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Gift Card and Mobile Deposit Scams Alert

Fraudsters are continuing to get creative in ways that they can scam money out of innocent people. They will stop at nothing to try and trick you into giving them your personal and account information. It is important to watch out for their latest scams and understand ways to protect yourself.

Don’t fall victim to the Mobile Deposit Scam:

In this type of scam, fraudsters say they will deposit a check to the victim’s account through mobile deposit instead of mailing them a check. The victim is instructed to provide their account number and, in some instances, their online and mobile banking credentials. With access to the victim’s account, the fraudster deposits a check using mobile deposit and transfers the funds to another account by wire transfer, a peer-to-peer (P2P) service such as PayPal or Venmo, or other electronic transfer. By the time the check returns on the victim’s account, the fraudster has run off with the money they transferred and the victim is left responsible for the loss of funds.

Beware of the Gift Card Scam:

The use of gift cards to steal money from consumers has become prevalent nowadays. This scam can take many forms, but in general, this is what to watch for: The victim responds to a personal ad or is contacted by phone, email, text, or via social media with the promise of getting paid to help someone do something. The victim is mailed a fake check or asked to provide their Mobile Banking credentials so the scammer can deposit the check directly to their account. The scammer instructs the victim to send gift cards purchased with the money, but says they can “keep” a portion of the funds for their help. Then the fraudulent check does not clear and the victim is left with a negative balance. It is important to note, that victims are still liable for the losses.

Ways to avoid being scammed:

  • Don’t respond: If you’re not 100% certain of the source of the call, email, or text, then hang up the phone, don’t click on the link in the email, and don’t reply to the text message.
  • Beware of phony phone calls: If you recognize the caller ID but the call seems suspicious, hang up the phone. Phone numbers can be easily spoofed to appear to be from a legitimate caller.
  • Never give out your information: Never provide any personally identifiable information unless you’re absolutely certain the person and reason are legitimate. Remember: Legitimate companies will never ask for your passwords or PIN.
  • Research and validate: If the individual or organization seems suspicious, make sure the request being made is legitimate by calling the organization through an official number from their website or discussing with a Trailhead representative.
  • Trust your gut instincts. If it all sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Learn more about identity theft and ways to prevent it by visiting our Identity Theft Resource Page.