Watch for Fraud and Identity Theft Scams
Updated October 6, 2021
Scammers are always trying to take advantage of unsuspecting victims in a variety of ways. There were more than 2 million reported cases of fraud or identity theft in the first two quarters of 2021, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC reported more than 500,000 incidences of imposter scams alone.
Beware of These Common Scams
Fraudsters use a variety of scams to steal from victims. Phishing emails use fear and urgency to pressure you into clicking a link. If you click, you may have just given a fraudster access to your personal information. Spoofed texts and calls appear to come from familiar phone numbers but are actually scammers trying to trick you into giving up user IDs, passwords and account information. Once scammers have access to your accounts with your credentials, they can steal your money.
You can protect yourself from these commons scams by never clicking on links in unexpected emails or text messages. Please understand: We will never ask you to identify yourself with your online password or user ID! If anyone asks for that information, hang up or do not respond to that text. Instead, call us directly at (800) 246-2415.
Other Types of Scams
Here are some other types of common scams that we’ve noticed and trends reported by the American Bankers Association and government agencies.
- Bank/FDIC Scams. Fraudsters claim they work for your bank and that there are security or access issues. Because of this, they need your bank account number and other information immediately.
- Relationship Scams. These occur when criminals attempt to strike up a relationship online through a dating site or social media. Once trust is established, they ask for money or personal information, including bank accounts and Social Security number.
- Stimulus check or economic relief scams. Federal agencies do not request donations from the general public. They will not speed up relief money or give grants to anyone in exchange for a fee or a charge of any kind.
Ways to Protect Yourself
Here are tactics to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
- Do not give out your personal information, including banking information or Social Security number to anyone you have not contacted yourself at a published number. Your financial institution will never ask for passwords or login IDs.
- Use caution with all links and attachments; hover over links before clicking to see where they go.
- Watch for spoofed emails meant to look like official organizations such as the CDC or World Health Organization, but which actually contain malware.
- Research charities before making a donation. Be wary of any organization asking for donations in cash, by wire transfer or gift card.
- Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Defend against viruses, malware and other online threats by keeping your security software, web browser and operating system updated. Turn on automatic updates so you get the newest fixes right away.
- Trust your instincts. If something seems suspicious or causes you to question, stop your interactions with that person or website right away.
How to Report Fraud
To protect yourself and others, use these resources to report fraud. If you suspect fraud on any of your Saratoga National Bank accounts, contact us right away. File a police report if you have lost money.
For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's dedicated page.