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6 Ways to Outwit the Impersonators

In the ever-evolving world of online fraud, we’re here to help you stay one step ahead. Impersonation scams have become some of the most sophisticated tools in the fraudster’s arsenal. Keep reading to learn more about impersonation scams—and how to defuse them.

Understanding Impersonation Scams

Impersonation scams involve fraudsters posing as someone you know and trust in order to get personal, sensitive information such as Social Security numbers or banking information. These scams take many forms such as emails, phone calls, texts, with the aim of deceiving you into revealing personal and financial details:

Email Spoofing: Scammers often send emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as your bank or government agency. They may contain urgent messages, asking you to verify your account details by clicking on a link, which leads to a fake website designed to capture your information.

Phone Calls: Impersonators may call you posing as bank representatives or government officials, claiming issues with your account or taxes. They might ask for your personal information, including account numbers or Social Security numbers.

Text Messages: Similar to email scams, fraudulent text messages may claim to be from your bank, prompting you to click on a link or reply with sensitive information.


Tips for Identifying Scams

1. Verify the Source

Always double-check the sender’s email address or phone number. Confirm unexpected messages by contacting the supposed sender directly. For example, if you receive an email from us but you’re unsure whether it’s valid, just call our office to confirm.

2. Be Skeptical of Urgency

Scammers often create a sense of urgency to pressure you into providing information without thinking first. Take a moment to consider before responding to urgent requests.

3. Use Secure Channels

Banks and official institutions typically use secure channels for communication. Look for “https” in website URLs. The “s” is for “secure.” If you don’t see it, avoid sharing any sensitive information.

4. Educate Yourself

We work hard to keep you informed about the latest scam tactics. Take time to read our Fraud Tips or do your own research—it’s crucial to be aware of the evolving techniques used by fraudsters.

5. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Enhance your account security by enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible. This requires a second form of identification to access resources and data, providing an extra layer of protection even if scammers obtain your login credentials.

6. Monitor Your Accounts

Regularly review your bank statements and account activities. Report any suspicious transactions or unauthorized access immediately.

By staying vigilant about the impersonators’ latest tactics, you can protect yourself and your money. Farmers and Merchants Bank is committed to your financial well-being, and we urge you to follow these tips. After all, keeping your safe is what we’re all about.