At United Midwest Savings Bank, keeping your personal information secure is our priority. Each year scam artists and identity thieves steal billions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. We’ve taken proactive steps to ensure your security online, on our mobile app and within our offices by using secure technology. Scams are constantly changing so we continually work to find ways to protect you, but there are also ways you can protect yourself by knowing what to look out for.
How you can protect yourself:
Steps to minimize your risk of fraud and theft.
Phone scams are on the rise
With so much attention on different types of fraud found online today, many might believe that phone scams are no longer much of an issue. That's exactly what scammers are counting on.
What is the "Grandparent Scam?"
One of the latest phone scams is referred to as “The Grandparent Scam.” Beware if you receive an urgent phone call from someone claiming to be a family member. In this particular scam, the caller pretends to be a grandchild in trouble—an accident, in the hospital, in jail or possibly in a foreign country. The caller seems to provide just enough detail and the voice so familiar that the entire situation is very convincing.
Sometimes the caller will try to make the situation even more realistic by providing the “grandparent” with a number to call a “reliable” third party number they provide to “explain everything.” They say this number is for a person of authority such as a police officer, attorney, or doctor. The key element of the scam is the caller then asks for money to be sent or wired and “don’t tell Mom or Dad.”
Tips to prevent phone scams
While the "Grandparent Scam" has been around for years, its prevalence is on the rise again. Here are a few tips:
- Victims of this scam can be chosen randomly or carefully selected. Sometimes the scammers buy lists with very specific information. They might also pour through social media sites for information or hack into email accounts. Be careful what you post and use extra caution with your email—such as using multi-factor authorization to log in.
- If you receive one of these phone calls, the first thing to do is not panic! Try to ask very specific questions that only a family member would know. Get off the phone to call your grandchild or other family members with the number(s) you already have for them to verify the situation. DO NOT call any number the scammer may give to you. The minute money is requested, this should be a red flag about the situation.
If you think you might be a victim of fraud, a phone scam or ID theft
To learn more on how to recover from identity theft and fraud, visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Consumer Information page: https://consumer.ftc.gov/features/identity-theft
If you are the victim of a scam, contact local law enforcement and report it to the FTC website ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. For more information about fraud and scams, AARP provides helpful tips and advice at https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/.