• New crypto payment scam alert

    January 11, 2022, 8:06 AM

    There's a new spin on scammers asking people to pay with cryptocurrency. It involves an impersonator, a QR code, and a trip to a store (directed by a scammer on the phone) to send your money to them through a cryptocurrency ATM.

    It works like this: someone might call pretending to be from the government, law enforcement, or a local utility company. Maybe a romantic interest you met online calls, or someone calls to say you’ve won the lottery or a prize. They’ll wind up asking you for money. If you believe the story they tell and you seem willing to engage, they’ll stay on the phone to direct you to withdraw money from your bank, investment, or retirement accounts. Then they’ll tell you to go to a store with a cryptocurrency ATM (and they’ll stay on the phone the whole time). Once you’re there, they’ll direct you to insert your money into the ATM and buy cryptocurrency. Here’s where the QR code comes in: they send you a QR code with their address embedded in it. Once you buy the cryptocurrency, they have you scan the code so the money gets transferred to them. But then your money is gone.

    Here’s the main thing to know: nobody from the government, law enforcement, utility company, or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency. If someone does, it’s a scam, every time. Any unexpected tweet, text, email, call, or social media message — particularly from someone you don’t know — asking you to pay them in advance for something, including with cryptocurrency, is a scam.

    If you spot something like this, tell the FTC right away at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. And to learn more about avoiding cryptocurrency scams, visit ftc.gov/cryptocurrency.

     

    Source: Federal Trade Commission

  • Avoiding a money mule scam

    December 06, 2021, 8:13 AM

    Scammers are looking for people to help them move stolen money. They visit online dating, job search, and social media sites, create fake stories, and make up reasons to send you money, usually by check or Bitcoin. Then they tell you to send that money to someone else by using gift cards or wire transfers. But they never say the money is stolen, the stories are lies, or — if you sent the money — you might be acting as what law enforcement calls a money mule.

    If you help a scammer move stolen money — even if you didn’t know it was stolen — you could get into legal trouble. You’ll be at financial risk, too. If you deposit a scammer’s check, it might clear at first. When it turns out to be a fake check, the bank will want you to repay the full amount. You may be charged fees, and your account may be overdrawn or closed. And using a scammer’s money to buy gift cards and turning over the PIN codes, or sending wire transfers is almost like sending cash. In both cases, the scammer gets the money quickly, and it’s almost impossible to recover.

    How can you avoid a money mule scam?

    • Don’t forward money for an online romantic interest who sends you money. That’s always a scam, and a way to get you to move stolen money.
    • Don’t accept a job that asks you to transfer money or packages — even if they tell you to send money to a “client” or “supplier.” You may be helping a scammer move stolen money or gift cards.
    • Don’t accept a grant or prize award and forward some of the money. That’s another way to get you to move stolen money.

    If you think you might be involved in this scam, stop the payment transaction and stop communicating with the person. Tell your bank, the wire transfer service, or any gift card companies right away. If a scammer has your bank account information, close your account immediately. Then tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov

     

    Source: Federal Trade Commission

  • Child Tax Credit scammers are still reaching out

    November 08, 2021, 1:29 PM

    Many people have gotten their advance Child Tax Credit payments this year, but scammers are taking advantage of this new program to try to trick you out of money or information. They’re pretending to be the IRS, contacting people by phone, text, email, and social media — and sending people to official-looking websites that look just like the IRS.

    Before you respond to anyone who reaches out to you, here are a few things to know about the IRS and the Child Tax Credit:

    • Check your eligibility for the tax credit, if you haven’t gotten any advance payment this year,  and sign up by following the IRS’ instructions.
    • The IRS used information from filed tax returns to automatically sign people up for the Child Tax Credit. If you aren’t getting payments automatically, it might be because you didn’t file a tax return for 2019 or 2020. You’ll need to sign up for these payments if you didn’t file.
    • The IRS (and other government agencies) will never text, email, or contact you on social media asking for your personal or financial information. But scammers will.
    • The IRS does not use robocalls and will not call about something urgent or threatening. The IRS will also not call to ask taxpayers to give or verify financial information to get your Child Tax Credit payments. Anyone who does is a scammer.
    • The IRS will never ask for a payment by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. The IRS and other government agencies will also never ask you to pay to get financial help. You know who does? Scammers.

