We recently received this email with important information about banking scams from Jeff from Connecticut. Here’s what he had to say.
I am reaching out to you regarding a suspicious banking email that I received recently. I followed your previous advice and refrained from clicking on any links in the email. I also checked the email address and found that it was not a Wells Fargo address. However, the email looked exactly like it came from my bank, which is quite concerning. I believe it is crucial to inform your readers about this banking email scam so they can avoid falling victim to it.
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Fake Wells Fargo Email (Cyberguy.com)
You can see above how convincing Jeff’s email looks and how much more skilled scammers are getting with tricking people. Let’s go over some key points to remember when receiving an email like this.
How can you tell if an email is a scam?
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The first thing to remember is to always check the email address of the sender. As you can see in the picture above, the sender’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org, which is not a name that would be connected with Wells Fargo. An email address from a bank will always be verifiable, and you should make sure to look up customer service contacts of your bank to verify if an email address is legit.
You also must remember to never click any links in an email sent to you, especially if it’s sent from an address you do not recognize. You should avoid opening any attachments within the email as well, as these could all lead to malware installed on your device. If the message also seems urgent and the sender is warning you to complete a task right away or risk consequences, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a scam artist.
What other scams should I be on the lookout for?
Besides emailing, scammers will also try to trick you by sending fake text messages directly to your phone and making it look like it’s coming from your bank. There are ways for you to tell, however, whether these texts are legit or not.
The first thing to think about is whether or not you actually opted to have text messages sent by your bank. If you haven’t, then that’s the first telltale sign that it’s a scam. And if you can’t remember if you’ve opted in or not, you should first login to your online banking portal and check to see if you did.
Woman on the phone (Cyberguy.com)
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If you have agreed to receive texts from your bank, then you should first see if they’re asking you for any personal information. A bank would never reach out to you via text if the situation was that urgent, so if the text is asking you for your PIN code, online credentials, or other account information, then it’s a scam.
You should also be watching out for language indicating urgency. Just like with phishing emails, a scammer will try to scare you into taking immediate action, so be careful not to fall for it. Plus, remember not to click any links in a message right away. These links will likely lead to suspicious websites asking for more personal information, or they could potentially install malware onto your device.
What other ways can I protect myself?
Turn on Antivirus protection
The best thing you can do yourself to avoid getting scammed is by installing antivirus software on all your devices. In the scam email above, having Antivirus software would prevent you from clicking through to any malicious sites or installations.
See my expert review of the best antivirus protection for your Windows, Mac, Android & iOS devices by visiting CyberGuy.com/LockUpYourTech .
Related: Free antivirus: should you use it?
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I’ve been scammed! What to do next?
Below are some next steps if you do find you or your loved one is a victim of identity theft.
- If you can regain control of your accounts, change your passwords and inform the account provider
- Look through bank statements and checking account transactions to see where outlier activity started
Use a Fraud protection service: Identity Theft companies can monitor personal information like your Social Security Number (SSN), phone number, and email address and alert you if it is being sold on the dark web or being used to open an account. They can also assist you in freezing your bank and credit card accounts to prevent further unauthorized use by criminals. One of the best parts of using my #1 pick includes identity theft insurance of up to 1 million dollars to cover losses and legal fees and a white glove fraud resolution team where a US-based case manager helps you recover any losses. See my tips and best picks on how to protect yourself from identity theft by visiting CyberGuy.com/IdentityTheft .
How to protect yourself from identity theft (Cyberguy.com)
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- Report any breaches to official government agencies like the Federal Communications Commission
- Get the professional advice of a lawyer before speaking to law enforcement, especially when you are dealing with criminal identity theft if being a victim of criminal identity theft leaves you unable to secure employment or housing
- Alert all three major credit bureaus and possibly place a fraud alert on your credit report
- Run your own background check or request a copy of one if that is how you discovered your information has been used by a criminal.
If you are a victim of identity theft, the most important thing to do is to take immediate action to mitigate the damage and prevent further harm. Also, here are some other scams to look out for beyond banking scams.
It’s important to be vigilant and cautious when receiving emails or text messages from your bank. Always verify the sender’s email address and content before taking any action. By following these simple steps and using antivirus software, you can protect yourself from falling victim to banking scams and other online fraud.
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