Bank accounts are commonly targeted by scammers, who want to access your personal details. They usually do this by pretending to be a legitimate company or an authority figure. Banks and authorities provide useful information online in order to help people access their accounts safely. This information is used by scammers instead.
Some scammers will send you emails pretending to be your bank telling you that you need to immediately log in to verify your account or for some other arbitrary reason. These emails are designed to look identical to those from your actual bank, but instead, the links are fraudulent and can steal your information.
If you get an email like this, do not click on any links or attachments. Instead, log in directly to your bank’s website using a bookmark or saved URL if possible.
Phishing Text Messages
Similar to phishing emails, scammers will send text messages pretending to be your bank, again telling you to log in via the link provided. But the link is actually meant to steal your information. Banks will never ask you for personal details such as PIN numbers or passwords. They also won’t ask you to log in via a link they’ve sent you.
If you receive an email or text message like this, report it as soon as possible by contacting your bank directly.
Scammers may create fake apps that look like they’re legitimate banking apps, but it’s actually a copy of the legitimate app designed to steal your bank information. If the app isn’t in the app store or seems suspicious, there’s probably a reason why.
Avoid downloading apps that you cannot verify the legitimacy of, and never input your personal information into an app until you can verify it.
Spoofed Phone Calls
The phone rings and it’s someone claiming they’re from customer service at your bank asking for personal information such as passwords or security questions. This is a common scam known as “vishing” — voice phishing — where scammers pretend to be customer support and pressure people into giving away personal details over the phone. The scammer may even spoof your bank’s actual phone number, making it seem like your bank is calling you. If this is the case, hang up, and call your bank by manually typing in the number to verify they just called you.
Suspicious and unsecured websites
One of the easiest ways for scammers to get access to your bank account information is by contacting you through one of the methods above, getting you to go onto a fake website or app, and enter your login credentials. This can happen through email or phone calls from someone claiming to be from your bank. They will ask you for your login credentials or give you a new one in order for them to verify something on their end.
The best advice that anyone can offer is to be vigilant with your accounts, especially if you are finding yourself receiving any unsolicited calls about them. Scammers may impersonate bank employees over the phone, but most of them use email and texting as a way to obtain account details. Remember, your bank will never call, email, or text you to verify specific personal information such as your account numbers or your PIN. If the situation feels wrong, it probably is.