    If you have questions, start at irs.gov to get answers. And if someone says they’re from the IRS and contacts you about the Child Tax Credit, report it to the IRS and ReportFraud.ftc.gov. If you think a scammer has any of your personal or financial information, visit IdentityTheft.gov to get a recovery plan.

     

    Source: Federal Trade Commission

  • The Google Voice scam: How this verification code scam works and how to avoid it

    November 02, 2021, 11:47 AM

    It’s Cyber Security Awareness month, so the tricks scammers use to steal our personal information are on our minds. If there’s one constant among scammers, it’s that they’re always coming up with new schemes, like the Google Voice verification scam. Have you heard about it? Here’s how it works.

    Scammers target people who post things for sale on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. They also prey on people who post looking for help finding their lost pet.

    The scammers contact you and say they want to buy the item you’re selling — or that they found your pet. But before they commit to buying your item, or returning your pet, they feign hesitation. They might say they’ve heard about fake online listings and want to verify that you’re a real person. Or they might say they want to verify that you’re the pet’s true owner.

    They send you a text message with a Google Voice verification code and ask you for that code. If you give them the verification code, they’ll try to use it to create a Google Voice number linked to your phone number. (Google Voice gives you a phone number that you can use to make calls or send text messages from a web browser or a mobile device.)

    So, what’s the harm? The scammer might use that number to rip off other people and conceal their identity. Sometimes these scammers are after a Google Voice verification code and other information about you. If they get enough of your information, they could pretend to be you to access your accounts or open new accounts in your name.

    If you gave someone a Google Voice verification code follow these steps from Google to reclaim your number.

    No matter what the story is, don’t share your Google Voice verification code — or any verification code — with someone if you didn’t contact them first. That’s a scam, every time. Report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

     

    Source: Federal Trade Commission

  • Amazon impersonators: what you need to know

    October 20, 2021, 2:48 PM

    Has Amazon contacted you to confirm a recent purchase you didn’t make or to tell you that your account has been hacked? According to the FTC’s new Data Spotlight, since July 2020, about one in three people who have reported a business impersonator scam say the scammer pretended to be Amazon.

    These scams can look a few different ways. In one version, scammers offer to “refund” you for an unauthorized purchase but “accidentally transfer” more than promised. They then ask you to send back the difference. What really happens? The scammer moves your own money from one of your bank accounts to the other (like your Savings to Checking, or vice versa) to make it look like you were refunded. Any money you send back to “Amazon” is your money (not an overpayment) — and as soon as you send it out of your account, it becomes theirs. In another version of the scam, you’re told that hackers have gotten access to your account — and the only way to supposedly protect it is to buy gift cards and share the gift card number and PIN on the back. Once that information is theirs, the money is, too.

    Here are some ways to avoid an Amazon impersonator scam:

    • Never call back an unknown number. Use the information on Amazon’s website and not a number listed in an unexpected email or text.
    • Don’t pay for anything with a gift card. Gift cards are for gifts. If anyone asks you to pay with a gift card – or buy gift cards for anything other than a gift, it’s a scam.
    • Don’t give remote access to someone who contacts you unexpectedly. This gives scammers easy access to your personal and financial information—like access to your bank accounts.

     

    Source: Federal Trade Commission

  • Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    October 05, 2021, 11:04 AM

    October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has provided tips to be cyber smart when it comes to online privacy. To view, click the link below.

    Online-Privacy-Tip Sheet

    For more information or tips related to cybersecurity, please visit https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/current-activity/2021/10/05/be-cyber-smart-during-cybersecurity-awareness-month


If you have received a suspicious email, text, or phone call that appears to have come from City Bank, or appears to be impersonating City Bank, please report it to us immediately by emailing abuse@city.bank.