Tips to Avoiding Fraud & Scams

April 03, 2020 - John Scheibe
2 Min read

With many communities practicing social distancing measures, daily habits are changing to adapt to a new normal. You may find yourself spending more time on personal devices or communicating online to connect with family and friends. Criminals are also adapting their habits around current events, finding new ways to steal your information.

We recommend a heightened sense of awareness when dealing with any request to share personal or financial information, especially during this time. Below are some tips to protect yourself from common types of scams we see happening more in today’s environment:

  • Use reliable resources for health information. Scammers are impersonating health organizations and businesses to gather personal and financial information. These scams can offer fake test kits, supplies, vaccines, or cures for COVID-19. We recommend visiting the CDC or WHO websites directly for accurate information. Also, be wary of any hospitals or doctors contacting you for support or demanding payment to treat a friend or relative during this time.
  • Donate only to recognized charities and COVID-19 relief efforts. Do your homework when it comes to making donations. If you are solicited for donations in cash, by gift card, or through wire transfer, be cautious about those requests. Here’s a list of recommended charities our Philanthropy Team has put together related to aid in the efforts related to fighting the virus and supporting local communities.
  • Be aware of scammers trying to impersonate the FDIC or bank employees. Scammers may try to falsely claim banks are limiting access to deposits, seizing deposits, or reporting security issues with funds. Your money is secure at reputable banks under the FDIC – it is insured by the government. Tolleson Private Bank will always provide you access to your deposits.
  • Avoid investment scams that market stocks of publicly traded companies that can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19. Before you make any investment decisions or respond to unknown solicitations, be wary of any company claiming the ability to prevent, cure, or detect the virus with stocks that will dramatically increase in value.
  • The government will never ask for fees or banking information related to a stimulus check or other types of economic relief. Scammers are sending false reports that the government will help ease the economic impact of the virus by sending money by check or direct deposit. Don’t respond to requests like this that ask for personal or account information.
  • Know what you are clicking online. When using email or other apps, avoid clicking links or opening attachments from sources you don’t know or giving away any personal or financial information digitally to anyone.

If you have any questions or concerns about a potential scam, or feel that perhaps your financial information may have been compromised, please don’t hesitate to contact your Tolleson advisor or personal banker. Our team is always happy to help.