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Beware Scam Calls Impersonating Banks

Beware Scam Calls Impersonating Banks

Getting calls from a bank or credit union?  Be on alert!  This month (June of 2024) the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has warned about the increasing number of scams where bad actors are posing as bank or credit union representatives in an attempt to access customer accounts.  Their goal is to steal customers’ money and information.

“Spoofed call scams are becoming more sophisticated, and once they have you on the line, the caller will try to use fear and false urgency to pressure you to act immediately, putting you at risk of losing substantial amounts of money and disclosing your personal information,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Remember that your financial institution will never reach out to you requesting your password or other personal information to access your account. When in doubt, hang up with the caller and check with your bank or credit union directly using the phone number from your statement or card.”

Bad actors are using “spoofing” to make their calls or texts appear as if they are coming from your financial institution.  This type of spoofing, which may come in as a phone call or a text message, can cause your phone to identify the caller as a financial institution.   The scammers employ scare tactics to trick the target into revealing account credentials or personal information, which they can use to access and drain your account.

To protect yourself, we recommend adopting the following:

  1. Never respond directly to emails, phone calls, and/or text messages that appear to come from a financial institution.
  2. Instead, call or visit your financial institution to ensure you are dealing with the genuine article.  Do not use contact information provided to you by email or text message.  Use the contact information listed on your bank’s website.  Look up the site yourself, don’t use links that were sent to you.
  3. Only when initiating contact yourself, should you share any information about your accounts.
  4. Report any attempts at scamming to your financial institution. 
  5. If your financial institution has the option of using multifactor authentication, utilize it to ensure that only you can access your accounts.
  6. Never share your account information. These scammers employ psychological tricks to get you to share sensitive information.

If you have questions or disputes that cannot be directly resolved with your financial institutions, you can contact DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or file a complaint online at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.

For more information:

DIFS Warns Consumers to Beware Scam Calls Impersonating Banks or Credit Unions (michigan.gov)

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