We’ve received reports of a new fraud scheme targeting customers at a variety of financial institutions. In some cases, customers are receiving spoofed phone calls showing their bank’s name and sometimes even their bank’s main phone number. The fraudsters then state that they are calling to help investigate potential fraud on the customer’s account. As part of this “investigation”, they request the customer’s online banking credentials including their username, password and even the multi-factor authentication codes the customer receives by text message. After obtaining the customer’s online banking credentials, scammers steal funds by transferring money out of the customer’s account, using peer-to-peer (P2P) payments or electronic funds transfers.
Another scam that is making the rounds involves fraudulent debit card transactions. In many cases, real-time fraud prevention can prevent phony debit card charges from being approved. When this happens, the bank initiates automated phone calls or text messages to the customer to verify the flagged transactions or confirm them as fraudulent. But, because scammers are aware of this process, some are preempting the automated verification calls by calling the debit card holders themselves. In such calls, the scammer pretends to be the bank and advises the customer to approve the transactions, oftentimes stating that they were a “test”, thus allowing the fraudulent charges to post to the customer’s account.
Please remember that BankFive will never request your Online Banking credentials or ask you to provide multi-factor authentication codes over the phone. Likewise, we will never request that you approve debit card transactions that you didn’t make. Unfortunately, with so much fraud out there, it’s best to be skeptical when receiving any phone call purporting to be from your financial institution. Remember that it’s possible to spoof phone calls, and that even if the caller ID reads, “BankFive”, it doesn’t mean the call is from us. If you ever have any suspicions that a call from us is not legitimate, hang up and call us at 774-888-6100 for further assistance.
Here are some additional tips to help protect yourself and your bank account from financial fraud:
• Use a strong, unique password for your online banking account. Don’t use the same password you use for other online accounts. For tips on how to create a strong password, review our tips here.
• Review your online banking activity frequently and report any suspicious or unrecognized transactions to your financial institution immediately. Consider setting up automatic notifications within your account to alert you to withdrawals, transfers, or low account balances.
• Only access your online banking account from a secure internet connection. Never log into your account via public Wi-Fi. You should also ensure that your browser is up-to-date, and that your device has the latest security updates installed.