Have you ever been preoccupied when the phone rings or an email arrives in your inbox requiring urgent attention? These messages can seem very important and urgent when something like your account information is needed immediately to bring your account current or your tax liens must be paid immediately to avoid jail. After providing information to the caller or the email, you may begin to realize you have just been the target of a scam.
Does it look like a duck?
Fraudsters are becoming more and more creative in their attempts to persuade consumers into providing two key pieces of banking information; routing number and account number. Once fraudsters have this information, they can set-up electronic withdrawals – quickly reducing your balance. They use phone numbers, including area codes, to make it appear they are calling from your local area. This practice is commonly referred to as neighborhood spoofing and can make it difficult to decipher if a call is fraudulent.
As consumers become more aware of scams attempting to obtain their banking information, the fraudsters begin to get more creative. Sometimes these callers will ask for payments from consumers to pay their IRS tax liens and past due debts in the form of gift cards, like Amazon and Google Play. In the scam, they ask their targets to purchase these cards and send them pictures of the back of the cards.
The fraudster gets the payment and their target suffers a loss, which could be several thousands of dollars. Many individuals fall victim to scams such as these. If you answer a call and think that it may be a scam, hang up immediately.
Does it quack like a duck?
An email is also a common tool used by fraudsters to gather information from consumers for fraudulent purposes. Fraudsters not only spoof phone numbers, but they are also able to spoof email messages, making them appear to be coming from a company or even a person you may know. These emails will generally ask for a quick response by clicking on a link or downloading an attachment. This is often followed by a seemingly valid reason to then enter personally identifiable information, which could include a user name and password.
Before responding to an email like this, take a closer look at who sent the email. Are there misspellings in the name or even domain name of the sender? Are you expecting the sender to include a link? Verify with the sender first that a link was attached inside the body of the email. Fraudsters will use these links to install malware and key loggers onto your computer systems, causing headaches for you in the coming months.
It’s a duck!
When answering a phone call or responding to an email, take a minute to ask yourself, does this make sense? Would the IRS call me demanding payment by way of gift cards? The IRS will NEVER call you demanding immediate payment, especially using prepaid debit cards or specific gift cards. Is your cable bill truly delinquent and facing disconnection? Call your provider to confirm this information, before providing your account numbers through a link in an email. Don’t let yourself become a victim.
As a Member: Notre Dame FCU may try to reach out to you regarding your account, however, but know we will NEVER call you and ask you for personally identifiable information, such as account number, social security number, mother’s maiden name, etc. Do not disclose personal information over the phone; if you are a Notre Dame FCU member, then we already have this information on file.
We highly recommend you install our Irish Card Shield app which notifies you when your debit or credit card is used. This mobile app will allow you to turn your card on and off, get transaction alerts, monitor for fraud and even control where your card is used and how much is spent—all from your phone. Potentially, alerting you to fraudulent use.
You also have the option to set up notification alerts when certain transactions occur on your account. After you log in to Online Banking, you can find eAlert subscription under the Info Center tab. Here, you can create a new ACH Deposit or Withdrawal eAlert subscription. These alerts can be for deposits and/or withdrawals and can be sent to your cell phone in the form of a text message.
Unfortunately, these fraudsters can be very convincing. If you do ever realize you have been a victim of a scam, please contact Notre Dame FCU immediately so we can take the necessary steps to protect your account from fraudulent transaction withdrawals. There is no need to feel embarrassed and we will not pass judgment on you. A representative will walk you through the next steps in protecting your account.