Spotting a Phishing Scam and Protecting Your Finances

October 25, 2021

Every day, thousands fall victim to fraudulent calls, texts and emails from scammers posing as their banks and requesting information that can provide access to their money and personal data. Though online banking has made banking more convenient, its growth in popularity has also made phishing scams more prevalent. Not to mention, the pandemic – and consumers’ reliance to on mobile banking – only increased these threats.

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In fact, the Federal Trade Commission’s report on fraud estimates that consumers lost an astounding $3.3 billion to phishing schemes and other fraud in 2020. That’s nearly double the losses reported in 2019.
 
Though the thought of losing your hard-earned money to a phishing scam can be troubling, the good news is they are easy to spot and avoid if know what to look for. To help, First Home Bank has joined forces with the American Bankers Association and banks across the country in a nationwide effort to fight phishing this October, which is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
 
In support of #BanksNeverAskThat consumer protection campaign, First Home has also compiled information about the top three phishing scams to further protect all consumers and its customers. They are:
 
  • Text Message: Scammers might send a message posing as a bank representative asking potential victims to sign in using a link provided or respond with personal information. These should both be red flags. Banks never ask that.
  • Email: Similarly, scammers will send an unsolicited email that appears to be from a bank or a bank representative and asks its recipient to click a suspicious link or provide personal information. This is also a scam. Banks never ask that.
  • Phone Call: Potential victims might receive a call from someone posing as their bank to verify their account number. This is another scam. Banks never ask that.
 
If you ever question if the person texting, emailing or calling you is in fact from your bank, the best thing to do is delete the message or email, or hang up and contact your bank directly, using a number that you trust.
 
So, what personal information will a bank ask for over phone, text or email? Simply put, none.
 
For more tips on how to keep phishing criminals at bay, click here.  If you are a current or prospective customer and would like to talk to a First Home representative about the bank’s year-round focus on cybersecurity and all the efforts the team makes to keep you safe, please call  (727) 440-6848 or stop by a banking center today.
 
For more information about the #BanksNeverAskThatCampaign, visit here.
 

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