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Don't Fall Prey to These Scams

Posted in Security

We asked our Fraud Officer, Dave Oldenburg, about the recent fraud schemes our customers and employees are experiencing. He responded with two: tech support scams and caller ID spoofing.

While tech support scams are not new, scammers continue to take advantage of our need to have our computers and other personal devices up and running properly. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers the following advice to spot and avoid tech support scams*:

  • If you receive a phone call you didn’t expect from someone who says there’s a problem with your computer, hang up.
  • If there is a pop-up window on your computer, don’t call the number. Real security warnings and messages will never ask you to call a phone number.
  • Did you know tech support scammers post online ads and listings? If you’re looking for tech support, go to a company you know and trust. 

Caller ID spoofing technology can imitate phone numbers in an effort to lure you into a false sense of security. Spoofed numbers can be from any number, possibly even a Bank First office or the phone number on the back of your debit card. For example, one of our employees had a cell phone call from her own cell phone number... according to caller ID. Of course, she was not calling herself and while we can find humor in the situation, it confirms caller ID cannot be fully relied upon to identify a caller.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers this valuable tip: Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords, or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious. Read more about caller ID spoofing and ways to avoid spoofing scams in this article from the FCC: Caller ID Spoofing or check out their Avoid Spoofing Scams Tip Card.

If you receive a call from Bank First, we may need to verify your identity, but will not ask for sensitive information such as complete account numbers, your PIN, or your online banking credentials. If you feel uncertain about providing any information, it is okay to hang up and call us at the number available on your account statement or on our website.

Please be sure to contact your local office right away if you have provided bank account information, passwords to your online banking accounts, or paid funds as a result of fraud attempts or scams.

*Link to FTC article: How to Spot, Avoid, and Report Tech Support Scams

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