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DANGER: Don’t Share Your Mobile Banking Access

September 28, 2018

Con artists and scammers are nothing new, but with today’s online tools that give just about anyone widespread access to information, they are more prolific and clever.

Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. NEVER give your account number, PIN or any log-in information to a stranger.

Recently a scam has surfaced using the remote check deposit function on the mobile app. The scammer obtains the log-in information to the app, then remotely deposits a fraudulent check. The victim, thinking he or she has received money through remote deposit, then sends the scammer money through a wire transfer or other means. The scammer takes the money before the financial institution can determine if the deposited check is fraudulent.

REPEAT: Do not give strangers your account or log-in information.

Hang up the phone when you receive a suspicious call pressuring you to take immediate action.

Delete stray emails – do NOT click on any link in the email.

Please be aware of other scams floating out there:

  • If you receive a random phone call from someone who says you’ve won money in a grant, lottery or contest but you must pay a fee first to collect it, it’s a scam.
  • Fraudsters are posing as IRS agents, calling to collect taxes through prepaid debit cards or wire transfers.
  • Advertisements about “guaranteed” job placements are likely to be scams. Often the promise requires an up-front payment, and no job to show for it.
  • The phantom debt scam involves a caller who claims to be in law enforcement or with a law firm trying to collect on debts, especially payday loans, that don’t exist.
  • Fake computer technicians claim they’ve detected a problem with your computer and offer to fix it remotely for a fee. This is a scam.

The ‘Grandparent Scam’

Here’s how the “grandparent scam” works: A senior receives a phone call from a young person purporting to be a grandchild in trouble with the law, stranded in a foreign country, heavily in debt and threatened with jail or in other distress. The caller might swear the senior to secrecy, perhaps claiming embarrassment. The worried senior wires money or loads a prepaid card and gives the PIN to the caller or his or her “attorney.” The money is now lost to the scammer.

How can consumers avoid becoming victims? The Federal Trade Commission suggestions include:

  • Never rush to act, no matter how convincing the story might be.
  • Ask the caller questions that can be answered only the person purportedly in distress.