Every day, thousands of people fall for fraudulent emails, texts, and calls from scammers pretending to be a bank. These are commonly referred to as phishing scams. The communication is designed to trick you into providing confidential information (like account numbers, passwords, or PINs) either online or over the phone to someone imitating a bank employee.
Victims of phishing scams can lose hundreds, even thousands of dollars. The FTC estimates that consumers lost $8.8 billion to phishing schemes and other fraud in 2022, a 65% increase compared to 2021.
Scammers are taking advantage of the expanded use of digital banking platforms and tricking consumers into giving up their personal and financial information.
Educating our customers is one of the most effective ways to prevent you from falling victim to these scams.
We are joining more than 2,000 banks who have participated in this campaign since its inception to raise awareness about phishing scams and to help customers think twice before clicking a link or giving up personal information by email, text or over the phone.
If you receive an email, text, or phone call asking for confidential information, it’s a definite red flag. It’s better to be safe than sorry. End the call, delete the text, and trash the email, because banks never ask that!
You may be asked to verify confidential information if you call your bank, but never the other way around. If you receive an incoming call from someone claiming to be your bank, the safest thing you can do is hang up and call your bank’s customer service number on the back of your debit or credit card.
Other tips to remember:
- 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. Links in phishing messages 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.
- 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. Financial institutions and legitimate companies will never call you to request your personal information. Never give personal information to the incoming caller.
Report it. Help fight scammers by reporting them. Forward suspected phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at email@example.com. If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726). Then, report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
For more information about phishing scams and how to stop fraudsters in their tracks, visit www.BanksNeverAskThat.com.