If there is one thing we can say to our valued customers about fraud and scams, it is that no one is immune from becoming a victim of either. It’s easy to think, “That would never happen to me!” - until it does.
It would be really nice if everything was labeled “too good to be true!” or “this is a scam”, but it’s not that easy. Scammers may repackage their offers, but the end result is the same: gain your trust, obtain your personal information, and steal your money.
It is critical to understand that you are at risk, but there are steps you can take to reduce that risk. We’ve put together a few simple ways to help you protect yourself against fraud attempts and scams:
- NEVER send money (i.e. cash, check, account to account transfers, wire, gift cards) to anyone you do not know or have not personally met. Understand that once funds leave your account, they may never be recovered.
- Do not automatically trust offers, emails, texts, links, even people you meet online. Research everything.
- While the majority of us are not tech savvy, we can always play it safe. Along with not clicking or tapping on links in emails or texts, do not click on ads or give anyone remote access to your computer or devices. Guard your usernames, passwords, account numbers, debit and credit card numbers as well as your personal identifying information.
- Monitor your accounts and services carefully, whether they are bank accounts, credit cards, or other transactional services. Utilize account alerts and two-factor authentication when possible.
- Shred sensitive documents and don’t just throw them away. If you don’t have a personal shredder, consider attending a Bank First Shred Event.
- Confirm any requests for account changes, personal information changes, or financial transactions by phone. Never trust email - especially regarding employee payroll changes, address/account changes, and ACH or Wire transfers.
- Secure your systems and everything that it entails including password safety, internal protocols, dual control for approvals, employee training, etc.
- Verify you are using all of the tools that Bank First offers businesses. Consult with your Relationship Manager or our Treasury Management team to learn more about the ways you can protect your business accounts.
Scammers can be creative and someday you may be presented with an offer, a situation, or even a relationship that resonates with you. Suddenly it becomes believable to you and you become the victim of a scam.
If you have provided bank account information, passwords to your online banking accounts, or paid funds as a result of fraud attempts or scams, please don’t be embarrassed, reach out to your local Bank First office right away to see what actions may be taken.