Bank Scams! The Latest Fraud Scams Targeting Seniors To Be Aware Of!

Bank Scams! The Latest Fraud Scams Targeting Seniors To Be Aware Of!

Bank Scams! The Latest Fraud Scams Targeting Seniors To Be Aware Of!

As digital and electronic banking continues to grow, con artists are taking advantage of this growth to commit more banking scams. Fraudsters can now send fake emails and text messages that look as if they came directly from your bank. The thieves are so good at their craft that they can call you and convincingly impersonate a bank employee or someone from the bank’s security department.

Bank officials are warning customers not to be too hasty in their dealings with someone who contacts them unexpectedly claiming to be from their bank. Scams are always money-related, which is why it’s even more important to be aware of the types of schemes that con artists use.

Bank of America offers a list of trending scams and tips to avoid them:

1. Issues with package delivery

Scammers will send an email or text indicating that there is a problem with your package delivery or payment. You’ll be asked to click a link to pay a small fee or provide personal information.

Tip: Do not open unfamiliar links, this may be an attempt at “phishing,” a way to trick you into revealing confidential or sensitive information.

2. Donating money to a cause

Be cautious when making cash donations in person for a charitable cause. Some con artists may ask you to use your phone and banking app to complete the transaction. They may even ask you to hand over your phone to enter the charity’s details on your behalf. Scammers are sometimes sending the money to themselves.

Tip: Never give your phone or any other device to anyone else to complete a transaction on your behalf and always pay attention to bank warning messages.

3. Imposters

Con artists may impersonate well-known companies or individuals, such as your bank, phone provider, utility company, or even a friend or relative. The imposters will call or text you pretending to be from legitimate phone numbers and tell you to use online or mobile banking to send money to yourself or other people. They might even tell you to ignore or avoid notifications and cautions about scams. If you provide information, the scammer may enroll in bank features like Zelle, which allows you to send and receive money, by using your information.

Tip: Stop and double-check the details. While banks may send you a text to confirm strange activity, banks will never call and ask you to give them a code over the phone or send them money.

4. Multi-step fraud scams

Con artists are now combining multiple scams to make their fraudulent schemes even more convincing:

  • Step 1. A scammer will ask you for remote access on your device.
  • Step 2. You’ll get a call from your bank stating there is a problem or potential fraud.
  • Step 3: Another scammer claiming to be a government official will send you an official email or letter.

Tip: Do not download or give remote access to anyone you do not know. Banks will never call you to ask that you move money to protect yourself from fraud.

Social Media Scams

Social media platforms offer con artists numerous opportunities to commit fraud. The following are some of the most commonly reported frauds:

1. Romance/confidence scams.

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites, apps, and social media sites. After establishing a relationship and building up trust, the scammer asks for money and wants it sent in a way that’s hard to get back, such as money transfers, wiring money, money transfers, or gift cards with a PIN code.

2. Sweepstakes or giveaways.

Con artists claim that you have won a giveaway or sweepstakes—that you never entered, by the way—and provide a link to click on or a phone number to call to collect the prize. They will ask you to pay money or ask for your personal information before you can receive the prize—that you will never receive.

3. Imposter celebrity accounts.

Scammers set up fake celebrity accounts and encourage fans to follow them. The criminals may create a fake charity and solicit donations or find another way to steal from fans.

4. Fake investment opportunities.

Using a post or direct message, con artists offer great “money-making” opportunities through an investment, including cryptocurrency.

The following are tips to avoid social media scams:

  • Click only on links from trusted sources and look for verification check marks to confirm that a profile or channel is legitimate. Celebrities and well-known brands usually verify their accounts with a checkmark beside the profile photo.
  • Avoid posting personally identifiable information on social media. Set up security settings on your social media profiles to limit what you share publicly.
  • Keep operating systems, apps, and security software updated.

Although social media is a great place to connect with others, keep in mind that people may not be who they say they are on these platforms. Verify everything they claim and do not provide sensitive information to anyone whose identity you cannot confirm.

Ways To Avoid Scams

Whether on social media platforms, doing online searches, or banking transactions, Bank of America advises customers to know “fraud when you see it“ and offers some things to look out for to avoid being scammed:

  • 1. If you receive a suspicious text or email, examine the message carefully. Scammers often do not address you by name and make obvious grammar and spelling errors.
  • 2. If you receive a suspicious email, hover over the link, (but don’t click on it) to see the actual URL. A scammer’s link will not match the URL of a legitimate bank. Similarly, do not click on the link of a suspicious text message, it could result in malware being loaded onto your phone that sends your personal information to a scammer.
  • 3. If you receive a suspicious phone call, do not give out any personal or bank account information. Hang up and use the direct phone number for your local bank branch or the customer service number on the bank’s website to report the suspicious call.
  • 4. Look for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements or in your transaction history. Regularly monitor your transaction history and set up account alerts that help you monitor your finances and keep your account safe.

Keep in mind that your bank will never contact you and ask for account details unless you call them first. If someone claims to be from your bank and asks you for sensitive information, the person is probably trying to steal your money.

If you have been the victim of a scam or an attempted scam, contact your local bank branch or local law enforcement.

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