Banking has changed quite a bit thanks to the internet. While many people still prefer the brick and mortar experience when dealing with their money, today you can do many of the same functions online and over the phone. Criminals are cashing in on these remote transactions by impersonating banks.
These scams start with a phone call, email or text that appears to come from your financial institution. These spoofed communications carry urgent warnings about problems with an account or transaction and direct you to click a link or call a given number.
The first defense against these types of banking scams is knowing that a reputable bank will not contact you out of the blue and ask for sensitive information. If you get a phone call, text or email saying there is a problem with your bank account, don’t engage. Instead, contact your bank in a way you know to be legitimate (a phone number on a statement, for example). By verifying the official number before calling you will know for certain that you’re talking to the legitimate institution and if there is a problem, they will help you address it.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.