Know Fraud When You See It

Know Fraud When You See It

Fraud is on the Rise

A routine activity like opening an email or text message, answering a call, or visiting a website can leave you vulnerable. Recognizing fraud and scams isn’t always easy, but knowing what to look for can help you avoid becoming a victim. 

Below are some common fraud scenarios to help you understand what to be on the lookout for.

Phone call

Phone Scams or Vishing

What to look for: A call from someone who is trying to get money or sensitive information from you. Scammers can spoof the number they're calling from so that it seems realistic.

Other signs of fraud include: The caller may claim to be from a high-profile organization like the IRS or your bank, urging the need for personal information and/or payments. The caller may have bits of information about you that are true or at least familiar. Vishing callers also make other claims of high-stakes urgency like a sweepstakes or lottery win and ask for the fee necessary for you to collect winnings. Always remember that a Mechanics Bank representative will never call you and ask for your debit card number, pin, or your Online Banking Password.

Desktop computer

Phishing or Email Fraud

What to look for: Fraudulent emails typically imply urgency, attempting to get you to act quickly before you have time to carefully read and examine the message. They often don't address you by name and contain obvious grammar and/or spelling errors. 

Other signs of email fraud: If you hover over a link in a fraudulent email (don't click it), it will usually show you that it's pointing to a site different from the one stated in the message. The goal is to get you to click through to a web page where you'll be asked to provide personal information or open an attachment that may be malicious. 

Mobile device

Smishing Fraud

What to look for: As with fraudulent emails, fraudulent text messages often suggest urgent action, attempting to get you to act quickly before you have time to carefully read and examine the message. They often don't address you by name and contain obvious grammar and/or spelling errors.

Other signs of text message fraud include: Promises of free gifts in exchange for your personal or bank account information. Never click a link in a suspicious text message: It could result in malware being loaded to your phone that sends your personal information to a scammer. Visit the FT at to learn more about text message spam.

Recognizing Malware

What is Malware: Malware is short for "malicious software." It includes a wide range of online threats such as viruses, worms, spyware and Trojan horses. Fraudsters use many methods to try and get malware onto your computer including e-mail, instant messages, fake Web sites and by offering a desirable download such as free songs or virus scans.

What are the signs of Malware: Most malware tries to stay unnoticed, either by actively hiding or by simply not making its presence known to the user. Some types of malware will cause a few noticeable differences in your computer. A computer may be infected with malware if it:

  • Slows down or displays repeated error messages
  • Behaves strangely, such as spontaneously rebooting, won't shut down or restart correctly
  • Displays Web pages or programs you didn't request
  • Sends e-mails you didn't write

What you can do to prevent Malware: You can both protect yourself from and avoid malware from getting onto your computer. Many attacks can be avoided with the help of security software and some basic online safety tips.
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware security software from a well known company and keep it up-to-date. Set it to automatically install updates.
Use a firewall to protect your computer from unauthorized access and configure it to block unsolicited requests for outgoing communication.

Privacy & Security FAQs

Mechanics Bank will never send you an email asking for you to reply with your account number. This is a common tactic for scammers. You should never send your account number via email.

No. Mechanics Bank will never call you to ask you to confirm or verify your password. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Mechanics Bank and they ask you to confirm or verify your password you should hang up and call our Customer Care team at 800.797.6324 to report the incident.

It is our policy to never call, email or text you to ask you to tell us your account number, social security number, debit/credit card number, PIN or other personal information.

If you are contacted with any request to provide this personal information, please notify us immediately at 800.797.6324.

When you call us we will ask you to verify your identity through security measures set up at the time of your account opening.

If your debit card has been stolen or compromised, please contact us immediately at 800.797.6324.

Your debit card has an embedded microprocessor chip on the front as well as the traditional magnetic stripe on the back. The chip stores encoded account data and provides a layer of added security when used with a chip-enabled terminal or ATM. The chip generates a transaction code that is only valid for a single transaction and cannot be used again.

Report Fraud

If you find any suspicious activity with your Mechanics Bank accounts or suspect fraud, please report it immediately to us first by calling toll free: 800.797.6324. Next, take the proper steps to report with the three major credit reporting agencies and your local law enforcement.