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Hang Up, Look Up, and Call Back

SCREEN CAPTURE: Back of a Bank of America credit card

Scammers are calling people claiming to be from their bank, credit card, PayPal, or other financial institution. They say that fraudulent activity has been detected on your account and want to help you clear it up. Sometimes they have information on recent transactions to convince you they are legitimate…except they created those false charges before they called! Scammers try to get potential victims to share account information or accept a login request in order to help resolve the false charges. Sometimes they don’t initially ask for any personal information, but call back later to ‘verify’ your information; or they ask to remotely access your computer to help identify a virus used to make the false charges. What they are actually doing is collecting information to impersonate you to your bank. Don’t fall for it! Hang up, call the number on your bankcard, or look up the number on your institution’s website. Some good tips to protect yourself:

If you get a call or email claiming to be from your financial institution, look up the phone number and call back–don’t trust the number in an email.
Enable alerts on your bank’s website or mobile app for new, large, and Card Not Present transactions
Place a security freeze on your credit file to prevent scammers from opening new accounts in your name, and check your credit history at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/.