from a text alert. Look up the customer service number for the bank from an official source, such as the bank’s website or what you find on a statement. Call that number instead.
- Never give out your password or PIN information to anyone. Your bank will not ask for it.
- Set up double authentication on your account if that is an available option. That means you and your bank have an extra set of security questions, PINs or other protocols in place to help ensure your safety.
- If you have been victimized by this online scam or any other cyber fraud, be sure to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.
In the end, the key to scams like these is that they don’t rely on digital security vulnerabilities or cutting-edge hacking technology; these scams target the user, who, without the right training, will always be a security risk, regardless of the IT measures set in place.
Making security education a routine for yourself and anyone you work with – management included – is the most effective way to stop these scams from succeeding. Waiting for another major cyberattack to start making the rounds is not the time to start investing in your cybersecurity awareness.
If you’re ever hesitant about the authenticity of one of these messages, One Up Solutions Northwest can help. We can provide IT security services — including comprehensive cybersecurity training — to organizations like yours.
By having our expert team of IT security professionals equip you with robust cybersecurity solutions, train your staff to spot and eliminate threats, as well as keep everything up to date, you can ensure all your cybersecurity bases are covered.
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