By Stephen Fournier, KeyBank Central New York Market President and Regional Retail Leader Central New York, Capital Region
As our lives become more digitally driven, we are seeing increased attempts to defraud bank clients through phone calls, email, and text messages. Criminals are finding new ways of committing fraud through scam attempts that play on your emotions and seek to gain your trust. Fortunately, with the right information, you can more reliably determine if you’re being targeted and successfully report fraud.
Today’s scams are made to look legitimate, and the scammers will often have information that make them seem real. They often know certain details about you and your accounts and sound like actual bank employees, so they can be hard to detect as criminals.
To be prepared and help avoid becoming a victim of these common scams, use this important information and report any fraud attempts you may encounter:
- Suspicious Calls/Texts. KeyBank will never contact you and ask for personal information by text, email, or an unsolicited phone call. This includes unsolicited calls that ask you for your username and password, or to obtain or provide a one-time passcode.
- Suspicious Emails. Beware of suspicious-looking email addresses, even if the sender seems familiar. Never open links or attachments in emails you don’t fully trust or that you were not expecting (for example scanned documents or faxes). Use the information below to report email scams that pretend to be KeyBank asking for your personal or account information.
- Suspicious Text Messages. Beware of texts from outside your saved contacts. Fraudulent texts may appear to come from a bank and ask you to open a link. Don’t open any links or provide personal or account information. Call KeyBank directly at the number below if you have questions or concerns about fraud.
- Using Mobile Apps and Social Media. Watch for any strange links or requests for money you receive on apps or in social media. What feels like a real chat could be a scam.
- Suspicious Phone Calls. If you don’t recognize the number, think twice about picking up. Scammers can mimic local area codes to get you to answer. It is important to remember that cybercriminals have several ways to access cell phone numbers, so you should never assume that you’ve given your number to someone contacting you on your cell phone.
Identifying Fraudulent Texts
- Text messages are one of several legitimate ways KeyBank may contact clients. One example of a legitimate text you might receive from KeyBank would be to provide a KeyBank Fraud Alert of a potentially suspicious card-related transaction. In that case, the text message will include specific information about the transaction in question with response options you can make by text or phone to confirm or deny the transaction. We will not text you links.
- Typically, suspicious and fraudulent text messages are unsolicited but appear to come from a legitimate source that wants you to provide important security or account access information. Fraudulent text messages often include a request to take action by following a link or by calling a telephone number. You may also receive a call from the fraudster requesting additional information.
What to Do and How to Report Fraud Attempts
If you receive a suspicious message or call that appears to come from KeyBank with an urgent tone about an account and a request to provide important security or account access information by clicking a link or calling a phone number, do not take the requested action. Here’s what to do:
- For phone calls: Be wary of answering unfamiliar numbers. If you answer and something does not feel right or you are being asked to provide personal information, hang up and call KeyBank’s Customer Service at 800-KEY2YOU® (539-2968). For clients using a TDD/TTY device, please call 1-800-539-8336.
- For text messages or emails: Take a screenshot of the message, attach it in an email and send it to [email protected], then delete the message from your device. If you cannot take a screenshot, document the message content, including the link name or phone number you’re being asked to call, into an email and send it to [email protected].
- If you are unsure whether a message that appears to be from KeyBank is legitimate, you can always contact KeyBank Customer Service at 800-KEY2YOU® (539-2968). For clients using a TDD/TTY device, please call 1-800-539-8336.
- If you’re a client or business that has followed a link or called a phone number in a suspicious text message and provided any personal information or KeyBank account information, immediately contact Key’s Fraud & Disputes Hotline at 800-433-0124.
About the author: Stephen Fournier is President of KeyBank’s Central New York Market and Regional Retail Leader for Central New York and the Capital Region. He may be reached at either 315-470-5096 or [email protected].
This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual tax or financial advice. Please consult with legal, tax, and/or financial advisors. KeyBank does not provide legal advice.
Simple Steps to Stronger Wireless Security
When you set up your network, or at your earliest convenience, review your wireless router user manual to make sure you know how it works. You can also check out the manufacturer’s website for more information on your specific device. Then follow these suggested steps to strengthen your home wireless network defenses:
- Create a unique Service Set Identifier (SSID) – essentially the “address” that identifies your wireless connection. Hackers know the most commonly used SSIDs, so changing it from the default version will help thwart their efforts.
- Change the wireless password regularly, using a strong combination of letters and numbers to deter system hacking.
- Disable the Broadcast option, if available in your SSID features options. SSID Broadcast helps cybercrooks find your wireless connection and gain unauthorized access to the network.
- Enable the encryption feature so that only your intended recipients can access the information you send.
- Disable file and print share features to limit a hacker’s ability to steal your data or commandeer your computer’s resources should they be able to bypass your router’s encryption.
- Secure your wireless access point to reduce the opportunity for others to access your network. If possible, use directional antennas to direct broadcasting inward. Radio signals are visible to others trying to use your network.
- Use Media Access Control (MAC) Address filtering to prevent or permit specific PCs to access your wireless network.
- Turn off any Remote Management features. If your router offers an option to allow remote access to its controls – typically to enable the manufacturer to provide technical support – turn it off. Hackers can also use these features to access your home network.
- Keep your router up to date. The router’s software needs occasional security updates. Visit the manufacturer’s website to see if a new version is available for download. Register your router with them and sign up to get notifications when new updates are available.
- 10. Don’t forget to secure your computer, too. To protect against the latest threats, set your computer’s security software to update automatically. This includes your operating system, the web browsers you use, and your apps.
These suggestions should reduce the likelihood of security breaches but do not guarantee total wireless security. Guard your information carefully and know what to do in the event that your wireless network is hacked.