We’ve seen a rise recently in mobile banking scams and we want to help you avoid falling for the fraudsters’ traps with a few tips.
- Never give out your mobile banking username and password. If anyone requests that you provide them your username and password, STOP. There is never a reason you should supply this information to anyone. If they tell you they need access to verify funds or for any other type of verification they are simply trying to gain access to your accounts. Trusted financials will never ask for this information, and no one else should either.
- You’re liable for fraud if you provide your username and password. If you supply someone your login information for mobile banking or online banking, you are liable for any fraud that occurs. Logins and passwords are put in place to protect you from fraud. By providing that information to someone you have helped the fraudster who otherwise would not have been able to access your account.
- If you’re promised money in return for access to your accounts, STOP. It may be appealing to make a simple deposit for someone in return for cash, but this is the way fraudsters trick you into providing them money they already know is fake. They’ll have the money and once the deposit is returned to the credit union as fake, you’ll be out the money. The money you provided them or spent yourself you now owe to the credit union.
- If you’re asked to purchase gift cards to pay someone, STOP. The fraudster may say they are from tech support asking for money to fix your computer. They may pose as a company offering you a loan and ask you to pay for insurance on the loan. The scenarios are endless and all of them have the same thing in common, there is an urgent need for money. They tell you to purchase a gift card or cards. Once you buy the card, the fraudster will then request the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card. Those numbers let them immediately get the money you loaded onto the card. Once they’ve done that, the scammers and your money are gone, usually without a trace.
- If you’re contacted with an urgent message that a family member has been injured and they need money, STOP. Fraudsters know how to manipulate us and pulling at our heartstrings is an effective way. These scammers will make up a variety of stories to convince you that someone you love is hurt or in trouble and you need to provide money. Always contact the family member in question or other family members to verify the story first.
Heartland Member Story
Here’s a quick story that recently happened to a Heartland member.
The Heartland member was asked to provide their mobile banking sign-on and password in return for money by someone they met online. The unsuspecting member provided the information and the fraudster quickly deposited a fake check into the member’s account with mobile deposit. The fraudster then requested that the member withdraw the money and send a portion to them and to keep $200 for themselves. Because the check was fake, the check would have been returned fraudulent and the member would be out the money and required to pay the credit union for any amount that was withdrawn or spent by them.
However, in this situation, a Heartland team member caught the fake check, denied the mobile deposit and contacted the member immediately – saving them from $2,200 in fraud.
As your trusted financial partner, please contact us immediately if you’ve been put in any of these situations or you suspect something is not right. While we put a variety of measures in place to protect you from the fraudsters, you are the best defense to protect your accounts. Monitor your accounts routinely, never provide login information and if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.