July 15, 2020

Scam Alerts

Email Message Scam

Some individuals have received fictitious emails that claim to be sent from BayCoast Bank’s e-Commerce Department. The email asks viewers to “request a new password” to unlock access to BayCoast Bank Online Banking. This is an attempt to gain personal information that may be used to steal your identity. If you receive this kind of email message, do not click on any links provided, and call us at (508) 675-4404. BayCoast Bank will never contact you by email or phone to ask for personal information.

FDIC Email Scam

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports from consumers who received an email that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The email informs the recipient that, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments, the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient’s account “due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act.” It further states deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called “IDVerify.” This email is fraudulent. It was not sent by the FDIC. If consumers go to the link provided in the email, it is suspected that they will be asked for personal information to be used to steal their identity, or malicious software (malware) may be loaded onto their computer. If you should receive an email like this, do not access the link or provide any information. Learn more at the FDIC’s official website at www.FDIC.gov

Telephone Scams

Beware of debit card scams that use an automated telephone call. The scam is reported to be a recorded message claiming to be from the bank, stating that your debit card has been suspended, and asking for your debit card number, expiration date, PINs and other personal information. If you receive such a call, hang up immediately. Never give your personal or account information to anyone who contacts you by phone or email. If you have received this type of call and provided such information, you should notify us immediately at (508) 675-4404. After regular business hours, call (833) 337-6075.

We would also like to provide notice of a recent fraudulent text message circulating. The message contains a URL which the fraudsters use to capture sensitive information if clicked. This particular type of attack is generated from a spoofed number and is not from our lending team. 

If you see this message, please delete it but also contact your lender so they are aware of the source.

Caller ID Spoofing

Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display in order to disguise their identity. Scammers are known to use what is called “neighbor spoofing” which makes it appear that an incoming call is coming from a local number. Sometimes the scammers even spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust. If you answer the call, they use scam scripts to attempt to gain valuable personal information, which can be used in fraudulent activity.

Sometimes scammers use spoofed robocalls to determine if your line is live so they can target you later. You may hear a recording, a live operator, or some combination of the two, following a scam script designed to confuse you into sharing personal information such as passwords, PIN numbers, or other personal data. The caller may already know some information about you and use that to get you to give them more. It is important to keep your guard up; if the caller starts asking for personal information or making you feel a sense of urgency, these are red flags that you’re on the phone with a scammer.

The best practice when it comes to dealing with unexpected phone calls is not to answer any phone calls from numbers you do not recognize. To learn more tips on how to avoid spoofing scams, visit the FCC.gov’s website here: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id

Card Cracking

In card-cracking scams, young adults (primarily students, newly-enlisted military or single parents) are recruited to facilitate fraud. The perpetrators typically target consumers via social media and convince them to share their checking account information in exchange for some type of a kickback – usually in the form of a counterfeit check remotely deposited into their account, of which the consumer is allowed to keep a portion of the funds. However, the fraudster often removes all of the funds before the bank determines that the check is counterfeit. Fraudsters may also convince the victim to provide them with their debit card number, along with their PIN. The consumer is instructed to report the card as lost or stolen.

Card-cracking is a national problem. Many of the victims do not understand they are facilitating a crime in which they could receive up to 30 years in prison for their participation. In addition to being charged as an accomplice to a crime, they are also at risk of having their own money stolen from their accounts and having unauthorized purchases made with their debit cards. Because they consented to provide scammers access to their bank accounts, it is difficult for them to prove that any withdrawals or purchases made were unauthorized. 

Counterfeit & Fake Money Orders

Numerous reports of fake money orders have been reported throughout the country. Consumers have reported receiving a so-called personal money order after completing surveys or applying for employment. Included with the money order is a request to wire half of the dollar amount to an unknown person in an unfamiliar state or country. These money orders were found to be fake and part of a countrywide fraud scam. Cashing a counterfeit money order will leave an unsuspecting recipient responsible for the funds obtained. If you should receive a personal money order like this, please bring it, along with the instructions, to your financial institution for verification.

Do not cash money orders from unknown sources. Never send funds or purchased gift cards to any unverified recipient. If you are a victim of money order fraud, please visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov to file a complaint.  

Family Emergency Scams

Scammers may pose as relatives or friends, calling or sending messages requesting money to help with an emergency — like getting out of jail, paying a hospital bill, or needing to leave a foreign country. Their goal is to trick you into sending money before you realize it’s a scam. They will ask you to send the money by wire, Western Union, or gift cards.

How to protect yourself from this scam:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
  • Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine.
  • Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Don’t wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
  • Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
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