Fraud Types and Detection
How to identify and avoid a financial scam
Spotting a scam is easier when you know the tricks scammers use to get you to reveal sensitive financial information or send them money. The information included on this page can help you:
- Increase your awareness of popular scams.
- Learn to identify the warning signs.
- Understand the steps to protect yourself.
Scammers may use one of the following scenarios to get you to reveal sensitive information or send them money.
- Fake fraudulent activity: A scammer may pretend to be a representative from your bank or a popular retail company and tell you there is a problem with your account. They often try to get you to reveal sensitive account information by telling you they need this information to “help” you. Never give anyone your account password, debit card PIN, or one-time security codes.
- Fake check: A scammer may send you a realistic check that you then deposit because you believe it’s valid. They may have offered to buy something you listed for sale or pay you to work from home, among other scenarios. By the time you learn the check was fake, they may have already stolen your possession or money from you. Never deposit a check from any individual or business you do not know.
- Romance: A scammer you meet online may pretend to be interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with you to gain your affection and trust. This makes it easier for them to ask you for money and more likely that you will give it to them. Never send money or gifts to anyone you haven’t met in person.
- Computer technical support: After installing malicious software onto your computer through other fraudulent activity, the scammer may make an alert pop up on your computer that looks like it’s from your computer software provider. This alert may make you think you have a virus on your computer, and it may ask you to open files, call a phone number, click a link, or enter your personal or financial information. You should never complete any of these requests. Instead, look up a valid phone number for your software company and call to confirm.
- Immigration: A scammer may pretend to be a qualified professional who can help with paperwork. You pay them money to help, but they take the money and provide no services. Always use a legitimate United States government website to find a list of accredited representatives and recognized organizations in your area.
- Lottery or other prizes: A scammer may contact you and tell you that you’ve “won" money or some other prize, but before you can access your winnings, you must first pay a fee. Prepayment for winnings is a warning sign of a scam.
- Grandchild or family: A scammer may send you an email, text message, or social media message pretending to be a member of your family and asking you for money. Always try to verify the request in person or through video chat before sending money.
- Government: A scammer may pretend to be a representative from a government agency to try and scare you into sending money or revealing sensitive information. If you are being pressured to act immediately or else, that’s a warning sign of a scam.
Look out for these warning signs
It can be difficult to tell whether a call, email, or text message you receive is real or a scam, especially if it looks or sounds like it’s from a person or business you trust. If the person contacting you shows any of the following warning signs, you should immediately be suspicious.
They say they are a person you trust.
The person contacting you might say they are a representative from INTRUST Bank, the government, a popular retail or technology company, or a member of your family. The name and phone number on your caller ID or in an email or text message may not reflect who is actually contacting you.
They tell you there is a problem.
The person contacting you might say there is an issue with your account and ask you to verify some information. They may also say someone in your family had an emergency or you have a virus on your computer.
They pressure you to act immediately.
The person contacting you might say you will lose all your money if you don't act now. They might also tell you not to hang up, which makes it harder for you to verify their story.
They ask you to make a transaction.
The person contacting you may ask you to withdraw cash, wire money, put money on a gift card, or deposit a check that will later turn out to be fake. They may also ask you to use cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
Take these steps to protect yourself
Do not reveal confidential information.
Never give anyone your personal or financial information, including your online and mobile banking password, debit card PIN, or one-time security codes.
- INTRUST Bank employees do not need this information to assist you and will not ask for this information.
- Never change your password at the request of a suspicious caller.
Hang up and call back.
If you are unsure whether a call is real or a scam, you can hang up, verify the phone number, and call back.
- Do not use the number from the caller ID, email, or text message when contacting the institution.
- Look up a valid phone number. For INTRUST Bank, use your account statement, intrustbank.com, or the number on the back of your debit card.
Stop and talk to someone you trust.
Tell a friend, family member, or neighbor about a suspicious request you receive.
- This could help you better identify whether it’s a scam.
Be cautious of making payments.
Never move or send money at the request of someone you do not know. Always try to verify the request in person if it seems like it came from someone you know.
- Never trust someone who insists you use cryptocurrency.
- Do not deposit a check, send a wire transfer, or put money on a gift card for any individual or business you do not know.
Other scams to know
Skimming occurs when a criminal illegally attaches a skimmer device to a card reader or PIN pad, such as at an ATM or a gas pump. A skimmer is hard to detect because it looks like part of the machine (or is hidden within), and you can complete your transaction like normal. But the skimming device stores the information from the magnetic strip on the back of your card, which means the criminal has what they need to access your account and make unauthorized transactions.
Tap to pay and mobile wallets are contactless payment methods that can help you avoid a card skimmer. Neither method requires you to insert your card into a card reader, and each transaction generates a specific, one-time code to help reduce fraud. Look for the Contactless Symbol at checkout and hold your INTRUST Visa® debit card or smart device near the card reader to pay quickly and securely.
How can you tell if you've become a victim of fraud?
- Unexplained charges or withdrawals from your financial accounts.
- Not receiving bills or other statements.
- Receiving calls from collectors or companies about loans you didn't apply for or merchandise or services you didn't buy.
- Receiving credit cards that you didn't apply for.
- Receiving bills from unfamiliar sources.
- Receiving letters that ask you to confirm address changes that you didn't submit.
- Denial of credit for no apparent reason.
If you think you've become a victim of fraud, it’s important to let us know immediately.