Your Guide to Recognizing and Avoiding Fraud

May 31, 2024

In today’s digital age, the threat of falling victim to online scams has become increasingly prevalent. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there were a staggering 2.6 million reports of fraud from consumers in 2023 alone. Romance scams, pressure tactics, and phishing schemes are just a few examples of the deceptive practices employed by fraudsters. As your trusted community bank, Bay State Savings Bank is committed to helping you navigate, recognize, and avoid fraud through financial education. Let’s dive into some common scams and practical ways to stay safe:

Imposter Scams & Phishing: Imposter scams and phishing involve fraudsters impersonating trusted organizations, such as government agencies, banks, utility companies, or even charities. They utilize technology to manipulate caller IDs, making it appear as though the call is coming from a legitimate source. These scammers often prey on individuals’ trust in familiar entities to extract personal information or payments.

Pressure Scams: Pressure scams rely on instilling fear or urgency in their victims to coerce them into taking immediate action. Scammers may say you’re in trouble with the government, you owe money, someone in your family had an emergency, or there’s a virus on your computer. It’s essential to remain calm and refrain from making any decisions before verifying the information with a trusted source first.

Payment Scams: Payment scams involve fraudsters insisting on unconventional payment methods, such as cryptocurrency, wire transfers, payment apps, or gift cards. They may even send fake checks, instructing victims to deposit them and send back a portion of the funds. Be cautious of any requests for payment that seem unusual or come from unfamiliar sources.

Romance Scams: Romance scams target individuals seeking companionship or love online. Fraudsters create fake profiles on dating websites or social media platforms, building rapport and trust with their victims before requesting money or personal information. These scams often involve elaborate stories and emotional manipulation to deceive individuals into sending funds or providing financial assistance.

Amidst the prevalence of these scams, it’s crucial to arm yourself with knowledge and strategies to protect against fraudulent activity.

Staying Safe:

  • Block unwanted calls and text messages.
  • Protect your personal information.
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately.
  • Stop and talk to someone you trust.
  • Report suspected fraud to the authorities.

At Bay State Savings Bank, we prioritize your security and are here to assist in educating you on the potential risks. We are committed to helping you navigate, recognize, and avoid online scams through financial education. Additionally, if you have any concerns about online security or if you suspect you are the victim of fraud, contact us right away or visit any Bay State Savings Bank branch so that we can assist you. Together, we can ensure a safer banking experience for all.