Keep your information safe from phishing.
Understanding how phishing scams work
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 ways people get scammed include…
- Text Message: your bank will never ask you to sign in, or give personal information, via text message. Banks don’t do that!
- Email: Watch out for emails that ask you to clink a link or provide personal information. Do not download files. Do not click links. Do not reply to sender.
- Phone calls: If you didn’t expect a call from the bank, it could be a scam. Don’t provide any personal information. Hang up or end the call, and then call the bank yourself.
If you suspect that an email or text you receive is a phishing attempt:
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, as they may 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726). Then, report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
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 for information. 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 provided personal or financial information, contact your branch immediately at the publicly listed number. Be sure to include any relevant details, such as whether the suspicious caller attempted to impersonate your bank and whether any personal or financial information was provided to the suspicious caller.
Can you outsmart online scammers?
The American Bankers Association has created a website with more information about how to protect yourself from online scams. You can also take their online quiz, and you could win a $100 weekly prize, or a $1000 grand prize, all courtesy of the ABA.