Four Signs That It’s a Scam
1. Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.
Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the Bank or the government. They might use a real name, like Customer Service Representative, Social Security Administration, IRS, or Medicare, or make up a name that sounds official. Some may even pretend to be from a business you know, like a utility company, a tech company, or even a charity asking for donations.
They can also use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So the name and number you see might not be real. If you receive a suspicious call claiming to be from the Bank or another business/government agency, hang up and call the main number! Don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.
2. Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or a PRIZE.
They might say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information.
Some scammers say you’re in trouble with the government. Or you owe money. Or someone in your family had an emergency. Or that there’s a virus on your computer.
Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.
3. Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately.
Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. If you’re on the phone, they might tell you not to hang up so you can’t check out their story.
They might threaten to close your account, arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you. They might say your computer is about to be corrupted.
4. Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way.
They often insist that you can only pay by using cryptocurrency, wiring money, using a payment app, or putting money on a gift card and then giving them the numbers on the back of the card.
Some will send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), then tell you to deposit it and send them money.
How To Avoid A Scam
Block unwanted calls and text messages. Take steps to block unwanted calls and to filter unwanted text messages.
Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. The Bank will never call and ask for your debit card number, pin number, account username and password, or social security number.
Resist the pressure to act immediately. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists that you can only pay with cryptocurrency, a wire transfer service, a payment app, or a gift card. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam. If you are still unsure, call our Customer Service Center at 518-943-2600 or stop by one of our convenient branch locations for assistance!
What Do Thieves Do With Your Information?
Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.
Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your Information…
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You don’t get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
How To Respond If You’ve Fallen For A Scam
If your wallet, Social Security number, or other personal information is lost or stolen, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.
1. Call the Bank at 518-943-2600 or the number on the back of your debit card.
2. Change your passwords and visit IdentityTheft.gov.
3. Report the scam to the FTC.
4. If you lost money, file a police report.