Phishing scams are taking a toll on consumers, including bank customers.
- Every day, thousands of people fall for fraudulent emails, texts, and calls from scammers pretending to be a bank. These are commonly referred to as phishing scams. The communication is designed to trick you into providing confidential information (like account numbers, passwords, PINs, or birthdays) either online or over the phone to someone pretending to be a bank employee.
- Victims of phishing scams can lose hundreds, even thousands of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that consumers lost $3.3 billion to phishing schemes and other fraud in 2020.
- Scammers are taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, as well as the expanded use of digital banking platforms, and tricking consumers into giving up their personal and financial information.
Education is the key to preventing these types of scams.
- Customer education is one of the most effective ways to prevent you from falling victim to these scams.
- The American Bankers Association is joining forces with Mountain Pacific Bank and other banks across the country to raise awareness about phishing scams and to help our customers think twice before clicking a link or giving up personal information by email, text or over the phone.
- Visit BanksNeverAskThat.com to take a phishing quiz and learn more about phishing scams. There are also social media posts that you can share with your friends and family to help spread the word.
To spot phishing scams, just remember “Banks Never Ask That”.
- If you receive an email, text, or phone call asking for confidential information, it’s a definite red flag. It’s better to be safe than sorry. End the call, delete the text, and delete the email because banks never ask that!
- You may be asked to verify confidential information if you call your bank, but never the other way around. If you receive an incoming call from someone claiming to be your bank, the safest thing you can do is hang up and call your branch.
Additional Consumer Tips.
If you receive a suspicious email or text:
- Do not download any attachments in the message. Attachments may contain malware such as viruses, worms, or spyware.
- Do not click links that appear in the message. Links in phishing messages direct you to fraudulent websites.
- Do not reply to the sender. Ignore any requests from the sender and do not call any phone numbers provided in the message.
- Report it. Anti-Phishing Working Group at email@example.com. If you get a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726). Then, report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Help fight scammers by reporting them. Forward suspected phishing emails to the
If you receive a suspicious phone call:
- If you receive a phone call that seems to be a phishing attempt, hang up or end the call. Be aware that area codes can be misleading. If your Caller ID displays a local area code, this does not guarantee that the caller is local.
- Do not respond to the caller’s requests. Banks and legitimate companies will never call you to request your personal information. Never give personal information to the incoming caller.