Securing your identity and protecting your information involves a collaborative effort between you, your bank, and other establishments you do business with who have access to your personal information. We are strongly committed to protecting your information and remain constantly aware of new fraud trends so that we can protect you as a customer. During the last several years, fraud trends have shifted towards targeting bank customers more so than banks. Because of this, your understanding of the risks and how to avoid them is key to keeping you and your assets safe. Below are some common examples of methods used to steal your identity.
P2P (Person-to-Person Payment) Scams
Be on the lookout for some of these common P2P (Person-to-Person) Scam scenarios:
Scammers impersonating your bank may call to alert you about “suspicious activity” on your account and direct you to send money to yourself or “the bank’s address” to reverse a transaction or to verify the account is not frozen. However, your bank will never tell you to send money to anyone, not even yourself. Criminals try to make you believe you’re sending money to yourself, but you’re actually sending money to the impostor.
Fraudsters may reach out claiming to represent a fraud department or merchant and ask you to confirm information such as your bank account username and password, credit card or debit card data, or Social Security numbers. But do not share this information — scammers want to create a P2P account with your information, steal your identity, and gain access to your accounts.
Scammers posing as a legitimate business may request a P2P payment for a product or service. Once they receive your money, you never receive what you paid for and they disappear. Treat P2P payments like cash — don’t pay until you receive the product.
You accept a work-from-home position and the new company sends you a check to deposit, then asks you to send all or part of the funds to someone else using a P2P service. Do not deposit the check — the company is a scam and the check will bounce, leaving you on the hook for the amount of the fake deposit.
A scammer “accidentally” sends you money on a P2P service and asks you to send the money back. Never send back the money, and instead contact the P2P service about the error. Criminals’ accounts usually use stolen funds that the P2P payment service will eventually flag as a fraud. If you send money back to the scammer, the P2P service could take funds out of your account or hold you responsible.
Con artists may ask to borrow your phone for a contrived emergency. Do not hand over your phone to strangers, as they could make financial transfers using your payment apps and accounts.
Phishing is the term that describes fake emails that claim to be from a legitimate business such as a bank. Scam artists recreate web pages that they copy from real websites to try to fool consumers into providing their personal information. Even though the email has a bank’s logo on it, or name on it, and looks like it comes from the bank, it may be a fraud. The email may ask you to “validate” information by filling in items such as your log-in information, ID, password, debit card number, security codes, or PINS. Watch out for emails that are marked “Urgent” or say that your account may be closed if you do not respond – those are typical strategies to try to get information. Watch out for emails that provide only a general greeting and do not identify you by name. Be careful of emails that have spelling or typing errors.
MNB will NEVER ask you for your personal information or account information via email. If you ever receive such an email, or any request that seems suspicious, contact us by calling our toll-free number at 877-647-5050 so that we can investigate immediately.
Pharming involves sending internet users to a fake website, even when they entered the correct address. These fake sites often look real, but secretly collect any personal information and passwords entered. Users end up at fraudulent sites by having spyware or a virus loaded on their computer, or by sophisticated hacking tricks.
Beware of any changes to the logon screen. If you are asked for anything out of the ordinary, do not enter any information. Contact us by calling our toll-free number at 877-647-5050 so that we can investigate immediately.
Vishing is a combination of the words “voice” and Phishing”. The person committing the fraud sends an email asking for personal or account information, but then says “we know you are concerned about safety, so please call this number”. When you call, the person at the other end is part of the scam. This scheme is trying to get your debit card or credit card number. Always be highly suspicious of any call that asks for account numbers or card numbers.
Contact us directly to verify the validity of any message you might receive. Do not use the number given to you via any email or phone call – call our toll-free number at 877-647-5050, look our number up in the phone book or via an online directory.
Fake Check Scams
Common checks that are fake:
- You’ve won a sweepstakes, lottery or grant – here’s your check, send us a wire transfer to pay the taxes. FAKE
- Here’s a payment for you to start working from home – deduct a small amount of money and then wire the rest to us, your new employer. FAKE
- Here’s a check for something you have for sale; it’s a little more than you asked, just wire us that difference to pay for your shipping costs. FAKE
If you find yourself in any type of situation as just described, consult your consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade commission, the Postal Inspection Service to learn more.
Reconnecting with old friends or classmates, playing games, exchanging ideas are all great benefits of online social networking. Just remember to use common sense and control the amount of personal information that you post online or share online with others.
- Do not include email addresses or phone numbers in your profiles
- Keep your address private
- Understand who can access your information when you sign up for any social networking site. Is it private, or is it public?
- Use a password that is at least eight to ten characters long, use a combination of upper and lower case letters, plus numbers, plus symbols
- Keep in mind, while online, think before you respond. Guard your personal information.