Latest Phone Scams Hit Hard with “Card Fraud”
As technology continues to improve, so does the sophistication of scammers. They can make text messages and phone calls appear so legitimate that it’s easy to fall for their cunning scare tactics. They’ll use technology and spoofed phone numbers to trick you into giving away your bank account information, credit card or debit card numbers, and personal information like your social security number.
Lanco Federal Credit Union wants to help you keep your money, identification, and personal details safe. That’s why being aware of the latest phone scams and some common red flags to watch for is incredibly important. Learn more in today’s blog post about some common scams and what you can do to protect yourself.
A Phone Scam Aimed at Gaining Access to Your Life Savings
One of the latest phone scams being increasingly reported around the country and locally targets your debit card information. And when the scammers are successful at getting the details they’re digging for, they can use it to make large withdrawals from your checking account.
How The Phone Call Starts
The gist is this—you get a phone call with the caller pretending to be with your bank or credit union’s fraud department. The caller is likely using a spoofed phone number, so the incoming number on your caller ID looks legitimate. The phone scammer explains that possible fraudulent activity occurred on your card, and they provide you with fake transaction details, so you believe your card was compromised.
Under the guise of verifying your identity and helping you get a new card, the caller will attempt to gain your personal information and private banking information. They may ask you to verify your debit card number, its expiration date, or even the username and password to your online banking accounts. The phone scammer may even send a verification code to your cell phone to gain access to your accounts.
Why Are Phone Scams So Dangerous?
The latest phone scams are dangerous because they trick people into believing a legitimate company is calling to help them. But in the end, all it does is cause people to lose money, become victims of identity theft, and compromise their sensitive information.
But pretending to be someone they’re not and calling people’s cell phones aren’t the only phone scams to be aware of in today’s world. There are also:
- Robocalls: These phone calls come from a robot that sounds like a real person. They may even respond to your questions and offer things like extended home warranties, free vacations, or other benefits.
- Impersonators: These scammers are much like the latest phone scams we discussed. But you may also have impersonators from other legitimate businesses, like members of federal agencies, police, relatives, and delivery drivers. They will typically trick you into revealing your account or personal information.
- Text Message Scams: Ever received a text from a weird number or email address? They may claim they are a business such as Amazon, Walmart, or Kohl’s and that your account is blocked or you won a $500 gift card. Like phishing emails, the text message will usually include a link they want you to click on. Interacting with these scams may allow them to steal your phone number, download a malicious app, or do some other illegitimate activity.
A New Threat: Student Loan Forgiveness Scams
One of the latest phone scams to hit consumers in 2022 and 2023 is related to student loan forgiveness. These student loan forgiveness scams are in response to the government agencies announcing student loan debt relief to qualified borrowers. They may tell you fake success stories of how they were able to get other people’s entire debt forgiven and encourage you to apply as well.
They’ll then commit fraud with your information and steal money from you. They may even request you to pay a fake fee via a cash app or gift cards to apply. It’s important to know that the U.S. Department of Education will not contact you by phone, and you should go directly to their website to apply for forgiveness.
How to Identify the Major Red Flags of the Latest Phone Scams
It’s not always easy to identify a phone call as a scam from the start—successful scammers will use many tools to appear legitimate. But when it comes to gaining the information they need from you, you may see some common major warning signs.
Red Flags to STOP the Call and Hang Up
Below are three red flags that you need to end a call that could potentially be a scam:
- The caller asks for your card PIN.
Never provide your PIN to anyone—verbally or with your phone keypad. There is no valid reason that a caller will ever request your card PIN.
- The caller asks you to provide your online banking ID or password.
No representative from Lanco FCU will ever ask you to provide login information for your online accounts to verify your identity.
- The caller asks you to provide your card or CVV number.
Your bank or credit card company already has this information on a secure file, so there is no need for you to provide that information to a caller.
Approach Incoming Calls with Caution
Even if you think you will never fall for the latest phone scams, always be cautious with the information you provide to an incoming caller. One simple step you can take to protect yourself is to hang up and call the business back at a number you know and trust—such as the phone number provided on the back of your debit or credit card or on your account statement. Do not redial from the incoming call or use any other number provided by the caller.
Contact Us with Any Questions or Concerns
If you have any questions about the latest phone scams, we encourage you to speak with a Lanco FCU representative to learn more. You can also report phone scams to the police and Federal Trade Commission. If you suspect that you may have given information to a possible scammer, it is important to contact us so we can take measures to help you protect your information and account.
Interested in learning more about the latest scams people have fallen victim to by phone, mail, email, or other methods? Check out some of these news articles:
- February 8, 2023— Scammers target victims using popular money transfer app Zelle, WGAL
- February 6, 2023— From ‘hi mum’ to crypto fraud: five of the latest scams to watch out for, The Guardian
- January 20, 2023— Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department release warning about scam, WGAL
- April 12, 2019— Slick bank phone scam tricks people with fake number, Fox 4 News
- September 21, 2018— Bank ‘fraud dept’ calls about your card being used somewhere, Medium
- August 16, 2018— Fraud Alert: Fake Caller ID Scams, Lanco Federal Credit Union