Are You Protecting Your Financial Information?
Each year scam artists and identity thieves steal billions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. Fraudsters use a variety of communication methods to target their victims. You might receive an email, text message, phone call, instant message, social media message, postal mail, or messages within communities on websites and mobile apps — like dating sites and discussion forums.
Learn how to recognize common scams, take action if you think you are a victim of fraud, and determine what you can do to protect your finances from fraud.
On this page, you will find screenshots of some of the latest fraudulent/phishing emails, top tips to avoid becoming a victim, links to Vantage West blog posts about specific kinds of scams, and links to external resources including the Federal Trade Commission’s website, Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker, and others.
Avoid Becoming a Victim
- If you have any reason to believe you might be a fraud victim, the first thing to do is change your online banking password
- To report suspicious activity, verify whether any communication is legitimate, or ask any other questions about your account, please call us at 800.888.7882
- If you receive any call, email, text, or other communication requesting your PIN, account details, address, or other personal information, hang up and call your financial institution
- Even if an email or phone call appears to be coming from Vantage West, if it seems at all suspicious, please call us at 800.888.7882 to verify if it is legitimate
- If someone calls you claiming to be from Vantage West’s fraud team, they already have the information they need to be calling you – we will not ask to verify your debit or credit card number, home/mailing address, security code, or other personal information
- Do not share your online banking login or PIN with anybody (even if you have a joint account owner, they are able to create their own login)
- Consider making your mobile phone number (instead of your email address) the primary method for receiving the one-time security code
- Set up notifications in online banking to get alerted when activity occurs on your account, such as logins, deposits, transfers, and more
- Set up credit monitoring in online banking (click “more”, “Credit Central”, “Launch Credit Central”, then “Monitoring”)
Two Common Types of Fraud
- Card Fraud
Card fraud occurs when a cardholder’s personal details like PIN or CVV are stolen to make unauthorized purchases or cash withdrawals.
Examples of card fraud include:
- Card not present: Fraud occurs without use of the physical card. The fraudster typically purchases online or over the phone using the card information, including the CVV number.
- Card skimming: Fraudster obtains the card information, including card number and PIN, by utilizing skimming devices embedded at gas station pumps, ATMs, or point-of-sale devices. The fraudster copies the card information and prints a new card, then uses it for purchases or withdrawals.
- Identity or Online Banking Fraud
Identity or online banking fraud is unauthorized use of a victim’s online banking credentials to transfer funds out of the victim’s account into an unknown individual’s account.
- When someone’s online banking credentials are compromised, the fraudster could potentially transfer or withdraw entire savings and/or checking account balances before the victim even realizes it.
- Online banking credentials are often obtained through phishing emails, text messages, and/or telephone calls asking individuals to confirm their online banking credentials or other personal information.
Use the tips in our blogs below to avoid becoming a victim of either of these schemes, or others.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Website: The FTC offers updates on the most recent scams and tips to avoid becoming a victim.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Scam Tracker: This site shows an interactive map with details on current scams and dollars lost, with the option to report a scam.
Arizona Attorney General’s Consumer Scam Warnings: This list of consumer scams focuses on protecting Arizona seniors from financial exploitation, but these warnings can benefit any consumer.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Fraud Alerts: Information on abusive tax schemes and how to report tax fraud to the IRS.