News: How to Protect Yourself from Common Banking Scams

At Texas Bay Credit Union, we prioritize your financial safety. As technology advances, so do the tactics employed by scammers. Even more concerning is the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) tools that make cyber threats more sophisticated and harder to detect. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through common banking scams you should be aware of and offer tips on protecting yourself.

The Rise of AI in Cybersecurity Threats

Before we dive into common scams, it's crucial to understand the role of AI in creating cybersecurity threats. AI can quickly analyze vast amounts of data, enabling scammers to identify potential targets more efficiently. It can also mimic human behavior, making phishing emails and fake websites appear more convincing. Awareness of these advancements can help you stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.

Please remember, that Texas Bay Credit Union employees will not ask you for personal information in an email or text message (SMS) and will not initiate a call to you on the phone requesting personal information (member number, account numbers, credit card number, or debit card number, etc.) without you contacting us first for service.  If you are not sure or if you did not initiate the call, please call us back directly or call the number listed on the back of your debit or credit card. 

5 Signs of a Scam

If you spot any of these tactics, stop and walk away. You're probably being scammed.

They contacted you

When you contact a business, you know who's on the other end of the line. But when someone contacts you first, you can't be certain they're telling the truth. You don't know if they are who they say they are. And remember, email addresses and caller ID information can be faked.

They dangle bait—usually money

Let's face it: People simply don't give away large sums of money easily. If someone dangles bait in front of you—a big prize, a shopping spree, an easy loan — for nothing, they're probably lying.

They want your personal information

Anytime anyone asks for your personal information — bank accounts, social security number, etc. — you should be on alert. Don't give it away quickly or easily, especially to someone you don't know. You may become a victim of identity theft.

You have to pay them first

If someone offers you a prizedebt relief, or employment — but first you have to pay an upfront feeto get it —you're probably being scammed.

You have to wire money or send gift cards

If you're about to wire money or send gift cardsto someone in order to receive a prize, or pay off a debt collector who contacts you ... STOP! This may be a scammer trying to take your money.

Common Banking Scams to Watch Out For

Phishing Emails

What it is: Scammers send emails pretending to be from your bank, asking you to update or verify your account information.
How to Protect Yourself:  Always double-check the email address. The address should be from an account. Never click on any links or download attachments from suspicious emails.

Account Takeover

What it is: Fraudsters gain unauthorized access to your bank accounts and make transactions without your knowledge.
How to Protect Yourself:  Use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. Check your accounts for unauthorized transactions regularly and notify Texas Bay immediately of suspicious activity.

Fake Check Scams

What it is: You receive a check for an amount more considerable than owed and are asked to wire back the difference.
How to Protect Yourself:  Never wire money to someone you don't know. Always wait for checks to clear before using the funds.

Smishing and Vishing

What it is: Smishing is SMS phishing, and Vishing is voice phishing. Scammers contact you via text or call pretending to be from your bank.
How to Protect Yourself:  Never give out personal information over the phone or text. Confirm with your bank if you receive suspicious messages.

Pay Yourself Scam

What it is: Often a text or email that looks like a fraud alert from your bank asking if you authorized a transaction. If you respond, they’ll call as a bank representative offering to help you stop the alleged fraud. They’ll ask you to send money to yourself via transfer or person-to-person payment.
How to Protect Yourself:  Your bank will never call you to verify information or ask you to send money to yourself or to anyone. Do not give out any personal information over the phone or through email.

Local Scams in Houston

In Houston, we've noticed an uptick in local scams, often targeting older people, namely government impersonations, lottery winners, investment schemes, and romance scams. Always be cautious if you receive unsolicited calls or messages asking for immediate action or financial information.

How Texas Bay Credit Union Protects You

We employ state-of-the-art security measures, including a card control app, 24/7 fraud protection, and biometric log into your mobile app. If we detect any unusual activity, we'll alert you immediately. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the security of your Texas Bay accounts, or if you have received a suspicious email or text from us.

For more information on protecting your ID and accounts, visit our Fraud/Security page.

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