The Impersonation Scam
By: Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Bank has an important message regarding a recent scam that some banks in the area have experienced. Your safety and security are of utmost importance to us, and we want to ensure you are well-informed to protect yourself from potential threats.
The Impersonation Scam: How it Unfolds
The scam begins with a phone call to the customer from an individual who pretends to be a bank employee. They approach the customer with alarming news, claiming there is an "issue" with their bank account that needs immediate attention.
To establish credibility, the imposter informs the customer that they will be transferred to an official bank customer service line for further assistance. During this transfer, something quite insidious occurs – the caller ID on the bank customer service representative's end reflects the customer's number, giving the illusion that the call is genuinely from the customer.
The imposter cleverly mutes their line, staying on the phone unnoticed while the genuine bank customer service representative takes the call. While muted, the imposter can eavesdrop on both ends of the call, meaning they can hear what the customer is saying to the bank representative and listen to what the bank representative is saying to the customer.
During the call, the imposter gains access to sensitive information, such as:
- Account Details: The imposter can hear the customer providing their account number, balances, recent transactions, and other account-related information.
- Personal Identifying Information (PII): If the conversation requires verification, the customer may disclose their full name, date of birth, address, and other personally identifying details.
- Security Questions and Answers: Some interactions with customer service involve answering security questions, such as mother's maiden name or the name of the customer's first pet. The imposter can obtain this information while muted.
- PINs and Passwords: Though a legitimate bank representative should not ask for PINs or passwords, sometimes customers may unintentionally disclose this information during the call, thinking they are speaking securely with the bank.
- Sensitive Issues: If the customer shares any specific issues or concerns related to their account, the imposter can gather information about potential vulnerabilities or areas they can exploit.
With access to this sensitive information, the imposter can use it maliciously for identity theft, fraudulent transactions, or even attempt to take control of the customer's bank account.
At this point, a trained customer service representative should start noticing red flags. The customer may unknowingly mention that they were transferred to this representative or even believe that they received a call from the bank. These subtle indicators raise suspicions for the bank’s customer service representative.
How the Bank Uncovered the Scam
Thanks to the vigilance of the customer service team, these suspicious signs were spotted, and the call was wisely ended. Recognizing that this could be a potential fraud scheme to collect sensitive banking information, the bank customer service representative took decisive action to protect the customer.
The representative promptly called the customer back and, during the conversation, was able to piece together the malicious scheme. The scam aimed to deceive customers into unknowingly providing their banking details to the imposter, exposing them to potential financial loss and identity theft.
Tips for Banking Customers to Stay Safe
At Fidelity Bank, your security is our priority. We want to equip you with the knowledge and tools to protect yourself from such scams. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:
- Verify Caller Identity: Always verify the identity of anyone claiming to be from the bank before sharing any sensitive information. Our genuine bank representatives will never ask for your full account number or password over the phone.
- Be Cautious with Personal Information: Avoid giving out personal or financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call and trust the entity you are speaking with.
- Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off during a phone call or online interaction, trust your instincts. It's better to be safe than sorry.
- Call Back Official Numbers: If you receive a suspicious call, hang up, and call back using the official phone number listed on our website or the back of your bank card.
- Stay Informed: Be aware of the latest scams and fraud tactics circulating in the financial world. Stay informed by regularly visiting our website and reading our security updates.
- Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter any suspicious activity or believe you may have fallen victim to a scam, please report it immediately to our customer service team.
Your security is our top concern, and we are committed to safeguarding your financial well-being. By remaining vigilant and following the tips mentioned above, you can protect yourself from falling victim to impersonation scams and other fraudulent schemes.
Remember, at Fidelity Bank, we are Here For You every step of the way. Should you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to our customer service team. Together, we can create a safer banking experience for all.
Stay safe, stay informed, and thank you for entrusting us with your banking needs.