Mobile Banking – What You Need to Know
The Top 4 Mobile Banking Risks
- Manipulated texts and calls claiming to be from your credit union
- Phishing links in emails and fake fraud alerts
- Physical phone theft and hacking
- Fake mobile banking apps
1. Manipulated Texts and Calls Claiming to be from Your Credit Union
The easiest way for scammers to get access to your mobile credit union account is by scamming you.
Social Engineering Hacks use psychology and urgency to trick victims into giving up credentials that offer scammers access to financial accounts. A common tactic is fooling you into thinking your account has been hacked. Here’s how it works:
- You receive a call or text about a suspicious transaction from someone claiming to be from your credit union.
- Scammers can even spoof (or manipulate) the phone number to make it look like it’s coming from your credit union’s official number.
- If you respond, they’ll tell you they need to close your compromised account and transfer your money into a new “safe” one.
- But in reality, you’re sending your entire account balance to the scammer through a wire transfer, Zelle, or other payment system that can’t be reversed.
Know this! Complex Community Federal Credit Union will never call and ask you account numbers, request you transfer cash or open a new account over the phone. If someone calls, simply tell them you will call them back, hang up, and call CCFCU at 432.550.9126. Again, we will never ask for your full account number, credit card number nor your full social security number over the phone.
2. Phishing Links in Emails and Fake Fraud Alerts
Scammers will also send you phishing emails that try to trick you into giving up sensitive data such as usernames and passwords. These emails may look just like mail you’re used to receiving from your credit union — and the sender could even spoof the “from” name to look like it’s legitimate.
But if you click on the link in the email, it will take you to a site designed to steal your information. Even worse, the links in phishing emails could download malware to your device that gives hackers access to your mobile banking app.
Phishing emails don’t necessarily have to come from your credit union either. You could get a malicious email from scammers posing as Netflix, a courier service, and more.
Know this! If you receive an email from CCFCU with a fraud alert, don’t respond! Don’t open any links in the email! Call us at 432.550.9126.
3. Physical Phone Theft and Hacking
An unsecured or stolen phone can be a payday for scammers. If you don’t keep your mobile device locked, a scammer can steal it and gain access to your most sensitive accounts and information.
Even if you do lock your phone, a skilled hacker could use special software to access your accounts or even use your Apple Pay or Google Pay account all without unlocking your phone.
Always keep your phone in a secure place when in public, such as a purse or front pocket.
Know this! If you lose your phone and are concerned a hacker may have access to your account, call us so we can assist in changing your password. Call us at 432.550.9126.
4. Fake Mobile Banking Apps
If scammers can’t access your mobile banking app, they’ll try to trick you into using a fraudulent app.
These fake apps look like the legitimate ones they’re impersonating. But after you enter your credentials, you receive an error message. At the same time, the scammer will take your information and log into your account on the real app.
Make sure to only download apps from legitimate app stores and check the developer’s name to ensure that it matches your credit union.
Know this! Our app is only available through Apple and Google official app stores!
Phishing attacks are getting more sophisticated and harder to identify. If anyone reaches out to you claiming to be from CCFCU, don’t engage with them. Instead, call the official number on the CCFCU website (or on the back of your card) and ask to speak to someone about the issue.
It should go without saying, but never send account details or financial information to anyone via email, text messages, or phone. And beware of any link or attachment in an unsolicited email.
Download apps only from official app stores.
Keep your devices and apps up to date. Scammers can take advantage of vulnerabilities in outdated devices and apps.
Use strong passwords that are not tied to anything someone might find on your social media or other digital footprint. It can feel inconvenient to use multi-factor authentication, but it is a good way to add a layer of protection. Remember, you want to make it hard for someone to access your personal information.
Sitting at the local coffee shop and want to check your balance? Resist using the wifi! Instead use your data plan or mobile hotspot. Wifi is convenient and free, but it’s not safe when it comes to your financial information.
Did a Scammer Access Your Mobile Banking App? Do This!
- Alert CCFCU immediately and freeze your account.
- Update your phone’s security software and run an antivirus scan.
- Delete any malicious or unfamiliar apps that you find.
- Check your credit union account, credit card, and other financial service accounts for charges or changes that you didn’t make.
- Alert the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — about the hack and ask for a credit freeze to assure no one can assume credit in your name.
- Get a free copy of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. Report any errors or fraudulent charges to us and any other impacted companies.
Mobile banking can be fast and convenient but even the best mobile banking apps are vulnerable to breaches, data exposure, and scammers. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up on the banking from your mobile phone.
Instead, watch out for common mobile banking scams and vulnerabilities, and follow our best practices for keeping your accounts safe. And for added protection, consider signing up for identity theft protection and credit monitoring services.
Helping you to keep your financial information safe. Just another way we are . . . Present for You.
This post was written by Lisa Wyman