“I’m calling from [pick any bank]. Someone’s been using your debit card ending in 2345 at [pick any retailer]. I’ll need to verify your Social Security number — which ends in 8190, right? — and full debit card information so we can stop this unauthorized activity…”
So the caller ID shows the name of your bank. And the caller knows some of your personal details. Does that mean it’s legit? No. It’s a scam — and scammers are counting on the call being so unsettling that you might not stop to check your bank statement.
The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers about phone scams like this, which combine two scammer tricks: spear phishing and caller ID spoofing. In a phishing attempt, scammers may make it look like they’re from a legitimate company. And when they call or email with specific details about you — asking you to verify the information in full (things like your Social Security number or address) — that’s called spear phishing.
The other nasty wrinkle in this scam is caller ID spoofing. That’s when scammers fake their caller ID to trick you into thinking the call is from someone you trust.
This can also impact your practice, especially during the busy holiday season. Fraudsters know that this is a hectic time of year. Make sure your chiropractic assistants have also been trained in what information cannot be provided over the phone to unverified contacts.
Keep in mind, there may be staff who are filling in for roles they are not as familiar with. Whether it’s traveling for holidays or using up those last vacation days, if you have employees working in roles that could encounter scams, either by phone or email, they could be less likely to notice “out of the normal” requests for information. When you are trying to multi-task a workload that is heavier than usual, it’s easier to skim over things and not have our typical level of skepticism that would normally catch scams before any action is taken.
In a recent article by TCA Corporate Member Regions Bank, they shared the following steps that could help protect you and your business:
- Thoroughly investigate the email address or phone number associated with each message you receive. If you don’t recognize the information, don’t respond. Don’t assume your caller ID is proof of whom you’re dealing with. Scammers can make it look like they’re calling from a company or number you trust. If you get a phone call, email, or text from someone asking for your personal information, check it out using contact info you know is correct – not what is provided in the questionable request. Don’t trust someone just because they have personal information about you. Scammers have ways of getting that information
- Closely guard the information you post on social media. Fraudsters use this information to profile you and identify potential targets.
- Monitor your account activity daily and promptly report any suspicious transactions.
- Implement a dual control process for the approval of payments or changes to payment information. This may seem like more work, but the time and trouble it will save by preventing fraud will be worth it!
- Institute the STOP – CALL – CONFIRM verification control in your payment process. If you receive an email or text message to make a payment or change a payment: STOP your process, CALL the “sender” using a legitimate phone number known to you. DO NOT reply to the email, and DO NOT call the number listed in the email, and finally CONFIRM the request with your known contact.
If you HAVE been targeted by a scam:
Contact your bank IMMEDIATELY. This can help stop additional fraud on your account and get you started in recovering any loss from fraud already committed.
If you gave a scammer your information, go to IdentityTheft.gov. You’ll learn what to do if the scammer made charges on your accounts.
Even if you didn’t give personal information to the scammer, report the scam to the FTC. Your reports help them understand what’s happening and can lead to investigations and legal action to shut scammers down.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that all fraud can be prevented. We have to be on guard for these Grinch-like scammers; however, keeping these tips in mind can help you keep your season merry and bright!
Want more information or have questions?
For more helpful practices regarding fraud prevention, please visit regions.com/stopfraud and www.regions.com/fraud-prevention. Additionally, Fraud Webinars are available On Demand on the Regions Next Step Webinar page https://www.regions.com/next-step/next-step-webinars.
NOTE: The information presented is general in nature and should not be considered, legal, accounting or tax advice. TCA and Regions Bank remind their customers & members that they should be vigilant about fraud and security and that they are responsible for taking action to protect their computer systems. Fraud prevention requires a continuous review of your policies and practices, as the threat evolves daily. There is no guarantee that all fraudulent transactions will be prevented or that related financial losses will not occur. Visit regions.com/STOPFRAUD or speak with your Banker for further information on how you can help prevent fraud.
Lake, L. Spear phishing scammers want more from you. Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/10/spear-phishing-scammers-want-more-you
Regions Bank Treasury Management service email 11/17/2022. “How to Stay Fraud-Aware During the Holidays”