Fortify Your Customer’s Fraud IQ During COVID-19

During times of uncertainty, scammers exploit the fears consumers have surrounding COVID-19. Their tactics can be confusing and intimidating. As a community financial institution, your customers count on you to provide preventative tips to help protect them from the latest fraud scams and protect their private information. Here are a few tips you can arm your customers with in order to prevent fraud and keep their information safe.

Robocalls

The FTC has recommended that consumers should hang up on robocalls. These illegal calls advertise cures and treatments for the Coronavirus and offer false remote work opportunities. There have also been reported cases of phone calls asking for donations for vaccines, tests, and treatments. These are typically recorded messages which can signal the call is a scam.

Remind your customers that these calls are illegal and they should never press any buttons or numbers and hang up when they recognize the scam.

Emails & Texts

Emails and text messages are circulating trying to get customers to share personal information like account numbers, Social Security information or login credentials. They also send emails containing a link, that when clicked on, installs a virus or malware on a computer. These tactics can keep your customers locked out and lose control of their accounts.

Advise your customers to keep their computer software and antivirus programs up to date. They should also be wary of messages claiming test kits, vaccines, and cures. If an email or text message makes these claims, customers should delete the email or text message. For emails, tell your customers to check the email address from the sender. If they do not recognize the email, they should immediately delete it.

Donations

Scammers are also taking advantage of customers who want to help those affected by the Coronavirus. The FTC reported that scammers use a fake charity or organization name that sounds similar to a real organization to fool the generosity of others. Any money donated will go to the scammer and not towards helping a cause. Encourage your customers to research the organization they would like to donate to ensure its credibility.

Online Shopping

FTC has also warned against false online sellers featuring in-demand products such as cleaning solutions or masks. These sellers do not have these products and when a customer places an order, they never receive their package. Remind your customers to know who they are buying from and to fact check the information they see.

Private Information

The Better Business Bureau has released several warnings regarding a few trends taking hold on social media. Social media has seen an increase in quizzes and challenges that threaten a consumer’s private information. Many of these new social media quizzes ask common security questions or challenges to post a senior class picture or your first car. This can lead to financial accounts being hacked and personal and financial information being stolen. Remind your consumers to be aware of the risks in partaking in these challenges, review privacy settings on all social media accounts, consider removing personal details from their accounts, monitor suspicious friend requests, and use caution when participating in quizzes online.

FTC Resources

FTC has created some engaging tools to make consumers aware of potential scams and help you protect your community. Take a look at the FTC Scam Bingo Card and encourage your customers to spot the scams!

Contact us today to set up your action plan

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