Contact us at Pathfinder Bank if you have questions or concerns about your accounts or think you may have been a victim of fraud. Call our main office at (315) 343-0057 or toll free at 1 (800) 811-5620.
In addition to contacting us, it is important that you report suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well. If you believe you've been scammed, file your complaint at FTC.gov/complaint. By filing your complaint with the FTC, you are helping law enforcement better detect patterns of fraud and thus better protect consumers!
Pathfinder Bank would like to warn our customers regarding an increase in scams and fraud related to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). These scams may come in a variety of forms including phishing emails with malicious links or attachments. Scammers are also using phone calls, social media, and text messaging to trick victims into revealing sensitive information. Please always exercise your due diligence when opening any email related to COVID-19 and be wary of social media ads, texts or calls.
Since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment fraud has been on the rise. Recently, there has been an increase in scams related to unemployment benefits and Pathfinder Bank would like to issue a warning to our customers to be on the lookout for these scams.
Identity thieves are filing for unemployment benefits using the names and personal information of those who have not filed claims. Victims of unemployment fraud are typically unaware that the scam is happening until they receive a notice in the mail from the state unemployment office alerting them of the claim. Or, in some cases, when a debit card is received in the mail.
These fraudsters have gathered pieces of information on the dark web from numerous data breaches that have occurred over the years. Most states only require a social security number and a date of birth in order to file an unemployment claim, making it easy for a scammer to file a fraudulent claim.
If you believe that your information has been used for a fraudulent unemployment claim, contact Pathfinder Bank immediately via 315-343-0057 and visit IdentifyTheft.gov to report this fraud attempt to the Federal Trade Commission.
Holiday Season Scams
During the holiday season, it is especially important to be mindful of scams and identity theft schemes. Criminals view this time as an ideal opportunity to attempt fraudulent transactions in hope that their purchases will blend in with the increased transaction volume that many cardholders will have.
In an effort to keep your holiday spirit bright, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.
While Shopping in store or online using your Debit or Credit Card:
- Carry only the card(s) you plan to use.
- Know where your cards are at all times.
- Check for evidence of tampering before you use an ATM to obtain cash. Glue and overlays on the card reader are common indicators of tampering.
- Monitor account activity periodically via online banking and monthly statements.
- Ensure computers have the most up-to-date anti-virus software.
Common Types of Fraud
Email Fraud, also referred to as phishing or hoax emails, are emails claiming to be from a business or organization that you deal with — for example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency.
These "phishers" send a message usually stating that you need to "update" or "validate" your account information. It might threaten some dire consequence if you don't respond. The message directs you to a Web site that looks just like a legitimate organization's site, but it isn't. The purpose of the phony site? To trick you into revealing your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and make unauthorized purchases or commit crimes in your name.
Visit usa.gov to learn more about email fraud and how to protect yourself.
If someone sends you a check or money order asking you to deposit the item into your account and wire transfer money out of your account, please be careful – you may become the victim of a check fraud, a popular scam that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars.
There are many types of fake check scams, but they all begin with a counterfeit check, Official Bank Check or money order, and a phony story. Check fraud scams often come in the form of rental schemes, sudden riches via lottery or inheritance, job offers that promise easy money from working at home, overpayments on items that you put for sale online, foreign business offers, employment as a "Secret Shopper", and phony love relationships.
Visit FakeChecks.org to learn how to protect yourself against the many types of check fraud.
Phishing using SMS (Short Message Service) is called SMiShing and is one of the most common forms of mobile fraud. Criminals send text messages claiming to be from a business or organization that you deal with. Usually these messages contain links to other sites, requesting that you update personal and financial information. Even if you don't enter any information, simply selecting the link is enough to cause potential problems. These links can have viruses, malware and key logging software that can be used to steal your information.
Visit FTC.gov for more information regarding mobile messaging scams and how to protect yourself.
Thousands of people every year fall victim to charity fraud. Fraudsters use charity organizations as a way to capitalize on kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year. Charity fraud occurs when an individual or group deliberately misrepresents its fundraising intentions or solicits funds for phony causes. Consumers should request written information from the organization including name, address, and phone numbers of its members. Be wary of 3rd party companies that claim they are collecting donations on behalf of the legitimate organization.
Debit & Credit Card Fraud
Debit Card Fraud occurs when your debit card information is stolen and used to make unauthorized purchases from your account. Your debit card information can be stolen directly out of your wallet, via a card reading device, or even through identity theft in which an individual opens accounts in your name.
Your card may still be in your wallet, but your money may be being spent without your knowledge. Criminals can steal your credit or debit card information in a variety of ways and make unauthorized purchases over the internet, phone, or mail. Thieves also have the capabilities of duplicating debit and credit cards, creating counterfeit cards which are then used for fraudulent purchases in store or online.
Visit our page on Debit Card Security to learn about how we protect you, and how you can better protect yourself against debit and credit card fraud.