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Understanding and Protecting Yourself from Spoofing Scams

By: One Nevada Credit Union / 02 May 2023
A group of people sitting around a table with a diagram of scammers

Is that really your bank calling? Beware! It might be a spoofing scam.

Recently, we've seen an increase in spoofing scams in our community. Discover common tactics, warning signs, and effective prevention tips to stay safe online. Here is what you need to know about spoofing scams and how to avoid becoming a victim..

What is spoofing?

Spoofing is a type of scam in which a criminal disguises an email address, display name, phone number, text message, or website URL to convince a target that they are interacting with a known, trusted source. Today we will be focusing primarily on phone number spoofing. A phone number spoofing scam is when a scammer disguises their phone number to appear as if they are calling from a reliable source, such as your financial institution. Nevadans are seeing an uptick in fraudsters using spoofed bank phone numbers to text and call victims in order to gain your trust and reveal personal information.

How the Spoofing Scam Works

The scammers will call or text "spoofing" a familiar bank phone number. The scammer makes contact and claims to be a bank employee who identified a suspicious transaction. These transactions will usually be out of state or large to create a sense of urgency and play on the victim's emotions. The scammer will ask the victim to verify the transaction. Then they'll assure the victim they can stop the transaction from being processed if the victim confirms their identity.

The scammer will then ask the victim to share some personal information with them. The scammer will often ask for an online banking username or password, debit card numbers and PIN, Mobile wallet multi-factor authentication codes and online banking multi-factor authentication codes, and social security numbers. Some scammers will be bold enough to ask for access to your system remotely. Once the scammer has obtained the information, they'll access the victim's banking accounts or mobile wallet and transfer funds. The fraudsters will often complete the scam and log in while the victim is still on the phone.

A group of people sitting around a table with a diagram of scammers

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

  • If the credit union calls you, always collect the name and department of the person calling, then hang up and call back on the main One Nevada line (800) 388-3000 and ask for the person that called you.
  • Remember, we will never initiate contact with you and ask for a multi-factor authentication code.
  • We'll also never initiate contact to ask you to share your online banking username, password, or PIN for your debit card, or other personal information.
  • If you share information with a scammer, contact One Nevada as soon as possible so we can take preventative measures to protect your account.
  • Keep in mind that scammers use many different spoofing strategies. Recently, banks, local doctors' offices, city services, and even the police and sheriff's departments have all been used in spoofing scams.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call (800) 388-3000. At One Nevada, fraud prevention is one of our top priorities. We want to help you avoid scams and protect your money.

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