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Pandemic Causing Rise in Fraud

Don’t be a Target- Know the Signs of Fraud Targeting Consumers and Businesses

Pandemic Causing Rise in Fraud

Over the past few months, criminals have developed a new set of fraud schemes in an attempt to profit off the pandemic crisis. We want to share some of the specific tactics we have seen to help you spot the signs of pandemic-related fraud.

Unemployment Insurance Fraud

This fraud happens when a deposit is received into your account for an unemployment insurance claim that may or may not be in your name. You then receive an urgent and sometimes threatening phone call stating this deposit was an error, and that you must wire the money back quickly. The fraudster is trying to get you to do this before the *ACH transfer comes back fraudulent.

Free Loan

This fraud happens when you receive a phone call or letter indicating that you are going to receive a free loan. This loan may be to start a business or repair for your home. While they say it is free, it comes with a catch; you need to wire some of the money back to cover a fee.  The fraudster is hoping that you will wire the money before the deposit comes back fraudulent.

Compromised Debit Card

This fraud happens when the fraudster calls claiming to be from your bank, and that your debit card has been compromised. They will then ask you to provide your full debit card number. Once they have your debit card number, they will start charging purchases to your card.

At Commerce Bank, we take protecting your personal information very seriously. We are committed to providing you with the tools, tips and resources you need to keep your information safe and secure.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your accounts are to monitor them closely with tools like Online and Mobile Banking. With these services, you can check your account balances, transactions and more- any time in real time. You can also sign up for Account Alerts which are customizable notifications to help stay on top of your account activity.

As a Commerce Bank customer, you also have access to the free CardValet app, which gives you more control over your debit card. You can turn your card on or off, set spending limits and even choose geographical areas where your card will or will not work.

Not only have fraudsters been targeting individuals throughout the pandemic they have also been targeting businesses. We would like to share the specific tactics we have seen fraudsters use to target businesses.

Email Scams

This frauds happens when employers receive an email from an employee asking them to change their direct deposit.  The fraudster is trying to catch you off guard while you are working different hours or working from home, so that you change the direct deposit without contacting the employee to confirm the change.  Another email scam we have been seeing is vendor related. While working with a vendor you will receive an email asking to change the payment address, wire information, or amount for the payment. They again are trying to catch you off guard so that you will send the payment without double checking with the vendor. We encourage you to pick up the phone and make the call to confirm any changes to direct deposits, or payment information.

Deposit Scams

This fraud happens when a deposit is sent to the bank and deposited into the customers’ business account. The customer will then receive an urgent, sometimes threatening phone call asking them to send the money back to the fraudster.  They will claim that it was an overpayment, oversight, or error that it was sent to you. The fraudster is trying to get you to do this before the check comes back fraudulent. It is important when you have deposits into your account, that you are not sending things back out before you verify that everything is ok.

Unemployment Claim Scam

This fraud happens when a fraudulent *ACH debit is originated to your account for an employee that never worked for you. The Fraudster is trying again to catch you off guard and hoping that you will not notice.  It is very important that you look at every detail of the credits and debits going in and out of your account.

Here at Commerce Bank of Wyoming, we take protecting your business and account information very seriously. We are committed to providing you with the tools, tips and resources you need to keep your information safe and secure. Visit our Online Security Center at for the latest news and resources.

We make it easy to monitor all your business accounts on our secure website with Online Business Banking. You have the ability to monitor transactions and account balances in real time and you can access a detailed transaction history for every account.

Don’t worry, if you’re on the go, you can even access your accounts from the convenience of your mobile phone with the Commerce Bank of Wyoming app.

Visit us online or call us for more information. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

 

*ACH: Automated Clearing House is a network that coordinates electronic payments and automated money transfers for financial transactions in the United States. ACH processes large volumes of credit and debit transactions in batches. ACH credit transfers include direct deposit, payroll and vendor payments and is a way to more money between banks without using paper checks, wire transfers, credit card networks or cash.

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