There are few things that fraudsters love more than a bit of turbulence in the economic environment. And recent shakeups in the banking industry have fraudsters preying on the fear and confusion of consumers and businesses.
But the same sound advice for fighting fraud that Regions has been sharing holds true for today’s schemes. Here are three fraud prevention reminders to help keep consumers and businesses safe during turbulent times.
Beware of phishing, smishing and vishing – Oh My!
All three of these schemes involve fraudsters attempting to gain access to accounts and personal information. Phishing involves a fraudster reaching out via email; smishing occurs through SMS/text message; and vishing happens when you receive a suspicious phone call or voicemail.
Remember that your financial institution and agencies such as the IRS and FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) will never contact you via email, text or phone and request account information, credit or debit card numbers, social security numbers or your passwords. And they won’t send links asking you to redirect your funds.
If you receive messages or calls asking for this information, do not respond. Instead, call the financial institution or agency at a known number – one listed on their website or the back of your credit or debit card, for instance – not the one listed in the email, text or voicemail, and make them aware of the message you received.
Learn how to recognize and respond to business email compromise.
Business Email Comprise (BEC) occurs when fraudsters – impersonating business customers, executives, vendors or even employees – create seemingly legitimate requests for a change in payment instructions, a new payment or even a redirection of the direct deposit of payroll for an employee.
“Fraudsters may leverage recent upsets in the banking industry to carry out BEC,” says Jeff Taylor, head of Commercial Fraud Forensics at Regions Bank. “Most commonly in today’s environment, they may impersonate a vendor and request that funds be directed to a new account because they ‘used to bank’ with a different financial institution.”
Taylor shares that the first line of defense against BEC is a technique known as STOP-CALL-CONFIRM.
STOP what you are doing and review the email address for any discrepancies or anomalies. Pick up the phone and
CALL the requestor at a number you know (don’t call the number in the email or respond to the email because you will likely be corresponding with the fraudster).
CONFIRM the request as legitimate.
Question any correspondence claiming to be from an executive of a financial institution that urges you to take immediate action such as clicking on a link or opening an attachment.
Many financial institutions are sharing messages ensuring customers of the safety of their funds and the soundness of the financial institution. These are excellent messages to share; however, beware of any messages such as these that encourage you to click on a link to open an account or confirm any information. Another tactic would be to encourage you to open an attachment posing as an explanation letter. Be cautious of opening any attachments of this nature. The attachment could contain malware, which introduces malicious software to your network when opened.
By keeping these fraud prevention reminders top of mind, having an increased awareness of fraudulent activity and following the simple rule of contacting your financial institution directly if you receive any questionable messages, you can help safeguard your accounts.
The information presented is general in nature and should not be considered, legal, accounting or tax advice. Regions reminds its customers that they should be vigilant about fraud and security and that they are responsible for taking action to protect their computer systems. Fraud prevention requires a continuous review of your policies and practices, as the threat evolves daily. There is no guarantee that all fraudulent transactions will be prevented or that related financial losses will not occur. Visit regions.com/STOPFRAUD or speak with your Banker for further information on how you can help prevent fraud.
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