What are The Latest Fraud Trends?

Client depositing a check.
We all receive spam emails, fake friend requests on social media, and AI-voiced sales calls, but some imposters are more harmful than others.

SouthState’s fraud experts want to bring awareness to two types of scams currently taking place – bank imposter fraud and mobile check deposit scams. It’s important to know how to spot these scams so you or someone you know doesn’t fall victim.

How does imposter fraud work?

Scammers improve their tactics every day, making their malicious texts or phishing emails appear legitimate. Through bank imposter scams, they use fake messages to steal your online banking credentials and gain access to your money.

Emails, text messages and even fake bank phone calls can be used for imposter fraud. The caller or sender impersonates a bank and claims there’s an issue with your account. Since scammers are trying to “hook” anyone they can with these phishing attempts, they will send a person emails or texts from a bank they may not even use. These messages may include links to harmful websites, so it’s best to ignore and delete them.

How do you spot bank imposter fraud?

It can be frightening to receive a text from someone claiming there’s a problem with your bank account. Fraudsters, however, are counting on you overreacting or answering their questions without first stopping to verify their claims.
Red flags of a bank imposter scam include: 
  • Requests to provide login information immediately 
  • Minimal details about the “problem” 
  • Threatening tone or improper grammar 
  • Mentions of refunds or transfers 
  • Requests to purchase gift cards or send money to stop or reverse fraudulent activity A safe rule of thumb – never provide user names or passwords via text or email. SouthState will never ask you to provide credentials this way.
Read More: Cybersecurity Awareness: Steps to Take if You Experience Fraud

What is a job listing scam?

As the holiday season approaches, job listing scams appear on social media and even legitimate job websites, including Indeed and ZipRecruiter.

Hallmarks of a scam include vague details in the job description and a quick hiring process. The fake employer will hire the person after only one interview or only communicate via email, concealing their true identity.

Claiming they need information for payroll, the scammer will ask for bank account credentials to set up direct deposit or other sensitive information to commit identity theft.

A second aspect of these job scams includes mobile check deposit fraud. The fake employer emails a counterfeit check to the victim, asking them to print the check and deposit it to their bank account using mobile deposit. The victim is then asked to purchase equipment and send any leftover money back to the “employer” via person-to-person payment apps, such as CashApp. When the check is found counterfeit, the victim is responsible for the funds they spent.

Parents are encouraged to warn their teenagers about these types of job scams. Fraudsters can quickly damage a young adult’s credit history before they even begin their financial journey.

What is a muse scam?

Another type of social media scam targeting young adults is a muse image scam, typically on Instagram.

The scammer messages the victim on social media, stating they want to purchase the rights to a photo they posted. They claim to want to use the image for an advertising campaign.

Thinking only of the potential to become an influencer, the victim agrees to accept payment in the form of an emailed check. The scammer asks them to deposit the fraudulent check with mobile deposit and immediately pay them a percentage back as a “finder’s fee.” The victim then sends money to the scammer via third-party app.

Experienced scammers may even offer doctored screenshots showing conversations with other “muses” to prove their legitimacy.

Remember, it’s very rare that even the best Instagram photographer will be approached out of the blue with the promise of free money.

What should I do if I suspect check fraud?

Never deposit a check from someone you do not know. If someone claims they must email a check to you, it’s more than likely counterfeit. Images of checks cannot be processed and will be flagged. Any time you’re asked to deposit a check and return a portion of the funds to someone else, it’s likely a scam and you may face financial loss.

The best course of action is to reach out to your local branch or SouthState Customer Care at (800) 277-2175 to share details of the suspected fraud.

Looking for more information on mobile deposit safety? Click here for Banking Safety on the Go

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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