SmartBank works to ensure your account remains secure. There are ways you can help. The first step is to recognize commonly used tactics by fraudsters. So here’s what you need to know about potential vulnerabilities to fraud and how you can protect yourself.

Recognizing Fraud

Always remember that SmartBank will never request your bank account information, credit card number, PIN, or account password over the phone, through text message, or in an email. Scammers try to create convincing scenarios for the victim to volunteer this sensitive information. Your internal alarms should go off if you find yourself in a situation where someone is asking for it.

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Phone Fraud

Almost every phone is able to display the phone number of the person calling you. Unfortunately, this information is unreliable. Scammers are able to fake this number to make their calls seem more legitimate.

Callers will pretend to represent important organizations like a utility company or the IRS and demand immediate information with the threat of consequences. Another tactic used is for the caller to imply that you have won a sweepstakes and they need your entrance fee.

Beware of any unsolicited calls that ask for payment of any form. Hang up if you become suspicious and call the company back yourself with a number found on their official website.

Text Message Fraud

Text messages can also be fraudulent but appear as if they are sent from a legitimate source. Scammers will create urgency using similar tactics to email fraudsters and request sensitive information like account numbers, credit card information, or login information.

SmartBank will never contact you directly and request this information.

Email Fraud

The internet provides multiple opportunities for scammers to steal your personal information. Quickly recognizing a potential scam is the best way to avoid a possible fraudulent scheme.

These emails will often have a generalized greeting and say that your information has already been compromised. This is meant to convince you to hurry through the following steps, but take a moment to inspect the message. The sender’s name is easily changed to look familiar, but check the actual email address of the sender. It will often have a long string of random numbers and letters.

Fraudulent emails will often claim your bank account has been frozen, offer fake work opportunities, or offer prizes. Don’t click on any links, call the included phone numbers, or respond to these messages in any way.

If the email purports itself to be sent from a real organization, find their contact information outside of the message. Ask their customer service outlets if the message was real. This will tell you how to proceed as well as alerting the company to the scam.

Online Fraud

There are a wide range of tactics used by scammers on the internet. Pop up windows with links that download viruses onto your computer, fraudulent websites, and trojan horse downloads can all be used to compromise your banking information. Be very careful about who you divulge this information to. Don’t visit websites that aren’t widely trusted, and never click on anything found within a suspicious message.

Protecting Yourself

Vigilance is your best defense against scammers. Knowing their tactics will allow you to spot a fraudulent request when you see one.

Guard Your Credit Card Information

SmartBank will never ask for sensitive information over the phone or through email. Legitimate companies won’t request this information either, unless you’re making a purchase of some sort or you have initiated the call.  If you have called the bank, SmartBank will ask identifying questions to confirm ownership of the account.

Don’t give your banking information to somebody just because they asked. Take a moment to find out if the request is legitimate.

Trust Your Instincts

Scammers create awkward situations and try to capitalize on your unease. This awkward feeling is a sign that something unnecessary is occurring. Strange emails or phone calls can tip you off that a scammer is trying to access your information. Trust yourself and don’t follow through with their requests.

Don’t Rush Into Anything

Utility companies won’t call you about late bills and say they’ll turn off your water if you don’t pay immediately. The IRS won’t demand payment over the phone. These are all tactics to get you to immediately offer up your information out of fear. Don’t play into their methods. Take your time and analyze the situation.

Be Wary of All Unsolicited Requests

Anybody asking for your personal information needs to be questioned. This is especially true if you didn’t initiate the conversation.

Immediately contact your local SmartBank branch if you feel your information has been compromised in any way, or call our Client Services Team at 866.290.2554. We’ll work with you to keep your funds safe and protect you from future issues.

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