Man on Phone

Robocall scams are continuing to rise, playing off of the public’s fear of the coronavirus.  Falling for one of these scams could put you at risk for identity theft or leave your financial information in danger of being stolen.  By following a few easy guidelines, you can spare yourself or your company, a huge headache.

Robocall Scams

You’re probably already familiar with robocall scams on your cell or office phone.  Scammers often call with a pre-recorded message about a variety of topics asking you to talk to a representative or call a number back.  These come from illegitimate organizations that will sometimes impersonate real companies, and if you fall for their scam, they will take your personal or financial information.

Now, with COVID-19, criminals are using the virus and peoples’ fear as a backdrop in their robocalls.  According to the Federal Communications Commission, scammers have recently been using robocalls to impersonate government agencies or financial institutions where they seek sensitive information from victims.  They may call about COVID-19 testing, cures, outbreak information, student loan payments, or financial relief (including government checks).  The recorded message may state they have important information, or that you need to call back urgently.  If you call back, they will likely say you need to pay them for the information, or that they need your info to get more details.  In reality, they are just looking to steal your personal data.

Keeping your info safe

An important rule of thumb is to never give out your personal information over the phone or email if you are not 100% sure of the caller’s identity.  If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a government organization or other institution asking for your personal information, hang up immediately.  If you are concerned, look up the organization that supposedly called you, and find their contact number on your own.  Scammers have the ability to “spoof” numbers so that the call may appear to actually come from the organization they claim to be.  If you’re suspicious, play it safe and call the supposed organization back on your own after looking up the correct number.

Scammers will always find new ways to play off your fears, but by being aware of their strategies, you can keep yourself safe and protected.  For more information, visit the FCC and FTC websites.

Bank of Southern California is committed to providing resources to help keep our clients’ assets safe and secure. To learn more about how to grow and protect your business, call 844.BNK.SOCAL.