Fraud Risk Brochure
Holiday Fraud Schemes & Prevention
While fraud is a year-round challenge for consumers and businesses alike, during the holiday season, fraud attempts and schemes tend to spike given the volume of spending and stress that often accompany this time of year.
At TriState Capital Bank, we take fraud prevention seriously – and we would like to provide you information on a number of fraud practices you may encounter, so you can avoid becoming a victim.
Some common holiday scams include:
Season Travel Scams
- Beware of deals that seem too good to be true
- Research and be diligent of the party through whom you are booking your travel
Holiday Charity Scams
- Legitimate charities welcome donations whenever you choose to make them. Fraudulent actors will pressure you to make them immediately
- Don’t make any donation with a gift card or wire transfer
Here is a refresher of several important fraud methods you may encounter:
Skimming is perpetrated by using electronic devices to surreptitiously scan and store credit and debit card numbers and PINs. ATMs and some unattended terminals, such as gas stations, are targets for this practice. This information can then be sold to fraudulent actors or used to commit theft directly. Fraudulent actors can then use the numbers to make online purchases or to create fake cards for in-store transactions.
Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords, account number and credit card numbers.
SMiShing (SMS phishing) is the act of attempting to acquire personal information such as passwords and details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity through SMS text messages on cell phones. SMiShing messages may come from telephone numbers that are in a strange or unexpected format with links directing to fake websites. A typical SMiShing occurrence can begin with an individual receives a text message inquiring about a suspicious transaction on an account. In reality, the fraudulent actor is looking to obtain other information from the individual such as debit/credit card numbers, CV2 codes, expiration dates, PINs and other web login credentials.
Vishing is the telephone equivalent of phishing. It is described as the act of using the telephone to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for fraudulent purchases or identity theft. Criminals in possession of account or card details and other forms of personally identifiable information (PII) may be able to spoof your financial institution’s phone number to fool you into thinking text messages are from the fraud department.
Please know that legitimate SMS text messages from TriState Capital Bank will NEVER include:
- Requests for account or cardholder data, such as card numbers, PINs, CV2 codes
- Vague reference of a “merchant” transaction; details should be included
- Hyperlinks to unknown websites, or phone numbers represented as hyperlinks
Protect Yourself Against Imposters
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received reports of fraudulent communications that have the appearance of being from this agency. Fraudsters know that people trust the FDIC name, so scammers use the FDIC’s name and logo, and even the names of actual employees, in perpetrating fraudulent schemes.
Some recently reported scams have fraudulently used the names of real FDIC employees, including Martin Henning and Michael Benardo. They have also used fictitious employee names such as Peter Harding, Christine Marshall, and Kate Marshall.
These scams may involve a variety of communication channels, including emails, phone calls, letters, text messages, faxes, and social media. The messages might ask you to “confirm” or “update” confidential personal financial information, such as bank account numbers. In other cases, the communication might be an offer to help victims of current or previous frauds with an investigation or to recover losses
Some scams have included official looking forms for such things as filing insurance claims or paying taxes on prize winnings. They might tell you that you have an unpaid debt and threaten you with a lawsuit or to arrest you if you don’t pay. Other recent examples have included check endorsements, bankruptcy claimant verification forms, stock confirmations, and investment purchases.
Additional known scams ask for an upfront payment in the form of gift cards or digital currency before service can be provided. They might include a cashier’s check with instructions to deposit the check and send some portion of the funds back via wire transfer service. Learn how to protect yourself from fake check scams with these tips from FDIC Consumer News. Scammers might ask for personal information such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other valuable details that they can use to commit fraud or sell your identity.
Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself against government imposters like these:
- The FDIC DOES NOT send unsolicited correspondence asking for money or sensitive personal information, and we’ll never threaten you.
- No government agency will ever demand that you pay by gift card, wiring money, or digital currency.
- The FDIC would never contact you asking for personal details, such as bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, social security numbers, or passwords.
Find out more about Imposter Scams provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
If in doubt, contact the FDIC’s Call Center at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST).
If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, report this incident to local law enforcement or a local field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Also notify the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), if the crime involved misuse of the U.S. Postal Service.
This news article was originally published in March 2020 on fdic.gov and can be found here (https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/march2020.html).