Mobile Payment Scams
With mobile payment scams, scammers may attempt to trick you into sending them money through a mobile payment apps like Venmo, CashApp, PayPal, or Zelle. That’s because they know once you do, it’s hard for you to get your money back. Be aware of how this scam works, know that it is happening in our area, and follow tips to avoid it.
The following is an overview of the scam:
- An American National customer receives a text that looks like a fraud alert from our bank. The text may say "Did you make a purchase of $525.32 at XYZ Store?".
- When the customer responds “No” (because the text was bait), the scammer will respond that someone from American National will contact you.
- They will then call the customer. In many cases, the number they are calling from appears to be the bank’s actual phone number which they have spoofed. (Don’t trust Caller ID!)
- The scammer will proceed to offer to help with the customer’s fraudulent activity. They will ask for a one-time code you would have received via text from “the bank.” (Remember, Banks never ask for this!)
- If the code is given to them, they will use it to enroll their bank account with Zelle® using your contact information or something that may resemble it. They may even go so far to have you change and share your online banking credentials. (Remember, Banks never ask for this!)
- If successful, the scammer now has access to your account via Zelle’s payment app. And if a customer shares their online banking credentials, many more kinds of fraudulent transactions can occur.
Tips to Avoid This Scam and Others:
- Keep it mind that while we may send texts to validate unusual activity on your account, we will NEVER ask you to share a security code or your online banking credentials to resolve fraud.
- If in doubt, hang up and call us back on a known phone number. You can't trust caller ID to verify who the person is on the other end of the phone.
- Learn more on how to safely use mobile payment apps.