Preventing Consumer Fraud
For every method we have to communicate (text messages, email, direct messages via social media apps, phone calls, etc.) there is an opportunity for scammers to steal your personal or financial information. One of the best fraud protection methods is to stay vigilant and be skeptical of any unsolicited contact, no matter how legitimate it may seem. The National Bank of Indianapolis, will NEVER call, email or send a text message asking for your social security number, online password, PIN number, two factor authentication or one time authorization code .
There are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself from consumer fraud:
- Educate yourself and engage in the conversation. Stay up to date on common and newsworthy scams including romance scams, phishing schemes and online attacks. By learning about the latest threat, you can better understand it and share that information with your loved ones. No one is safe from a fraud attempt; by learning about consumer fraud and talking about it, you will more readily be on alert and able to act against it.
- Pay attention to your account activity. Review your monthly account and credit card statements and read any messages from your financial institution. Keep track of the automatic payments you have set up and look for strange charges that don’t match your activity. A common credit or debit card scam includes a scammer setting up a small, recurring payment on your account. This sum can blend in and seem insignificant, like the $10-$20 cost of a streaming service. It can fly under the radar (and really add up) unless you are paying attention.
- Update your computers and mobile devices regularly. Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
- Avoid questionable texts and calls. Learn to avoid fraudulent text messages and phone calls that appear to be coming from the Bank or a financial institution. If you are contacted, delete the text message, disconnect the call and contact your banker directly. Never click a link in an unsolicited text. Do not reply directly to the phone number used to contact you.
- Learn to recognize bogus website links. Cybercriminals embed malicious links to download malware onto devices or route users to bogus websites. Hover over, but DO NOT CLICK, suspicious links to view the actual URL that you are being routed to. Fraudulent links are often disguised by simple changes in the URL. For example: www.NBofI.com is our legitimate site, whereas a scammer may change something subtly to trick the eye: NB0fI.com or NB_of_I.com.
- Change your security settings to enable multi-factor authentication for accounts that support it. Multi-factor authentication—or MFA—is a second step to verify who you are, like a text with a code. This is especially important for social media accounts and email host services like Gmail.
- Remember that the safest place for your money is in the bank—it’s physically secure and it’s federally insured. When you deposit your money at a bank, you get the comfort of knowing that your funds are secure and insured by the government. You don’t have the same level of protection when your money is outside the banking system. This is especially important to keep in mind when using alternate personal payment apps like Venmo.
If you are scammed, it can be hard to get your money back. The best way to avoid consumer fraud is to take necessary precautions. At The National Bank of Indianapolis, we maintain the highest standards of security and privacy for the Bank and for our clients. We have implemented many security features that are designed to safeguard your accounts and your personal information, but once a scammer acquires personal information like a social security number or PIN number, it may be too late for intervention. Therefore, it is important for consumers to be vigilant and responsible taking steps to protect their personal information and their accounts.
To learn more of our Security Recommendations, visit our Fraud & Security Center: