There are so many scams going around in our world today and it almost makes you not want to do anything, but we know that just isn’t an option. It can be hard sometimes to tell what is really legitimate and what isn’t. That’s why I want people to be aware of the latest bank scams that are going around out there.
This is very important because there are scammers out there sending texts and emails claiming to be from people’s institutions trying to make them think that something serious has happened to their account or that it has been frozen and that they need to give out certain information in order to verify that it’s them and to reactivate the account. I will talk about the truth of how these scams are trying to get your valuable banking account information and how banks will never ask for that if they are truly contacting you. Plus I’ll share some information about how some people in a particular state in the US, were receiving these type of scams.
Bank Texts: Real Or Fraud?
It’s getting very difficult these days to tell whether a text on your smartphone is either from your bank or from a scammer. There may be times (if you give them the authorization) that your bank’s fraud department will contact you if there is an attempted purchase on your account that may seem suspicious.
I’ve had that happen before as I really was purchasing either something from another country such as in Europe, or at one time purchasing cryptocurrency. I did reply that I indeed was making those purchases or I actually called my bank to confirm it that way.
Now here’s what generally sets apart a scam from a real text from a bank. If a bank sends you a text and asks you about a specific transaction that seems suspicious and asks you to respond with a Y or N, which ever response you send, that will at times be the end of it. With a scam, however, a text is usually followed by a call that will look like it is your bank calling, however this is not the case as the scammer has spoofed the bank’s number which is usually a 1-800 number.
Do NOT answer that call. Instead, what you want to do is call either the number on the back of your debit card or go online and search for the customer service number of your bank. Banks will a lot of times verify you by a security question or code words setup when you opened an account with them. I will now talk about what can happen if you do answer a call that appears to be from your bank, after you initially received a text about a transaction.
Scammers Pretending To Be Your Bank
If you do answer a phone call that appears to be from your bank, especially if it shows it’s a 1-800 number, you’ll more than likely be talking to a scammer. This is where things can go south very quickly and it’s better for you to hang up and then call the number on the back of your debit card.
According to this article, the person on the other end of the phone will sound very professional and will make promises to drop suspicious charges on your account or unlock your account. The thing is though, they’ll ask you to either verify your PIN number or even want you to say your entire account number for verification or maybe even say the last 4 numbers of your social security number.
You NEVER want to give out that information and a bank will never ask you to verify yourself that way especially the PIN number to your debit card. I myself work at a financial institution and we would never ask you for your PIN or entire account number. There are other ways to verify you and the most common ways are what I mentioned above which are security questions or code words and we have other methods as well if none of those are set up.
That particular article was talking about people in Lansing, Michigan receiving those type of bank scams and what you should not do if you happen to receive one as well as the best ways to identify a potential bank scam. If you’ve given information to a scammer such as your PIN number to your debit card, your social security number, or your entire checking or savings account number, I will tell you what should be done next.
What To Do If You’ve Bank Account Information Away
One of the worst feelings in the world is the realization that you’ve given sensitive information away to a scammer and then worried about what’s going to happen next. Unfortunately, this happens every day to people and some don’t even realize it until it’s too late and major financial damage has occurred or even identity theft.
If you’ve realized that you gave away sensitive bank information away to scammers, you need to call your financial institution immediately and tell them what has happened. I will have to say though that if it’s your debit card information that was given away, it is actually a little bit easier and quicker to shut that down as well as dispute any fraudulent charges that might come up before it’s deactivated.
Some banks are now including new security features or apps better designed for you to control your debit card. For example, I have the ability to be alerted about every debit card transaction if I wanted or to even block it from potential use if I were to lose my debit card or mistakenly left it somewhere like at a store or restaurant. This is a game changer because there are times when something may have happened to your debit card, but it would be during after hours of your bank and you wouldn’t be able to get into contact with them. Instead, you can immediately turn off your debit card so no one else can use it if it’s found.
Now if it’s your full account number that you’ve given away, you’ll definitely want to contact your financial institution ASAP because what will need to be done is to close the account and open a new one and that can take a bit more time, whereas with a debit card, all they have to do is shut it down and order you a new one and your main account that the debit card is tied to, can still be active and used.
Since you now know what to do if you’ve given away your banking information to scammers over the phone, it’s time to take a look at another method that scammers use to try to get that information from you.
Fraudulent Emails Pretending To Be From Your Bank
Email scams are easily one of the biggest and most common kind of scams out there. Think about it. So many of us sign up for different things or our email addresses are shared with other companies that it’s so easy to get spam or junk emails in our email account.
This is how scammers come into play and send what’s called phishing scams to your inbox. I have talked a lot about these particular kind of scams such as the best ways to spot them and forward those emails on to the real companies that these scam emails are mimicking. You can read one of my articles about PayPal Phishing emails that I’ve received by clicking here.
The best way to tell if an email is really from your bank or not is to check the email address it came. This will always be your best line of defense against phishing emails. A legitimate email address will usually be short and have the bank’s name as part of the email address.
A fraudulent email will almost always have some long or strange email address that will not have anything to do with the bank or company they are trying to pretend to be. The email address will instead have some very long and strange combination of letters and numbers. If you see an email address like this, you’ll know that it’s not legitimate and you can either delete the email or forward it to your bank to let them know that there are scammers sending out false emails claiming to be the bank.
Always Be On The Lookout
It’s very important to always beware of the bank scams that are out there. Now that you know about what bank scams can look like, via text, phone, or email, you can better protect yourself against becoming a victim.
It’s important to share this information with as many people as you can, especially the elderly because they are usually the most vulnerable to these type of scams. I know at the financial institution I work at, we have to deal with customers who have been taken advantage of by scammers.
Have you ever been a victim of a bank scam or know someone who has? Did there happen to be money loss because of the scam or were you able to catch it in time and warn your bank? Feel free to share your comments below.