What To Do If You Think You’ve Fallen Victim to Fraud
I have been partnering with the Florence Bank marketing team for many years as a PR specialist. I develop and craft press releases to send to the media and also provide occasional blogs that appear on the bank’s website.
This recent blog takes a look at What To Do If You Think You’ve Fallen Victim to Fraud.
If you are a Florence Bank customer and suspect your account with us has been comprised by online crime, please—even if you have only the slightest suspicion—make your first call to our customer service team at 413-586-1300.
We want you to call us because there are things we can do to help, and we can also guide the next steps you take.
More and more, people around the world are being hacked and attacked by fraudulent activity. Make sure you learn how to protect yourself from scams and know what to do if you are inadvertently fooled.
When you call customer service, you can expect to be transferred to a representative who is familiar with cybercrime and knows the proper steps to take to counter any transactions you may have initiated. We can attempt to recover your funds.
It’s critical that when you call or visit one of our branches, you extend your full trust to the team member who is assigned to help. We are your neighborhood bank, and we are here to protect you and your money and serve as your advocate.
Sometimes, when customers have been scammed, because the person who contacted them and the scenario itself felt so believable, they are uncertain as to whether they have fallen victim and hesitate to let us get involved. But we can’t help you if we don’t know what happened.
So, please do not be embarrassed or ashamed. Thousands of very intelligent people are duped by online crime every day. Simply let us help you.
Tell your bank representative exactly what happened. Did someone call, text, or email you? What did they ask you to do? How did they gain access to your account? How did your communication end? Did you buy gift cards or otherwise send them money?
Once we understand the details, it is possible we can terminate or reverse a transaction—but again, our chance of success is highly dependent on you walking us through the scenario as it happened in a clear and thorough way.
If we confirm that money has actually been removed from one of your accounts, your next call should be to the police department in your community. They will take the information and, if possible, initiate an investigation.
It is also very wise to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using its online reporting mechanism.
Here are some other steps you might wish to take:
Update your antivirus software. If you allowed someone to have remote access to your computer, update your security software, run a scan, and delete anything that is flagged as a risk.
Change your username and password. If you gave out usernames or passwords to your Florence Bank online accounts—or to any accounts—you should change your passwords immediately.
Protect your Social Security number (SSN) and identity. If you gave a scammer your SSN, report it at IdentityTheft.gov. Someone will ask you to explain the situation and help you create a recovery plan.
Contact any companies that are involved. If you paid a scammer with a store gift card, prepaid card, or cash reload card, contact the company you purchased the card from right away. Tell them what happened and request a refund. The sooner you call, the better the chance they can help.
Try to reverse a wire transfer. If you paid a scammer by wiring money, call the company you used immediately. Firms like Western Union or MoneyGram have a complaint department and can possibly reverse the transfer.
Contact the app you used. If you paid a scammer using an app like PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle, contact the company you used to see if the payment can be reversed.
To further protect yourself from future fraud, you can contact the major credit bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian—and ask for advice. They may suggest you lock your credit so no one can open accounts using your personal information.
Consider investing in a phone that has a call-blocking or call-labeling feature. You can also learn more about unwanted calls and what to do about them on the FTC’s website.
Please remember that, at Florence Bank, we are your biggest asset in times of distress. We are here to help you navigate the frightening fallout from fraud. Given the information we need, we will guide you through the steps you need to take and do all we can to recover any lost funds.
You can also call us at 413-586-1300 if you have questions, need advice, or—of course—need to report an incident.
We’re always here to help.