March 8, 2022
bankHometown cares about the safety and security of your accounts and your financial information. We want to make you aware of a number of recent fraud schemes, most involving Online Banking and Zelle®.
In all of these cases, scammers are calling or texting customers and pretending to be their bank’s Fraud department:
- Customers are asked for their Online Banking login information. Once the scammer logs into Online Banking, they initiate person-to-person payments using Zelle.
- Customers are asked to provide the one-time code(s) that scammers need to complete fraudulent Zelle payments.
- Customers are contacted and told that they need to reverse a fraudulent Zelle transaction by initiating a Zelle payment to themselves. The funds are actually being transferred into the scammer’s account.
In another scheme, scammers initiate fraudulent debit card transactions, often originating from Texas and from retailers like Kroger and Walgreens. Scammers then contact the customer, pretending to be from their bank’s Fraud department:
- Customers are asked to verify the transactions. Once the customer confirms they’re fraudulent, the scammer tells the customer to respond to subsequent automated phone calls (which come from the bank’s real Fraud department) and mark them as “not fraud.” Customers then receive more fraudulent transactions.
Important Reminders to Keep You Safe
- bankHometown will NEVER call, text, email, or contact you to ask you for your personal or financial information, including Online Banking and Mobile Banking passwords or one-time Zelle codes.
- No legitimate bank will contact you and ask you to send money to yourself to stop unauthorized Zelle transactions or advise you to indicate that fraudulent charges are not fraud.
- Beware of scammers impersonating banks. By making the phone number on your caller ID look legitimate—a process called “spoofing”—requests by text or phone can appear convincing.
Protect Yourself from Fraud
To protect yourself from debit card and payment scams as well as other fraud, take these important steps:
- Never provide your Online Banking or Mobile Banking password to anyone.
- Ignore all phone calls, texts, and emails from callers asking for personal or financial information.
- Hang up on robocalls.
- Ensure you have the latest security updates on your mobile devices, laptops, and personal computers.
- Do not open emails, click on email links, or download attachments from unknown or unsolicited senders.
We're Here to Help
If you have any questions about whether a call, text, or email you receive is legitimate, call our Customer Care team directly at 888.307.5887.
Visit our Security Center for more information on protecting yourself or the Federal Trade Commission website for the most recent scam alerts.
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