How to Avoid Scams
What you should know about the most common types of scams: They will target you through fake emails, text messages, voice calls, letters or even someone who shows up at your front door unexpectedly.
Scammer(s) will use many various techniques including:
- Contact you unexpectedly by phone, email, text, direct message or pop-up with a request for personal information or money. Never click a link or download an attachment from someone you don't know. First National Bank of Middle Tennessee will never text, email or call you asking for personal or account information.
- Pressure you to act immediately with an alarming phone call, email or text that plays with your emotions. Scammers may pose as an employee from a familiar organization, such as Frist National Bank of Middle Tennessee and say there's a problem that needs immediate attention. Do not act unless you have verified the person who has contacted you and the story or request is legitimate.
- Asking you to pay in an unusual way, like gift cards, bitcoin, prepaid debit cards or digital currency, including Zelle®to resolve fraud. First National Bank of Middle Tennessee will never ask you to transfer money to anyone, including yourself and will never ask you to transfer money because we detected fraud on your account.
- Asking you to provide personal or account information, such as an account verification code, bank account number or PIN. When in doubt, don't give it out. First National Bank of Middle Tennessee will never text, email or call you asking for an account authorization code unless, you the customer has initiated the call to the bank.
- Offering you a free product or 'get rich quick' opportunity that seems too good to be true? If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never cash a check for someone you don't know.
If you authorize a transfer or send money to a scammer, there's often little we can do to help get your money back.
Beware of scammers impersonating banks and fraud departments. By spoofing legitimate phone numbers to call or text you, the requests can be very convincing. While First National Bank of Middle Tennessee may send you a text to validate unusual activity, we will never contact you to request that you send money using Zelle® to anyone, including yourself or to share a code to resolve fraud.
Here's what happens:
- You receive a text that looks like a First National Bank of Middle Tennessee suspicious activity alert.
- If you respond to the text, you've engaged the scammer and will receive a call from a number that appears to be from a bank.
- The “representative” or scammer will offer to help stop the alleged fraud by asking you to send money to yourself with Zelle®.
- Then, they ask you for a one-time code you just received from a bank. If you give them that code, they will use it to enroll their bank account with Zelle® using your email or phone number.
- The scammer now has the ability to receive your money in their account.
Being vigilant is your first line of defense — here's how to help stay protected:
- Don't be pressured to act immediately — this is what scammers want you to do.
- Don't trust caller ID — it's not always who it says it is.
- Don't share codes based on a call you receive.
Scams via online sales:
Whether you're thinking about purchasing event tickets, adopting an animal or just browsing the web, be cautious if you see an online promotion that sounds too good to be true - it probably is.
Scammers set up fake stores selling fake goods, and after you've made your purchase, the store suddenly disappears. They may use social media platforms to contact you and build a relationship, telling you about an offer that's hard to resist, then instructing you to download an app or send money to take advantage of the offer.
How to help protect yourself:
- Slow down and use caution if pressured to act quickly - scammers want you to act without thinking about the consequences.
- Research the seller and products independently, check reviews for possible scam notices, and compare prices with other websites. Make sure they have a refund policy, information on privacy terms and conditions, and ways you can contact them.
- Verify the website by looking carefully at the URL address bar or domain name to ensure you are visiting the correct domain and not a fake. Look for secure URLs (https://), and while an encrypted site does not guarantee safety - beware of buying from sites with no encryption.
- Use caution if asked to pay using untraceable means such as a wire, money transfer or gift card. If you do, you may not receive your purchase or the return of your money.