Beware of fake calls, texts or emails from people claiming to be from Mechanics Bank

As use of technology grows, scammers are getting more and more sophisticated in their ability to try and separate you from your money. We’ve recently seen an uptick in what’s known as the “Bank Impostor Scam”, and want to share some tips on how you can protect yourself.  

What are Bank Impostor Scams?

This is when a fraudster contacts you pretending to be from Mechanics Bank (or another bank or credit card company) in order to trick you into giving them access to your account, or asking you to send/transfer money.

Be mindful of the following:

It may come

in the form of a regular phone call, email, or text message. Fraudsters are using technology to their advantage by making it seem very real and legitimate.

They may be able to use

technology to manipulate the caller ID on your phone so it says that “Mechanics Bank” is calling (or texting).

They may say they’re trying

to catch a rogue employee who’s embezzling from your account, and they need your help by conducting certain transactions or transfers.

They may want you to click

on a link or call back a specific phone number (to cancel a fraudulent transaction or to protect your account).

They may already have some

of your personal information (your name, social security number, phone number, etc.) from some previous data breach, so they may sound like they know you.

They may tell you that

“there’s suspicious activity” or “suspected fraud” on your account, and ask you to provide your personal information to validate (or invalidate) the transaction or information.

They almost always stress urgency,

and try to get you to act immediately. They may say it’s an “urgent security concern” or that your account could be frozen, blocked or closed unless you act now.

They may tell you your account

has been compromised and it needs to be closed due to fraud, and in order to open a new account you’ll need to wire money (or send it via Zelle, Venmo or some other digital payment platform) to a different account.

Here are some helpful reminders to protect yourself:

Don’t login

to online or mobile banking from a link received by email or text.

Don’t share 

your personal information (account numbers, password, PIN, debit/credit card numbers, Social Security Number) with anyone who contacts you requesting it.

Know that

we will never ask you to send money to anyone, including yourself, to "reverse a fraudulent transaction", "receive a refund", “catch a bad employee” or to establish a new account.

Once money is sent

from your account via wire (or by one of the digital payment apps like Zelle or Venmo), it’s not likely to be seen again.  Always stop and contact us if you’re being asked to send money somewhere.

If you get a suspicious phone call

from someone saying they’re with Mechanics Bank, hang up. Pick up the phone and call our Customer Care line at 800.797.6324 immediately (you’ll find this number on our website and all communication we send to you).  Don't call back to the number that called you.

If you receive a suspicious email

or a text message from someone saying they’re with Mechanics Bank, don’t respond or reply. Don’t click on any links or open any attachments. Don't call back or text back to the number that sent you the text. Pick up the phone and call our Customer Care line at 800.797.6324 immediately. 

Be your first line of defense

Remember, when you call us at 800.797.6324 , we will ask you for information to verify your identity (such as your name, date of birth, last four digits of your social security number or last four digits of your bank account number). However, we will never call you, text you or email you asking you to verify sensitive information, such as:

  • Online banking usernames and passwords
  • Your entire social security number
  • Your entire bank account number
  • Your credit/debit card number or PIN

Be sure to monitor your bank account activity and take action if you spot anything suspicious. Sign up for account alerts in online or mobile banking. If you believe your accounts have been targeted in a scam, or you recognize unauthorized activity call us right away.

At Mechanics Bank, your security is our top priority, and we want to help keep your accounts protected. Stay up to date on common scams and important steps you can take to stay safe by visiting our online security center.