How to Recognize and Avoid Scams

How to Recognize and Avoid Scams

August 8, 2022

Tagged As: Personal

Recently, we have seen an increase in fraudulent scams targeting our customers. And as time goes on, these scams have become more sophisticated. That’s why it’s more important than ever to familiarize yourself with common scam tactics, and ensure you don’t give out sensitive banking information to anyone.

Common Scams in 2022

The most common types of fraud affecting consumers today are known as “phishing” or “imposter” scams – where a scammer reaches out via phone, text, email, or social media and pretends to be someone you trust. That could be a friend or family member, a bank employee, a Social Security official, an online merchant such as Amazon, or even a potential romantic partner on a dating site.

These scams aren’t always easy to spot. Fraudsters use technology to “spoof” their number and caller ID to make it appear as though it is coming from Hills Bank or another trusted service provider, such as a transaction verifier. Or via email, they’ll use similar-looking email addresses as legitimate businesses.

They may ask you to transfer money or provide personal information, such as your banking credentials, account or debit card number, PIN, CVV (three digit card code), or other sensitive data, such as your Secure Access Code that is sent to verify a login attempt. You should know that bank employees or trusted third parties will NEVER require this information.

How to Avoid Being Scammed

Take Your Time

Scammers often rely on making their targets feel stressed by demanding they take action urgently. That way, potential victims don’t have time to think through whether what the scammer is asking for actually makes sense. You should know that, even when you are contacted by a legitimate organization, you will never need to make an immediate payment or otherwise feel pressured to resolve an issue without thinking it over.

 

Use known contact information to get in touch

If you are contacted by someone who claims to be from Hills Bank or a reputable third party, take these steps before giving them any information:

  1. Ask for their name and contact information
  2. Thank them for the call/message and hang up
  3. Look up the organization’s contact information on Google or their official website
  4. Get back in touch to discuss any sensitive information

By getting in touch using official contact channels, you can better protect yourself from phishing/imposter scams.

 

Get in touch with us

If you think you may have been the victim of fraud, or if you receive a communication from someone claiming to be from Hills Bank and want to verify its legitimacy, please get in contact with us at 1-800-445-5725 (1-800-HILLSBK)

  • Customer Contact Center hours:
    • Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    • Saturday 8 a.m. – noon

You can also get in touch with a member of our staff on hillsbank.com or the Hills Bank mobile app by clicking the “Chat Here” button at the bottom of your screen.

 

Check your bank statements frequently

More than anything, fraudsters want cash. Watch for unexpected withdrawals or transactions and be sure to contact your bank right away if you see something suspicious.

Learn more about how to recognize and avoid fraud.