These Are the Questions Your Bank Will Never Ask You.
(If “They” Do, It’s Not Your Bank—It’s a Scammer.)
Every day, scammers are targeting, emailing and calling people randomly—or NOT so randomly—pretending to be a representative from their bank. They ask questions your bank will never ask, hoping to get answers they’ll use to steal money from you, or steal your identity.
The best way to stop them is to be aware of their schemes. You can start by creating this rule for everyone you care about:
Yes, this sounds rude, but even your bank won’t mind if you follow this advice. In fact, your bank would agree with this advice!
If you follow the above rule, you’ll likely save yourself from every falling for the imposter scam.
Maybe you’re wondering what kind of questions your bank will never ask you. That’s a great thing to know, because it will also be part of the awareness that will help you avoid falling for a scam and losing money.
Questions your bank will never ask.
Perhaps the main point is this—if someone claiming to be your bank ask these questions, they are quite certainly a scammer! Here’s what they might ask.
- “Can I have your account number?”
- “What is the password you use on the account?”
- “Please tell me your Social Security number, for security purposes.”
- “What is the account holders date of birth?”
- “Please provide the three-number security code on the back of your debit card.”
These are the questions scammers will ask in order to steal your money or your identity. Of course before they start asking questions, they need to get you engaged in conversation.
“But they were so polite and caring!”
Scammers are very successful at fooling thousands of people every day. Why? Because they know how to fool people with lies and deception.
A bank imposter will make their phone call (or email) sound genuine and urgent. They do all they can to convince you that your account is in danger, and they are ready to help.
Here are some real-life examples phone and email examples they use:
- “I’m calling because someone is trying to withdraw money from your account at an ATM. I can help you change your PIN and keep your account safe.”
- “I can give you an instant credit increase without having to apply. I just need to confirm your account number.”
- “Please click on the link and fill out the form for instant credit approval.”
- “Please call this number immediately and talk to our fraud department to fix this problem now.”
- “Please download the attachment, complete it and send it to us ASAP to secure your account.”
Scammers don’t want you to know this. But your bank does.
The American Bankers Association (ABA) ran a campaign in 2002 addressed to consumers and banking institutions simultaneously addressing this important topic of bank impersonators. Their goal was to…
- Make us aware that scammers will impersonate our bank and ask questions to get our private information
- Encourage banks to share this information with their own customers.
- Educate you on the questions your bank will never ask.
Sometimes you need to talk to your bank.
There certainly might be a time when you have to talk to your bank about a banking issue or maybe a problem. They may even ask some specific questions about a recent transaction, or an account.
Ideally, however, you initiated that call and conversation, and you dialed the number to your bank. It’s ALWAYS better if you initiated a conversation with a financial institution, to ensure you’re in control of the conversation. (The only logical exception to that would be if you expected to be called by someone on a specific day and time.)
Don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings!
Scams are a serious, ongoing and growing issue. Banks know this and we all need to be more aware of it. Banks want you to be on high alert for potential fraudulent messages:
One bank has this message on its website for its customers to see:
Protecting your accounts and identity is more important than protecting a scammer’s feelings.
Here’s is one thing you should do immediately for yourself and, if you have aging parents or young adults, do for them as well.
- Write down the direct phone numbers of your bank (where you have bank accounts) and your credit card providers.
- If you don’t write them down, at least know where to look for them…on their websites.
For more information on how to protect yourself from scams, visit the Easy Prey website, which was founded by Chris Parker, CEO of WhatIsMyIPAddress.com.
- Easy Prey Podcast
- General Topics
- Home Computing
- IP Addresses
- Online Privacy
- Online Safety
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