Banks Never Ask That! How to Avoid Phishing Scams

Each year people are losing hundreds, even thousands of dollars to phishing scams.  According to the Federal Trade Commission Americans lost $1.9 billion to phishing and other scams in 2019.  Phishing scams are online scams in which criminals send emails, texts, or phone calls fraudulently and assume the identity of a legitimate bank or institution.  They try to trick the victim into providing confidential information.

How do they do it?

  • Scammers use company names you are familiar with or pretend to be someone you know. They send a text or email or a phone call that appears to be from a friend, family member, or an employee of a trusted organization like your bank or financial institution.
  • The scammer might also have personal information about you like your date of birth or password.
  • It is common for the scammer to say they need your information immediately. They may even say that something bad will happen if you do not act right away.

How do you recognize and avoid a phishing scam?

There are red flags to look out for that can help protect you from falling victim to a phishing scam.  There are certain things that a bank would never ask.

Your bank would never ask for the following items through email, text, or incoming phone call::

  • Your account number
  • Your username or passcode
  • Your SSN
  • Your pin
  • Your birthday
  • Your address
  • Share a one time code
  • To fill out a form
  • Download an attachment
  • Reveal a security question answer

If you do receive an email, text, or phone call asking for any of this information, that is a red flag.  Be safe and end the call or delete the text, or trash the email.  You could be asked confidential information if you call the bank, but not the other way around.

What should you do if you receive a scam email, call, or text?

  1. Do not panic. Most of the time it is perfectly safe to open the email or text.  Just make sure you don’t click on any links or download attachments.  Do not reply to sender.
  2. Report it.   Help fight scammers by reporting them. Forward suspected phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726). Then, report the phishing attack to the FTC at

What should you do if you fall for a scam email, text, or call?

  1. Contact your bank or financial institution.  Speak to the fraud department and explain that someone has stolen your identity.
  2. Request to close or freeze any accounts that may have been accessed in a scam.
  3. Change all of your login passwords and PIN identification.

You wouldn’t give your house keys to someone you don’t know or trust. Don’t give someone the keys to your bank account before you know who that person is and are certain that person can be trusted.

For more information about what you can do to protect your personal and financial information, read Avoiding COVID-19 Financial Scams Jarrettsville Federal.

The Federal Trade Commission posts information about current scams. Visit: or sign up for their scam alerts at FTC scam alerts.

We value our relationship with you at Jarrettsville Federal. Our products and services are designed with your best interests in mind. Our employees place the highest importance on protecting your information and preventing data loss.  Contact us immediately at 410 – 692- 5151 or visit our website at  if  you notice any suspicious or unusual activity related to any of your Jarrettsville Federal Bank accounts.