Impersonation fraud occurs when criminals pretend to be someone else, including trusted organizations like your bank, other businesses, or the government. While this type of fraud can happen in person or through the mail, it often occurs online, by phone, or text message.
If you have not initiated any communication, be on guard! It is always better to be suspicious of a request than to give out personal or financial information, or to lose money because of fraud.
To help protect yourself against impersonation fraud, we are providing a few tips:
- NEVER provide account credentials such as your user name, password, account number, etc.
- NEVER provide personal information to strangers through the mail, over the phone, or online (name, age, address, phone number, social security number, etc.)
- NEVER give remote access to your computer. If you receive an unexpected call from someone who says there’s a problem with your computer, hang up. Instead, visit a tech support company you know and trust.
- NEVER click on links in emails, text messages, or popups on your computer. Instead, ALWAYS go directly to the source: login to your account from the known website to view any account messages or call the company using a phone number you have on file (from an account statement).
- It is okay to HANG UP the phone or not answer unknown calls. While even scammers will leave a voicemail, so should legitimate businesses. This will give you an opportunity to listen to their request and help determine if it’s valid.
- ASK family members and trusted individuals especially when something is “urgent”, when it’s not typical behavior from a company or individual, or when it doesn’t seem right. Criminals thrive on secrecy and don’t want you to check with anyone else to verify it’s a valid request.
As your bank, account security is our top priority. When you call us, we will ask for information to verify your identity. Remember that your Caller ID, like ours, may be spoofed. We highly recommend setting up a unique passcode on your Bank First account(s) which will help confirm your identity when you call. To set up a passcode, please contact your local Bank First office.
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.