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Learn To Spot a Scammer

Watch Out for Bank Impersonators

Fraud and financial scams are at a historic high. Be aware of common scams, including fraudsters impersonating your bank. Once you know how to spot a scam, you become a powerful weapon in the fight against scammers just by sharing what you've learned.

Share these tips with your neighbors, regardless of where they bank. Help us screen out scammers targeting our communities.

 Request extra bookmarks to share with your neighborhood association, book club, investment club, church group or other local group.

Protect Yourself from Fraud

Know How Your Bank Does & Does Not Communicate

  • Heritage Bank will not reach out to you to request your account number, PIN or password – we already have that information.
  • If your wallet or ID has been stolen, alert the bank without delay. Scammers will quickly move to withdraw money from your accounts and cash fake checks written to you using your identity. Branch employees may ask anyone trying to cash a checks written for a larger than normal amount through the drive thru to come into the branch to speak directly to a teller.
  • Scammers rely on creating a sense of urgency to get you to act without thinking. They might claim your account is in danger of being closed or threaten you with legal action. These high-pressure tactics are red flags of a scam — a real bank would never use them.
  • Banks will never ask you to pay bills using a payment app or ask you to send money to yourself. The bank will never suggest your purchase gift cards from another merchant as a way to increase your deposits or prevent overdraws.
  • Scammers can “spoof” email addresses and phone numbers on caller ID to look like they’re from your bank, even when they’re not. When in doubt, reach out to your bank directly by calling the number on the back of your card or a number from our website

Another way to protect yourself from fraud is being aware of current scams that swindle thousands of people each day. Below are some of the most common scams. Share these with friends and family members to help keep your community safe.

The Grandparent Scam
The Grandparent Scam can take different forms but most often it involves someone pretending to be a relative or pretending to be working on a relative’s behalf. They will ask for help with an urgent problem. These scammers are especially likely to target seniors. Learn more about the Grandparent Scam and what to look for.

The Gift Card Scams

Requests for gift cards as payment or to reinstate your account should be regarded with high suspicion. If someone claiming to represent your bank, utility or a government entity presses you to purchase gift cards as a means of payment or to settle an issue with your account, cease communication and contact your Heritage Banker immediately. Learn more about Gift Card Scams circulating in our community.

The Charity Scam

Scammers will pose as a legitimate charity. Often they will use a name that is very similar to a real charity to try to trick you. They might use a current crisis or natural disaster as the reason you should give. They also may target frequently supported causes, like veterans’ charities.

Charity scams will use the same tactics as genuine charities to reach you: telemarketing, direct mail, email and door-to-door solicitations. Scammers can change their area code on a phone call to look like they are local. They might even create a website that looks professional and legitimate. And in the age of GoFundMe campaigns, you need to be extra careful that the cause you are donating to is real. Learn how to protect yourself and how to spot a charity scam.

Phishing Scams

Phishing is the practice of making calls or sending emails and texts that seem legitimate but are actually attempts to steal valuable information like passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers. See our latest tips on ways to identify phishing scams.

Tax Scams

Every spring, they count on taxpayers like you to feel overwhelmed, confused or just plain exhausted by the complexities of tax season. Many use tried-and-true phishing methods, whether online or by phone, to try to get you to reveal important personal information like your bank account or Social Security Number. Take a look at how these criminals operate and ways you can protect yourself.

Social Media Scams

 If you are on social media, there’s a good chance you or someone you know has been hacked. Often, it means someone got access to your account or made a duplicate account and sent messages to your friends and family pretending to be you. In reality, there are many ways scammers can use social media to steal information and money. Learn some of the more common social media scams and how to protect your privacy, finances and data.

Medicare and Health Insurance Scams

Dealing with medical insurance or Medicare can be complex and confusing. Scammers use that fact to take advantage of people, especially seniors. These scams are more common than many people realize. Learn what to look for and how to protect yourself, your health and your finances.

As a leading community bank, Heritage Bank is always here for you. We have resources to help you learn more about recognizing scams, and we can help you with reporting fraud, as well.

Heritage Bank. Member FDIC.


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