Fraud Watch: Questions to be Wary of Answering Over the Phone

June 20, 2023
Hancock Whitney
Hancock Whitney

Every day thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent emails, text messages, and phone calls from scammers pretending to be your financial institution. Every day their methods are becoming more and more sophisticated. 

The best way to stop them is to be aware of their schemes. Start here:

NEVER talk to anyone who calls you unexpectedly and says they're from Hancock Whitney requesting personal information. 


Fraud Watch: Questions to Be Wary of Answering Over the Phone


We will never call you directly and ask:

  • "Can I have your account number?"
  • "What is the password you use on your account?"
  • "Please tell me your Social Security number, for security purposes."
  • "What is the account holder's date of birth?"
  • "Please provide the three-number security code on the back of your debit card."


We will never:

  • Request you to log in to Online Banking and send funds
  • Close your account for refusal to give the above information
  • Ask you to complete a "test" transaction
  • Address you as "user" or ""
  • Ask you for your online banking password or security questions
  • Ask you to text personal or banking information 


Red Flags

If you receive an email, text message or phone call requesting any of the items below, it's definitely a red flag. You should immediately end the call or delete the text message or email and contact us

  • Your Account Number
  • Your Online Banking Username or Password
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your PIN Number 
  • Your Birthday
  • Your Address
  • Request to Download an Attachment
  • Request to Reveal a Security Question Answer 


Note: If you call us directly, you may be asked to verify confidential information so we can authenticate your identity, but rarely the other way around.

If you ever doubt that a bank call is legitimate or if a caller pressures you to stay on the line, hang up and call the number on the back of your card to talk to a real Hancock Whitney customer service representative. 


How to protect yourself from text message smishing

Text message smishing consist of fake text messages that try to steal your personal information, such as passwords, financial account numbers and Social Security numbers. With even a few of these details, scammers can steal your identity and money. 

If you receive a text message that appears to be suspicious or if you have any doubts:

Don’t …

  • Reply to the text (don’t even say “stop”). Don’t click links, open or download attachments, or call a phone number in the message. Just receiving a scam text won’t cause problems.
  • Share personal information if you have any concerns about whether the text is legitimate.
  • List your phone number or other personal information on social media.


Do …

  • Contact the company or person directly using contact information you already have, not what’s in the message.
  • Block the number and delete the message.
  • Use multi-factor authentication when offered and keep security applications updated.
  • Uninstall apps you don’t recognize.
  • Review your mobile phone bill, financial accounts and credit report regularly to watch for irregularities.


Helpful resources

To report email, text message or phone call scams and learn what to do if you’ve fallen victim, visit the Federal Trade Commission and You can also find tips and tools at the Hancock Whitney online Security Center.


Your security is our highest priority

Our information security team works around the clock to keep your personal financial information safe. We’re dedicated to being your trusted financial partner and working with you to stay vigilant against criminals and fraudsters. That’s why we regularly provide you with advice and guidance to keep your assets secure through articles such as this one in our Insights blog.

Visit our Security Center for more information and tips about how to spot suspicious activity, protect your identity, and keep your information safe online.

If you believe that you may have fallen victim to a fraud scheme, or if you suspect your Hancock Whitney accounts could have been compromised, please call us at 1-800-448-8812 immediately.

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