Prevent Fraud by Following a Few Simple Steps

A quick review of the news, and maybe even conversations with your friends, family and co-workers likely reveals that scams targeting financial institutions and their customers are becoming more common and more sophisticated.

The good news is you can fight back against scammers looking to steal from you by following some simple steps designed to protect you and your assets.

What to Look for in Communications to Avoid Fraud

Prevent Fraud

Some common techniques used by scammers include calls, emails, text messages, etc. reporting a problem, usually one that needs to be dealt with immediately to avoid any loss of assets. These are almost always urgentand are stressful to targets who are caught unaware. As customers have gotten savvier about these scams, thieves have gotten more sophisticated in their efforts.

Scammers use a variety of techniques to separate you from your money. While the methods for attempting to scam bank customers become more sophisticated, several key traits are present in many of these, including:

  • Does the email address and phone number of whoever is contacting you match? For example, if you receive an email from Southern States Bank and the email address is from someone at @randombank.com, that should be a warning sign.
  • Are there grammatical errors in the copy of the email, or do the graphics look off? If so, be wary that the communication is not legitimate.
  • Is there a threatening message in the communication? Does the communication state you need to urgently pay a bill, or warn that your account is going to be locked? This is another common sign that something is not right since Southern States Bank will never communicate with you in that way.
  • Are there suspicious attachments, or ones that you never requested? Do not open them since you do not know what they are designed to do.  This is a classic technique that scammers use to gain customers’ information.

Steps Everyone Can Take to Avoid Fraud

This list is not exhaustive, but shows you steps you can take to protect yourself.

  1. Don’t share your digital banking information – No one needs your user ID and password to handle any banking situations, even your bank.
  2. Review all financial institution communications thoroughly – Scammers frequently use common communication tools to scam customers, so it’s critical to make sure all calls, emails, and written communications are legitimate. When in doubt, check with your financial institution.
  3. Only shop online at trusted sources– Making online purchases from unfamiliar companies can generate significant fraud.
  4. Consider everyone involved in transactions – Scammers can try various methods to get you to transfer money to them. Make sure everyone in the transaction is legitimate and you are clear who they are.
  5. Review all of your accounts, including bank accounts, credit accounts and investment accounts, to make sure there are no transactions you are unaware of.
  6. Consider updating your passwords – Even more importantly, make sure you have different IDs for all of your different online accounts to take scammers off their game.
  7. Check your credit reports regularly – It’s critical to make sure nothing on your credit reports show any accounts or activities you do not know about.
  8. Shred all important documents – Bank statements, credit card statements, investment statements, expired ID cards, the list goes on. If it’s an important document you don’t need anymore, shred it! Many businesses offer shredding services, which are well worth the expense.
  9. Be wary of Wifi Hotspots – Some Wifi hotspots are not secure, so look out for networks that do not have thorough security in place.
  10. Avoid “pig butchering” – Be on the lookout for “wrong number” text messages where the original texter might try to continue the conversation, online conversations that eventually turn to investments in cryptocurrency or other investments, an online dating match that gives you gifts and promises fun vacations, or someone online encourages you to download a cryptocurrency app. All are common “pig butchering” techniques to begin relationships.

Helping to Prevent Fraud: How Southern States Bank Communicates with You

As Southern States Bank customers, it is important to remember that we will never ask you for your important personal information, including your account number, Social Security number, online banking user ID and password, etc. If a representative from Southern States Bank contacts you claiming to be with the bank and asks for that information, be on your guard!

Contact us at Southern States Bank today and take a step toward securing your financial future with confidence.