Bank Forward Blog

Thursday September 22 2022

Scammer Alert: Targeting Digital Banking

Scammers are master manipulators. It is their job to trick us. “Oh, I would never fall for a scam,” says everyone. Unfortunately, we have seen people on all ends of the spectrum fall victim to a scam. Regardless of your age, if you own a business or not, are married or single, in the workforce or retired, you name it, scammers are eager to take what you have.

Digital banking offers many capabilities and convenience of use. With the increased use of this technology and the ability to transfer funds and make payments, it’s no surprise scammers are now targeting digital banking.

“We are seeing scammers studying online information such as social media to tie customers to their financial institution,” Stacy Rasmusson, Bank Forward’s Information Security Officer, explains. “Scammers gather information on a customer, then contact the customer posing as the financial institution.”

Armed with this information, they try to convince you that your digital banking account has been compromised and you need to reset your password. “The scammer will ask for your username and tell you to change the password to a “temporary” password. Then they want you to provide them with the multifactor authentication code that is provided to complete the password change,” Stacy explains. “If the customer complies, the scammer has full access to their account in digital banking and can do as they wish posing as the customer.”

In this scenario, the financial institution has no indication of wrongdoing in the account. “Because the correct process was followed to change the password on the account, we don’t know anything happened until the customer complains about their accounts missing funds or being completely drained.”

What can you do to protect yourself? Stacy has this advice:

#1 Stay Informed

“Knowledge is power,” Stacy says. “Awareness of scams like this is critical to help you identify when one is happening,” Stacy says.

#2 Banks Never Ask That

“Your Bank will never ask for your passwords or multifactor authentication codes,” Stacy stresses. “In these scams, the scammer tries their best to impersonate your bank, including spoofing a local phone number to appear as your branch calling. If you are asked to provide personal information, hang up, find your local branch’s number and call them directly to ensure you are talking to your bank.”

#3 Set Alerts in Digital Banking

It’s important to set up alerts for password resets and large transfers. “Choose to receive these alerts via text message and email,” Stacy says. Here is a video to walk you through setting up alerts in digital banking.

Lastly, if you have any questions, please call your local branch. “We are here to help you,” Stacy emphasizes. “Taking care of our customers is something we take very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns, call us at 800-450-3115.”

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