The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are evolving daily, and unfortunately, that includes the criminal activities of fraudsters who are working around the clock to capitalize on the current state of uncertainty.
Hancock Whitney remains committed to the personal and financial safety of our clients and associates, and that’s why we’re reminding you again to keep your guard up and be aware of financial scams. Since the onset of the pandemic, fraudulent activity has continued to increase, making it more important than ever for us to share these tips to help you remain vigilant against cyber crime.
Beware of these scams
The red flags associated with fraudulent calls, emails or text messages claiming to come from financial institutions, charities, or government agencies may sometimes be difficult to spot. These types of communications work to trick you with a sense of urgency for information in an attempt to steal your personal financial information:
- Suspicious Phone Calls: If you receive a suspicious phone call appearing to come from Hancock Whitney, do not respond. Hang up.
- Suspicious Emails: If you receive a suspicious e-mail message appearing to come from Hancock Whitney, do not respond. Forward a copy of that message to us at email@example.com and delete the message. Never click any links or attachments in a suspicious e-mail.
NOTE: Although Hancock Whitney may call clients for verification purposes or send product and promotional offerings via email, the company will NEVER contact you and ask for your Social Security Number, PIN or Online Banking credentials.
- Suspicious Text Messages: If you receive a text message that appears to be from Hancock Whitney requesting you to call a number regarding COVID-19, rest assured that these text messages did not originate from the company. Do not respond to this kind of text message and do not provide any personal or confidential information. If you have responded to such a message and believe you have provided personal information, please contact Hancock Whitney immediately at 1-800-448-8812.
- Online and Mobile Banking Credentials: Fraudsters are sending emails, creating websites and developing smartphone apps related to COVID-19. These are designed to trick individuals into clicking on malicious links disguised as helpful resources. These scams can contain malware meant to steal online banking credentials and/or credit card information.
NOTE: Cyber thieves may also pretend to be a financial institution or government agency representative, asking for personal information and/or online banking credentials for “financial relief” purposes. As a reminder, NEVER divulge your User ID and Password to unknown sources.
- Bogus Solicitations/Organizations. Criminals are also impersonating legitimate organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). In the case of the WHO, they are using fake images and charts embedded in the body of an email that may appear legitimate. Be suspicious of any charity, business or individual requesting funds in cash, via wire transfer, gift card, or through the U.S. Post Office. Do not send money through any of these channels. Research charitable sites soliciting donations in connection with COVID-19 before giving. For online resources on credible charities, visit the Federal Trade Commission
Hancock Whitney will continue working with you to stay vigilant against criminals and fraudsters. For more information and resources visit our https://www.hancockwhitney.com/security-center web page, and to learn more about Hancock Whitney’s response to the pandemic, visit our https://www.hancockwhitney.com/covid19 web page. Please contact us if you suspect you’ve become a victim of fraud, or if there is anything we can help you with.