Protect Yourself from Payment Scams

Be Aware of Payment Scams

My bank recently informed me about a new scam targeting individuals using person to person money transfer services. Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself and your account(s).

The scam uses a text message, followed by a phone call – a process known as “vishing” – to prompt the recipient to take certain actions on their account. The messages typically claim that there has been a request to withdraw a large amount of money from the recipient’s account.

Be aware of the tactics

  1. The scammer will try to lure you. You’ll receive a text asking you to reply “YES” or “NO” to approve or deny a money transfer transaction. Once you respond to the text message, the scammer will call you while pretending to be a bank representative.
  2. The scam will be set in motion by your response. The scammer will claim the transfer was successful, and if you want to reverse the transaction, you’ll have to transfer the money back yourself through a person to person money transfer service.
  3. The money will not be returned to your account. If you complete the transfer, you would have inadvertently sent the funds to the scammer and this money is usually impossible to retrieve.

Learn to protect yourself

To the unsuspecting eye, the messages received may look like they were sent by the bank. However, with a few simple tips, you can learn to spot this vishing scam and stop the fraudsters in their tracks:

  1. Remember, banks never ask that. The bank will never ask you to use a money transfer service to reverse a transaction.
  2. Do not share confidential account information. Never offer up personal /sensitive information (birth dates, PINs, Social Security, passwords or bank account numbers) over the phone, by text or email, unless you called the bank directly and are asked to provide these details for verification.
  3. Scammers can replicate legitimate business numbers. This often tricks individuals into falling for the scam. If you have the slightest doubt about the legitimacy of a call/email/text, do not respond, hang up and call the bank directly using the number on the back of your ATM/debit or credit card, on our bank website, or within online banking.

Always be extremely cautious about discussing your financial information with anyone over the phone.

Additional Resources for Scam Protection

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