Scenario: This is how the scam works
- You sign into your online banking on your computer
- A pop-up asks for your email address and phone number (this looks unusual, but you comply)
- Immediately, the phone rings. The caller with an accent says your bank has been hacked by a bank employee who is laundering money overseas.
- The caller asks for the last 4 digits of your social security number and you resist. Through intimidation and stressing urgency (“I am working for you; trust me”), you give it to him.
- The caller asks you go to your bank and withdraw $30,000 from a teller.
- On the way to the bank, a text informs you that $15,000 has been moved from checking to savings.
- At the bank, you show the text message to a teller, who shakes her head NO. You suggest a 3-way call with the teller, the scammer and you. The caller shouts NO and hangs up.
Solution and Remediation: This is what you do after the scam
- The bank opens new accounts, transfers your money to the new account and closes the compromised account, and gives you a list of automatic transactions for these accounts.
- The bank notifies the local police of the fraud and you give a statement.
- You go to your other banks and do the same.
- Your cell phone carrier checks the security of your phone - ok.
- Your computer tech checks the security of your computer - ok.
- You call the list of companies and pensions authorized to make automatic deposits and withdrawals, and give them your new account routing and account numbers.
- You change your online banking passwords.
- You lock your information with the three credit reporting agencies, so the scammer cannot open new accounts in your name.
Prevention: This is how you prevent the scam
If the process for logging into your online banking seems different, stop.
- Check the URL line of the webpage.
- If it is not your bank’s website, close your browser.
- If you have already signed in with your account and password, immediately go to your online banking website again, and change your password.
- Do not fall for this banking scam, nor give away any personal information to unknown strange callers or pop-up windows.
- Be glad not to lose any money and protecting your identity, by listening to your internal instinct.
I am committed to protect your computers at an affordable price. Thank you for trusting me to keep your computers healthy. Contact us at 239-567-0104 when it is time to renew your protection software, to arrange for Learn Computer training, or if you need computer and internet help.
By Linda Lindquist, October 9, 2023