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How to Stay Off the Hook When Fraudsters are Phishing

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2.14.2022
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Security
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Michael Quirk

Technology is ever-adapting and always improving. Unfortunately, so are hackers and identity thieves. Whether it is via text messages, phone calls or emails, cyber criminals are expanding how they target their potential victims. One infamous strategy is to impersonate a bank, telling the customer that action is required on their accounts or asking for sensitive information, such as PIN numbers, account numbers or passwords. By following the tips below, you can become more cognizant of potential phishing threats and learn how to best avoid them.

Check the Sender’s Email Address

If you receive an email from an account claiming to be Ameris Bank, first check the sender’s email address. If it contains random letters or numbers, or most importantly, if it is not from the “@amerisbank.com” domain, you are likely dealing with a fraudster. The tried-and-true method of “check the source” is always a prudent place to start vetting.

Do Not Trust the Caller ID

One common tactic utilized by scammers is spoofing, or using fake caller ID information, making it very hard to spot a scammer’s call. If you are immediately asked if you can hear them, hang up. That could be a trick where the scammer records you saying “yes” to use as your agreement to proceed with their scam.

Never Provide Personal Information

A massive red flag is if the communication asks for your PIN number, account number, password, social security number or any other personal information. Ameris Bank will never ask you for this information over the phone or through email or text message.

Check for Misspelled Words

If you see misspellings or major grammatical errors in an email, that is a major red flag. While companies like Ameris employ professionals to write and check communications, cyber criminals don’t dwell on spell check, and their messages often include glaring mistakes.

Hover Over Links Without Clicking Them

Never click a link in a text or email that seems suspicious. Even if an email seems legitimate, you should hover your mouse over the link (again, make sure not to click it) for a moment and the URL’s destination should appear on your screen. If something looks “off” with the link, it could be malicious.

If You are Ever in Doubt, Contact Ameris

If you are ever unsure if a text, email or call is truly a contact attempt from Ameris Bank, call your local branch or the phone number listed on the back of your card. They can tell you whether the communication is actually from one of our teammates.

By following these tips and having a healthy amount of cautious skepticism, you can avoid a fraudster’s attempts.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.