Defending Your Dollars: Strategies to Safeguard Against Scams

a young woman works on her laptop at a cafe

The first week of March is National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), making it an opportune time to reflect on the importance of safeguarding your finances in an increasingly digital world. With more and more ways for people to steal your information, it becomes even more necessary to know the basics of cybersecurity and keeping your finances safe. At Academy Bank, we strive to protect your important information with the upmost care. We even have special perks in different checking accounts to keep your sensitive information safe from prying eyes. You can also take action against fraud by knowing how to see a scam and stopping these crooks in their tracks.

What are some ways I can prevent getting scammed?  

In today’s interconnected landscape, scammers continuously devise new methods to exploit unsuspecting people. Fraudsters are getting smart with phishing emails, fraudulent phone calls and even text messages. These deceptive techniques often involve posing as legitimate communications from financial institutions, and they aim to elicit sensitive information or unauthorized access to accounts. So how do you protect yourself against these scams? There are several ways to help you piece together if the communication is real without needing to be a text expert.  

1. Look beyond the logo

If you receive correspondence from your bank or any other company that handles sensitive information, don’t assume it’s real simply because they have a legitimate-looking logo. Scammers often steal images and branding from real companies to create fake websites and emails. So how can you tell it’s a scam?  One element to look for is urgent messaging in the email, telling you that your account will be deleted if you fail to verify your information, as an example. The best way to avoid falling victim is contacting your bank and verifying that the email is legitimate or fake.

2. Type, don’t click

If you open a message and you feel suspicious, do NOT click anything! Scam emails and texts often come with links attached.  By clicking the link, you could download malware, a virus, or some other malicious element. Instead of clicking, type the web address into your browser. If the link leads to a legitimate site from a company you recognize, bookmark it. Another trick is to hover over the link with your curser, do not click. A URL should appear, showing where the link will actually take you. If you don’t recognize the link then it’s probably a scam.


3. Double check with your bank

If you receive a suspicious call from your bank, it’s best to hang up the phone. While it may feel rude, hanging up the phone is the safest way to avoid scams. After you hang up, call your bank to verify it’s really them calling you. The bank representative will understand why you ended the call and will be more than happy to answer your questions. You can find the customer service number on your bank’s website or on the back of your bank card. (To contact Academy Bank’s Client Care, call 877-712-2265; Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM-7:00 PM Central Time)

4. Log out every time

Another best practice is logging out of websites that require a password to enter, like when you access your bank account online. Scammers are constantly looking for unprotected sites where you are logged in so they can access private information or learn more about you. Another tip: avoid clicking “remember my password” while online. It makes it easy for anyone to sneak in your private accounts.

Does Academy Bank keep my information safe?

Academy Bank takes financial security very seriously. While we stay up to date with best practices in cybersecurity and have safeguards for spotting fraud, we also have products that provide an extra layer of security for your peace of mind. Accounts like Select Rewards Checking* have security features in place to help combat scams, including:

-Identity theft reimbursement coverage (See Insurance Disclosure)

-Comprehensive identity theft resolution services

-Credit file monitoring

-Credit report and score

-Identity monitoring

-Dark web monitoring

Sometimes people make mistakes and accidently fall victim to scams. If that happens to you, notify your bank immediately. They will guide you through additional steps to protect your finances.

Learn more smart practices for cybersecurity practices in the Education section of our website (under “Banking Safely and Securely*)

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*Opening deposit required. Monthly service charge applies. Closing new accounts within 90 days of opening will result in a $20 monthly closure fee.

INSURANCE DISCLOSURE: Insurance products are NOT insured by FDIC or any Federal Government Agency; NOT a deposit of or guaranteed by the bank or any bank affiliate. Coverage is provided through the company named in the Guide to Benefit or on the certificate of insurance.