Financial institutions work hard to protect your personal identifiable information (PII) and confidential account information. There are many layers of security measures in place to help make sure you are the only one who can obtain information about, or conduct transactions through, your account(s).
However, scammers know about all these security measures. So how do they so easily get into your online banking? YOU give them your username, password, and even security questions!
We know you are not willingly divulging your private information to someone who will use it for nefarious purposes. However, scammers use many methods to gain your trust and trick you into providing the information necessary to access your accounts online.
Here are just a few scenarios:
• A “loan” company has a loan for you and requires your online banking credentials. They claim that is their method used to deposit the loan proceeds. Legitimate loan companies will never use this method to provide their clients with loan proceeds.
• A friend or family member reaches out to you via social media. They may offer to help you pay bills or help with a financial hardship. They ask for your online banking credentials to send you a mobile deposit. This is likely NOT the friend or family member you think it is. It’s a scammer who has hacked the social media profile of someone you know for this sole purpose.
• You’ve recently been hired for remote or secret shopper work and your “employer” needs your online banking credentials to pay you for your services. No legitimate company will pay their employees (or anyone they solicit for services) in this manner.
The moral of this story? Never give out your online banking information. Once the scammers are in, they can wreak havoc by using bill pay or the external transfer service to send payments to accounts they control, or they make transfers from your savings account(s) to your checking account(s) and drain your funds by automatic debits or counterfeit checks they create.
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation to those listed above, First Mid is here to help! Simply visit your local banking center or call our Fraud Support team at 833-488-4723. We understand how good these scammers can be to win your trust. We will help you assess the situation and provide guidance and support to protect your money and private information.