Spot the Scam, Protecting Yourself and Your Finances
Throughout the pandemic there has been an increase in fraudulent and scam activities. Whether this is receiving a check in the mail, or someone online claiming to be a love interest and needing money. Now, more than ever is prevalent to have our guards up about fishy phone calls, e-mails, text messages or checks in the mail.
As your financial institution, it is your bank’s job as your money manager to ensure the safety of your finances.
Banking with a small-town, local financial institution adds a certain personal layer of security. The people working on your accounts, and transactions are your neighbors and friends, who are truly looking out for your best interests.
During these times and throughout life it is important to ask questions when people you don’t know personally are either, sending you money OR asking for money.
What does this mean or look like?
Checks that show up
- Finding a check in the mail shouldn’t grant a happy dance. Several questions should be asked of yourself and the check before you cash or deposit it.
- Was I expecting this check?
- Who is it from?
- Is the amount of the check oddly large?
- Is the business address and bank location in different states?
*Unsure about a check? Consult with your local financial institution.
I need money, can you help me?
- Long distance love interest or “friend” asking for money?
- Have you ever met this person face to face?
- How many “friends” in your life have asked for large amounts of money?
- Do most of your conversations circle around them being broke or having ill family members?
- Are they asking for the funds in gift cards?
- Or to wire the funds to a third party?
*Online scams happen every single day. The above examples are just a few red flags seen in a scam online relationship.
The “you send me money first” scheme
- Are you selling an item or property, but someone has contacted your and asked for a portion of the money up front?
- Who is requesting the money?
- Does the broker need a portion of the money upfront?
- Is the money being sent to a complete third party?
- Or a bank in another state?
- Is the caller persistent and borderline demanding about the transaction?
*If you are selling an item or property WHY would money need to be sent to a broker or buyer first? Red flags should pop up when someone is persistent in you needing to send them money RIGHT NOW.
Nobody thinks they would be the one to fall for a scam attempt. However, there is a reason why scammers are called “artists.” They have the manipulation tactics down; they know how to corner people into desperation and how to smooth out any wrinkle on the fly.
Something to remember, while you may not deal with scams often, your financial institution does. Banking operations have been conditioned to pick apart the story and determine where the fray in the fabrication lies.
Never feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek consult with your local bank to help verify any situation you’ve been exposed to. We are here for our customers and your safety and security of yourself, and your finances is our top priority.
Below, find the link to the Federal Trade Commission website. The article describes romance scams and how they are at an all time high.