No Imposters Allowed: How to Avoid this Common Scam

No Imposters Allowed: How to Avoid this Common Scam


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by Southside Bank

Throughout October, we’re joining the American Bankers Association (ABA) to share tips for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Every day, people fall victim to fraud and we’re here to help make sure that it’s not you.

Imposter scams are one of the most common types of fraud right now. This is where someone pretends to be your bank or another company trying to steal money or personal information. Here is what you need to know and how to protect yourself.

What is an imposter scam?

Imposter scams are becoming increasingly frequent and widespread. Criminals may call you pretending to be your financial institution’s fraud department. Some even have the capabilities to make the caller ID appear the call is from Southside Bank Fraud Department or SSB Fraud. Then they state there is an unauthorized charge on your card and ask for an access code, card number, PIN number, online banking credentials, social security number or other personal information. They claim they need this information to verify your identity. Southside Bank will never ask for that information. If you receive such a call and doubt it is legitimate, hang up and contact Southside Bank directly to verify the request. 

What are examples of imposter scams?

Other types of imposter scams may be initiated via an unsolicited email or phone call from someone posing as a well-known security tech company informing you that you have a refund due from them. The criminals will then request remote access to your computer. If successful, the imposters will then take over your online account and state they have given you too much money and will request for you to send them the difference back via a wire or gift card payment.   

How can I protect myself against imposter scams?

  • If in doubt, hang up the phone and contact Southside Bank or the company directly to verify the request.
  • Never share an authorization or one-time access code sent to your mobile device.
  • Never share your online banking credentials, PIN, or password with anyone.
  • Never allow remote access to your computer.

What should I do if I think I have fallen victim to a scam email, call or text?

1. Contact your banks, financial institutions and creditors.

  • Speak with your banks or creditors and explain that you were the victim of a scam or someone may have stolen your identity. If you are a Southside Bank customer, contact Customer Care.
  • Request to close or freeze any accounts that may have been compromised or fraudulently established.
  • If applicable, change your online login credentials, passwords and PINs.

2. Secure your email and other communication accounts.

  • Many people reuse passwords, and your email or cell phone account may be compromised as well.
  • Immediately change your accounts’ passwords from a secure device and implement multi-factor authentication (a setting that prevents cybercriminals from accessing your accounts even if they know your password) if you haven’t already done so.

3. Check your credit reports and place a fraud alert on them.  

  • Review your credit report to make sure unauthorized accounts have not been opened in your name. (You can get a free copy of your credit report at 877.322.8228 or annualcreditreport.com.)
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit by contacting one of the three following credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
    Experian: 888.397.3742 or experian.com
    TransUnion: 800.680.7289 or transunion.com
    Equifax: 888.766.0008 or equifax.com
 

4. Contact ChexSystems at 888.478.6536 or chexsystems.com to place a security alert on the compromised checking and savings accounts when a deposit account has been impacted.

5. Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report an ID theft incident at identitytheft.gov or 877.438.4338, or make a report with IC3.gov.

6. File a report with your local law enforcement. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.



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