Could you foil the fraudster?
It couldn’t happen to you, right? You’re an in-the-know type, proficient with technology, and a trust-but-verify kind of person. Not so fast. Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated, multi-channel attacks to deceive thousands of people in this country every day. No age group or demographic is safe from fraud attempts. It’s really not a matter of if but when it will happen to you. Your best defense is knowing how to spot the red flags and taking immediate action to thwart bad actors.
More than ever before, these attacks are meant to look like they come from a company or financial institution you know and trust. The fraudsters devise thorough scripts after doing homework on the companies you do business with. They may even simulate First Tech communications. Additionally, these communications carry a sense of urgency to act fast or face dire consequences. After all that convincing material, they may also be able to provide several bits of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that they share with you so you think they are legitimate employees of the company they claim to represent. They may already have your partial or full social security number, date of birth, physical address, email address, account or card numbers and more.
Check out these real smishing (text or SMS message phishing) attempts received by members just like you.
Naturally, many of us want to comply and help resolve the issue. You should know that First Tech and many other financial institutions will not send you a link via email or SMS to confirm, verify or resolve issues. If there’s ever a question about the validity of a request, call us at 855.855.8805 immediately. Our number can also be found at firsttechfed.com or on the back of your First Tech debit or credit cards.
In addition to receiving an SMS, you may also receive an email about the same topic to coerce you to take action. Other scam communications aren’t meant to build a story, but instead force you to take action based on a single message. Here’s a screenshot of an email reported by a member that attempts to direct users to a fake log in page and steal log in credentials. If you hover over the link, you can see that it does not match a legitimate First Tech webpage. If you’re ever in doubt, open your web browser and type firsttechfed.com into the address bar.
Imagine you’ve received similar SMS and email messages, then you start receiving phone calls and voicemails—all notifying you that something is wrong with your accounts. Maybe you’re not convinced quite yet, so you pick up the next call from a phone number that appears to be from the same company that’s supposedly sent all the other messages. Listen in on this call to a First Tech member like you.
You can hear this fraudster had the member’s name, address and even full social security number. They spoofed the First Tech phone number and acted like they were a First Tech Representative. These attacks are not unique to First Tech members or even the banking industry. Not only are they sophisticated, they can be alarming and traumatic. Just know that you’re not alone and we’re here to help. Hear from First Tech member Becky in her own words about a very similar attack.
For more information, explore the rest of our Security Center. For questions call us at 855.855.8805 or to report a non-urgent concern, please complete the form. Don’t want to click on links in emails? You can always visit firsttechfed.com and do a search by keyword or phrase.