“Your debit card has been deactivated due to suspected fraud. Please contact our security department to reactivate your card.” If you ever receive a notice such as this in a phone call, text message, or e-mail, do not respond! Park Bank and the FDIC want to make sure you don't fall victim to scams targeting bank customers. Click here to access a checklist of tips to help you safeguard yourself against identity theft.
The FDIC and Madison area police have recently released information about several different scams you should be aware of:
- Family emergency scams. In some cases, someone pretending to be a grandson and/or a police officer will phone the grandparent demanding money for bail and legal fees for a bogus arrest. The fraudster may ask for cash to be sent directly through the mail.
- Government "imposter" frauds. These schemes often start with a phone call, a letter, an email, a text message or a fax supposedly from a government agency, requiring an upfront payment or personal financial information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers.
- Debt collection scams. Supposed debt collectors or law enforcement officials may try to say you owe money.
- Fraudulent job offers. You may be asked to pay money in advance to "help secure the job."
- Mortgage foreclosure rescue scams. Fraudsters will sometimes pose as lenders, loan servicers or mortgage consultants.
- Lottery scams. You might be told you won a lottery (typically one that you never entered) and asked to first send money to the “lottery company” to cover certain taxes and fees.
- Elder frauds. Thieves can target older adults through telemarketing scams, which may involve sales of bogus products and services that will never be delivered.
- Overpayment scams. A stranger buying something from you online, who then sends a check, may send you more money than they owe. They will ask for money back while they're check turns out to be counterfeit.
- "Ransomware." This term refers to malicious software that holds a computer, smartphone or other device hostage by restricting access until a ransom is paid.
- Jury duty scams: A thief makes phone calls pretending to be a law enforcement official warning innocent people that they failed to appear for jury duty and threating an arrest unless a “fine” is paid immediately.
These types of scams are designed to trick unsuspecting consumers into revealing sensitive personal data so that fraudsters can use this information to access their account. Given the stakes involved in protecting your finances, Park Bank encourages vigilance in protecting yourself from these scams and fraudsters.
Hopefully you haven't fallen for any of the scams listed above. However, if you did mistakenly provide your debit or credit card number, you need to take action, quickly:
- Call the financial institution that issued the card. If it is a Park Bank-issued card, call (608) 278-2801.
- Outside of regular business hours, call the number on the back of your card to report it lost or stolen. This will block any future unauthorized transactions on your card. For Park Bank-issued cards, the numbers are as follows:
- Debit Cards: 1-888-376-3397
- Credit Cards: 1-855-496-8635
Park Bank understands that being on the receiving end of one of these scams is unnerving. That’s why we are here to help protect you from this type of fraud. And, we make it a point to arm our clients with the information they need to avoid identity theft.
Additionally, here are answers to common questions people have in response to phishing, vishing and smishing messages they receive:
Q: Has my Park Bank data been compromised?
No. Perpetrators of this type of fraud know nothing about you. They don’t even know that you are a Park Bank client. In fact, in more cases than not, they are wrong about this point. But, in cases where they guess correctly, the call, text or e-mail appears to be legitimate. That’s what they are counting on. All they have is a phone number or an e-mail address. They don’t know your name or anything else about you. Their goal is to get you to reveal your debit or credit card number and your PIN or CVV (the three-digit number on the back of your credit card). That is all they need to access your account. Park Bank would never ask you for this information. Nor would any other legitimate company outside of completing a transaction that you called to initiate.
Q: I’m not even a Park Bank client. Why did I receive this phone call, text, or e-mail?
These scammers send out thousands of messages in the hopes that a few will actually pay off. They don’t mind being wrong in the majority of cases, as long as they are right sometimes. They are working from a list of telephone numbers or e-mail addresses. They use the name of a legitimate bank – sometimes Park Bank, sometimes other financial institutions – to add an air of authenticity to their efforts. The fact that more non-clients than clients receive these messages just goes to show that the scammers are working from very limited information that is either publicly available or randomly generated.
Q: How did they get my phone number?
The technology that these criminals use allows them to call thousands of numbers in sequence very quickly. Eventually, they will hit every number within a range, including yours. But again, they don’t know whose number it is. They are simply dialing every possible number they can.
Q: Why does this scam use Park Bank’s name if it has nothing to do with Park Bank?
These scams often use the name of a financial institution they know operates within the area they are targeting in order to sound legitimate. Our name gets used as do those of other financial institutions. Even government agencies have been named in this type of fraud.
Q: What is Park Bank doing to stop this?
Park Bank does everything in our power to stop this fraud. When we are alerted to one of these schemes, we gather information and report it to the proper authorities. We work with telephone and Internet service providers to shut down the websites and/or telephone numbers used in the scams, and we warn our clients about the known methods being used to seek their sensitive account information.
Q: Has Park Bank contacted the media about this scam?
Park Bank posts a press release on its website when we know about active scams in our area. We also cooperate with the media to provide tips for avoiding the pitfalls of common fraud schemes.
Q: How does Park Bank alert its clients about these types of scams?
Park Bank posts a prominent notice on the homepage of our Web site when we are alerted to an active vishing, smishing, or phishing scam. We also adapt our telephone announcements to instruct our clients and others on how to avoid these scams, and what to do if they have mistakenly provided their account information to a fraudster. We post tips, including these, on our Web site for combating fraud, and we regularly provide information to our clients on how to protect their sensitive financial information from misuse.