Scams are everywhere these days. My phone rings a million times a day with calls from numbers I don’t know, ones that pop up as “telemarketer” and “possible scam,” and it’s annoying as heck.
And if it keeps getting harder and harder to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not, pretty much everyone – no matter how internet savvy – could be at risk.
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I don’t know about you, but when I get texts or calls from my actual bank, I typically figure I’m safe.
According to Lifehacker, one new scam tactic is playing on the trust you have for your bank, so you might want to think twice in the future.
What scammers do is spoof your bank’s phone number to call you, then say that someone has attempted to use your debit card in a faraway location, and can you verify that it wasn’t you. Once you do, they’ll claim to block the transaction, and ask for your member number in order to complete the task.
And you’ll probably think that’s okay, because they didn’t ask for your PIN or your SSN or anything like that, but you would be wrong.
In many cases, the scammer can use the member number to reset your account password. That could trigger a text with a verification code, which they ask you to read back to them.
At that point you’ve given them everything they need to reset your login information to whatever they choose.
Many times they’ll go ahead and ask for your PIN, too, and if nothing else tips you off, this definitely should. Your bank or credit card will never ask for your PIN over the phone, so hang up right away if someone does.
A good rule of thumb: if someone calls claiming to be from your bank or a credit card, the safest course of action is actually to tell them you’re going to hang up and call back on a number you know for sure is legitimate.
A real employee won’t argue or try to stop you, and you’ll feel better about the entire interaction, even if it takes a bit more time.
Stay safe out there!