Pandemic Fraud Is Still With Us, and We're Working 24/7 to Protect You

David P. Frady, March 31, 2021

Even as vaccinations ramp up in the United States and we begin to make progress against the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that criminals and fraudsters are still working around the clock to capitalize on the ongoing situation.

 

Fraudulent activities continue to increase during the pandemic

 

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 by being aware of some common scams.

Suspicious Phone Calls

If you receive a phone call appearing to come from Hancock Whitney, and the caller asks for personal information or your online banking credentials, do not respond. Hang up.

Additionally, NEVER respond to calls on your cell phone or home phone that appear to be from a well-known business asking you to select an option to be connected to an operator to discuss your account. The "operator" may actually be a criminal trying to obtain your client information and credentials.

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 login credentials.

Suspicious Text Messages

If you receive a text message that appears to be from Hancock Whitney asking 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.

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 phished@hancockwhitney.com and delete the message. Never click any links or attachments in a suspicious e-mail. 

Guard Your Online and Mobile Banking Credentials

Fraudsters are sending emails, creating websites and developing smartphone apps related to COVID-19 that are designed to trick individuals into clicking on malicious links disguised as helpful resources. Those links may actually infect your device with malware that can detect and steal your digital banking credentials and/or credit card information.

As the latest round of economic incentive payments are being distributed, 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.  Never divulge your User ID and Password to unknown sources.

Beware of Solicitations from Bogus 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, on gift cards, via wire transfer, 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's web site at www.ftc.gov

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 at 1-800-448-8812 if you suspect you’ve become a victim of fraud, or if there is anything we can help you with.