Definitions and Warning Signs
VeraBank strives to protect our customers’ accounts and identities. Below is a list of common scams. These may be used to attempt to steal personal banking information or to gain money through a scam.
VeraBank will not ask you for your Online Banking password or your debit card PIN. For your security, please do not give this information out to anyone, whether online, by email, by phone, by text, or in-person. When in doubt, check with VeraBank and we can help determine if it is a scam or phishing attempt.
A Phishing attempt is simply looking for any personal or financial information of a consumer. The con-artists will use this information to perform fraud for their own financial gain.
These attempts can be through the mail, email, phone, cell phone, or text message.
Other forms of Phishing:
Smishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver the "bait" to get you to divulge your personal information. There are multiple methods that may be used to actually "capture" your information in the text message. This includes website URLs or a phone number that connects to an automated voice response system.
Vishing is a form of phishing, where instead of using email to steal personal information, the criminal uses a phone call. This phone call can be either live or automated.
A scam that is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim. They gain the victim's affection and then use that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims' bank accounts, credit cards, or other personal accounts. Fraudsters could also get the victims to commit fraud on their behalf.
- You meet someone on an internet dating website and their profile picture looks different than their description. The picture may look like it's from a magazine.
- After just a few contacts they profess strong feelings for you. They then suggest moving the conversation away from the website preferring email, instant messaging and/or phone instead.
- After gaining your trust, they tell you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts or your bank account/credit card details.
- They continue to ask you for money, but they never actually visit you.
- If you don't send money straightaway, their emails and calls will often become desperate, persistent or direct.
- The email is poorly written, vague, or contains specific information taken directly from news articles. Other clues include that you are addressed by the wrong name or the email is not addressed at all.
In this type of scam, a consumer is selling an item either in the paper or on the internet. The con-artist contacts them and wishes to purchase the item. When the consumer receives a check, the amount of the check is for more than the purchase amount of the item.
The consumer then has contact with the purchaser again and the purchaser instructs them to send the difference back to them. They usually tell the purchaser to send the money by Western Union or MoneyGram.
You are responsible for the entire amount of the fraudulent check when it is returned. Plus, you may have also lost the item in the “sale.”
This scam involves scammers calling a grandparent, then pretending to be their grandchild who is in some kind of trouble. These claims usually say that the grandchild is in a foreign country and they are in trouble for drugs, involved in an accident, were mugged, etc. The need is urgent and money needs to be sent immediately. Sometimes the scammers will also pose as a police officer, lawyer, doctor, or some other person.
Tech Support Scam
Scammers will try and trick you into paying them to fix a serious computer problem, like a virus, that doesn’t actually exist. They accomplish this by calling and pretending to be tech support or with popups on your computer. They often will ask for payment by an unconventional method, such as a wire transfer, using a money transfer app (Zelle, Venmo, etc.), or by putting money on a gift card, cash card, or prepaid card.
In the lottery scam, a consumer receives a letter claiming that they have won some type of lottery. This lottery can be an international lotto or even a local one such as Readers Digest. Along with the letter is a counterfeit check for an amount usually less than $5,000.00.
The letter has a lotto agent's name and number. The victim uses this to contact to find out what they need to do to receive the rest of their winnings. If called, the lotto agent will have the victim cash the check and send the majority of the funds by Western Union or MoneyGram. They will tell the victim this is to pay the ‘taxes’ on the winnings.
You can protect yourself from this scam by paying close attention to the situation. If you haven't entered the lottery then how could you win? If someone is requesting you to send funds back to them, this is of concern.
Secret Shopper Scam
In this type of scam, a consumer receives a counterfeit check for an amount usually less than $5,000.00. The scammer instructs you to cash or deposit the check and keep some of the funds for your pay. With some of the funds, you go to a few businesses and purchase small dollar items. While doing this you are secretly taking notes on the treatment you are receiving.
With the bulk of the funds, you send Western Union or MoneyGram transactions to them while you take notes on the service. They tell you that they are monitoring the service on their end to complete the survey.
You are responsible for the missing funds when the check comes back as a fraudulent check.
Still have questions about scams? Please let us know.