Watch out for checking account information scams

When it comes to your checking account information, it's best to follow the age-old advice that you shouldn't talk to strangers.

This is the mantra that comes with any report of scams that seek your sensitive information. Keep in mind that we'll never ask for any private data via email, and you can always give us a call or visit your local branch to verify any information requests you receive.

This is particularly important to remember as scammers try to woo you with promises of huge payouts for winning a competition. An 80-year-old woman in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, for example, received a fraudulent call from a number originating from the District of Columbia, according to the Muskogee Phoenix. The caller told her that she'd been awarded $19,000 because she paid her bills on time.

However, the potential victim knew the scenario seemed to be a scam and berated the caller rather than providing her account information. According to the source, Muskogee County Police Department Deputy Sheriff Faye Banks said the department has fielded several complaints relating to these calls, and consumers should ignore any offer that seems to be unrealistic.

Safeguarding your information
Not all consumers are so lucky to avoid a scam. The Prescott News reported one 89-year-old man in Prescott, Arizona, lost $25,000 to fraudsters who said he won nearly $1.2 million from Publishers Clearing House. The victim sent the scammers his account information and Social Security number and wired the $25,000 to a bank on the East Coast. He became aware that he was being scammed only when a Safeway employee stopped him from sending $10,000 worth of gift cards to the scammers.

Scams of this nature can drain the funds in your checking account and put you in a tough spot financially. To protect your information, don't fall for any calls that sound too good to be true. Also, review our tips for safeguarding your funds, which include:

  • Checking your account balance
  • Shredding sensitive documents
  • Keeping an eye on your mail
  • Reading your bank statements
  • Protecting your PIN and online banking login information
  • Contacting us if something looks wrong

These tips are not to say there won't be times where you'll legitimately win money, but they do indicate that you should always verify the caller's identity and take other steps to ensure your information doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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