Automated Teller Machine (ATM) skimmers are fake card readers and cameras attached to a real ATM. Scammers can quickly read a card’s information and use it to access your account fraudulently. With a small device, your card’s information gets stored so that criminals can easily use it at a later time.
Skimmers may be installed on an ATM, resembling the machine itself. A small device goes over the normal card reading slot and reads your card’s magnetic stripe. Skimmers can also be handheld devices that a dishonest merchant can keep in his or her pocket. For example, when charging your card while you are out at dinner, for example, a scammer can run your card through a skimmer as well.
Organized criminals are installing equipment on legitimate bank ATMs to steal both the ATM card number and the Personal Identification Number (PIN). The equipment used to capture your ATM card number and PIN is cleverly disguised to look like normal ATM equipment. At the same time, a wireless camera may be disguised to look like a leaflet holder and is mounted in a position to view ATM PIN entries. The criminals sit nearby in a car receiving the information transmitted wirelessly from the equipment they install. The thieves copy the cards and use the PIN to withdraw thousands from many accounts in a very short time.
Tips When Using an ATM or Point-Of-Sale (POS) Terminal:
Phishing is a new twist on an old telemarketing scam, but uses e-mail. In a phishing scam, you might receive an email that appears to be from a legitimate business and is asking you to update or verify your personal information by replying to the email (via a link within the email) or visiting a website. The web address might look similar to one you’ve used before. The email may be convincing enough to get you to take the action requested. These criminals send e-mails to millions of people hoping that even a few will give away valuable information such as their usernames, passwords or credit card numbers. The criminal then uses this information to steal the victim’s identity.
Examples of Phishing Messages
Examples of phishing emails, texts, or pop-ups may have messages such as:
“We suspect an unauthorized transaction has occurred on your account. To help ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.”
“During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn’t verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information.”
“Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund.”
When sending these types of messages, the senders are phishing for your information so they can use it to commit fraud.
To avoid becoming the victim of a phishing scam, Bank Irvine offers the following tips:
Remember: Legitimate businesses do not ask for sensitive information through unsecure channels.
A new email scam targeting taxpayers has emerged. According to the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), taxpayers are receiving emails that appear to be from TAP about a tax refund. These emails are a phishing scam, trying to trick unsuspecting victims into providing personal and financial information. Do not respond or click the links in them. If you receive an email that appears to be from TAP regarding your personal tax information, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and note that it seems to be a scam email phishing for your information.
TAP is a volunteer board that advises the IRS on systemic issues affecting taxpayers. It never requests and does not have access to, any taxpayer’s personal and financial information such as Social Security and PIN numbers or passwords and similar information for credit cards, banks or other financial institutions.
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Note that the IRS will never:
Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but now the IRS is receiving new reports of scammers calling under the guise of verifying tax return information over the phone.
Scam artists call saying they have your tax return, and they just need to verify a few details to process your return. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards.
Mortgage fraud continues to be one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. Traditional mortgage fraud includes situations in which consumers, lenders, brokers or real estate agents falsify information to obtain a mortgage. Consumers should never sign mortgage documents that have incomplete or inaccurate information. If you have any information regarding suspected mortgage fraud, please contact us at (949) 892-1999.
Malware is software designed to harm or exploit any programmable device, service or network. Cybercriminals typically use it to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information (e.g., financial data, healthcare records, personal emails and passwords, etc.) or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. Malware is usually distributed through malicious websites, emails and software.
Examples of malware include computer viruses, spyware, ransomware, worms, trojan horses and other malicious programs. Malware works to remain unnoticed, either by actively hiding or by simply not making its presence on a system known to the user. Typical methods of attack: email attachments, malicious advertisements on popular sites, fake software installations, infected USB drives, infected apps, phishing emails, and even text messages.
Bank Irvine offers the following tips to help reduce the potential release of malware into your computer or network:
Corporate account takeover (CAT) is the business equivalent of personal identity theft. Hackers, backed by professional criminal organizations, target small and medium sized businesses to obtain access to their online banking credentials or to seize remote control of their computers. These hackers will then drain the deposit and credit lines of the compromised bank accounts, funneling the funds through mules that quickly redirect the monies overseas into hackers’ accounts.
The steps of a typical Corporate Account Takeover include:
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to understand how to take proactive steps to avoid, or at least minimize threats.
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal or financial information without your permission. They might steal your name and address, credit card, or bank account numbers, Social Security number, or medical insurance account numbers. Then, they could use them to
Bank Irvine offers the following tips to help you protect your information and prevent identity theft:
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, it is important to act quickly to minimize the damage to your finances and your credit standing.
The Consumer Federation of America provides information to consumers through research, advocacy and education. CFA also partners with financial institutions to help educate clients through advertising, readings and other publications.
The FDIC offers a wide range of resources and tools to help protect consumers from financial harm by providing financial education and resources in their communities.