- Don’t rely on caller ID
- Perform a callback before submitting a payment
- Do extensive research before you invest
Scammers’ tactics continue to evolve. Most are designed to gain your trust and trick you into sharing your personal information so they can steal your money.
Review these three scenarios and tips to help avoid being a victim of fraud:
Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams: Keep cyber criminals at bay
Fraudsters utilize methods like business email compromise (BEC) to carry out creative and sophisticated scams by infiltrating email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to conduct unauthorized transfer of funds. In 2021, BEC schemes resulted in an adjusted loss of nearly $2.4 billion, an increase of $6 million compared to 2020. (Source: FBI IC3 Report)
What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of BEC?
- Implement a callback process for any requests that include updating payment instructions, or make changes to contact and/or account information by calling a phone number from a system of record.
- Review the security landscape within your company and work with your IT professionals to update any potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
- Consider obtaining an insurance policy that includes cybersecurity coverage, such as startup insurance provider Vouch.
- Education is the best defense against becoming a victim of BEC. Train your employees on what to look out for. Watch the following BEC Fraud Awareness Training Course for more information:
If you suspect you are a victim of a BEC scam, immediately report it to your relationship manager or firstname.lastname@example.org, file a detailed complaint to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov and contact law enforcement.
Bank imposter scams: Do not trust the caller ID
Scammers are getting creative and can make it seem like you are being contacted by your financial institution or a government agency via call or text. They will typically create a sense of urgency by saying your account has been compromised to try to convince you to act immediately. They will then request personal information such as your user ID, password, PIN, Social Security number, or even your one-time-passcode.
What should you do if you receive a suspicious text or call from your bank, including SVB?
Voice Call: If there is a request to provide sensitive personal information, it is likely a scammer, as banks do not request such information over the phone. Hang up and contact the bank immediately using a legitimate, verifiable phone number. You can find phone numbers to contact SVB here.
Text: Look for red flags, such as grammatical errors, unusual capitalization, missing punctuation and whether a phone number is used rather than a short code (a code used by businesses to send and receive SMS messages to and from mobile phones, typically a 5- or 6-digit number). If you have any suspicion, do not respond, click on any links or provide any personal information. Instead, contact the bank immediately using a legitimate, verifiable phone number. You can find phone numbers to contact SVB here.
Example of a Short Code
Investor scams: Look out for signs that it’s too good to be true
Investment fraud is the practice of enticing investors to make investments based on false information. Many legitimate companies use unregistered offerings to raise funds from investors. Fraudsters, however, may use unregistered offerings to conduct investment scams. If you are presented with an opportunity to invest in an unregistered offering, look out for some of the following signs that could indicate potential fraud:
- Claims of high returns with little to no risk
- Unregistered investment professionals (verify using the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website)
- Aggressive sales tactics
- Problems with sales documents
- No net worth or income requirements
- No one else seems to be involved
- Sham or virtual offices
- Not in good standing
- Unsolicited investment offers
- Suspicious or unverifiable biographies
For more information about online fraud prevention techniques, visit SVB’s Fraud Prevention Center. If you suspect that you may be a victim of fraud, contact your relationship manager or email@example.com.