Banking the Way it Ought to Be

Since 1957

Tips to Prevent a Scam

Recognizing warning signs can help prevent you from becoming the victim of a scam.

1. Don’t act quickly - Scams are based on fear and urgency. Always take extra time to think it through and evaluate the legitimacy of what you are being asked to do. Contact a trusted source to ask if the request seems suspicious before moving forward.

2. Avoid odd payment types - Scammers will often ask you to send them money with a wire transfer, money order, cryptocurrency, payment app, or gift card. Legitimate businesses will accept credit cards. Be suspicious of excuses for alternative forms of payment. Never send an unusual payment without calling the organization directly at their official phone number to confirm.

3. Notice threatening behavior - Often scams are presented as urgent situations requiring immediate action. If you receive threats or hostility for asking questions that’s a sign they are a scammer. If the person tells you to lie to your bank about where the funds are going, this is a scam. Your bank will always do what’s best for you, which includes recognizing scams.

4. Be suspicious of fake caller IDs - Using computer software, scammers can make phone calls and emails look like they're coming from legitimate companies, government organizations, or your local area code. Often it is best to ignore people who contact you uninitiated. If you do not recognize the number, let it go to voicemail. At the very least avoid sharing private information. Looking up the organization's contact information and contacting them yourself is a safer option. Also, scammers use social media. A con artist could create a fake profile to contact the victim. Remember, no official business will be done through social media.

5. Do not reveal personal information - Con artists can try to get you to provide them with personal information like your Social Security number, account numbers, passwords, credit cards, or other identifying information which can be sold to fraudsters.

6. Avoid suspicious links - Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails, texts, or social media messages.

7. Do not leave mail in your mailbox overnight - When mailing checks, do not use an unlocked mailbox. Criminals steal paper checks sent through the mail by stealing them from unlocked mailboxes. It’s always best practice to check your mailbox daily and to use the post office drop box or a locked blue USPS mailbox when mailing checks.