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SECURITY THREAT

Schemes, scams & fraud on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic

We all like to think we’re vigilant and immune to the petty financial scams that plague our world. We’re smart enough to recognize that email asking for a cashier’s check isn’t legit or that a Nigerian prince doesn’t want to give us money.

Normally, we might be right. That can all change in a time of crisis.

Financial providers and the Secret Service have noted a strong uptick in fraudulent activity, both attempted and successful, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It could be that people have put their guard down because they’re distracted by the anxieties of the day. Or they could be facing deep financial hardship and are therefore more hopeful that a promise to get rich quick will come true.

Regardless, a pandemic is the perfect time to remember some very basic tips that will help you avoid fraud.

  • Pinnacle will never ask for your account number, online banking credential or any other personal information via email, text or phone. If someone reaches out to you claiming to be us and asks for your password, they’re a crook.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it is. No one gives away large sums of money and asks for you to send them money first. And someone claiming to be your relative who offers or asks for your money may be an imposter.
  • Treat every email as if it’s from a thief. Always double check that links are legit before clicking. Always double check the email address to make sure it’s real. Don’t open strange or unexpected attachments. And never provide your personal information to a stranger.
  • Be wary of anyone asking you to send a gift card, cashier’s check or money order. It’s an easy, untraceable and irreversible way to send money, so therefore very popular for long distance scams.
  • Don’t send money to a new romantic partner you’ve never met in person. As people spend more time at home alone, romance scams are on the rise. An online partner who “works on an oil rig” or “is overseas for work” might ask you for money for a plane ticket to come visit you. Don’t buy it.

Pinnacle associates will take steps to protect you from fraudsters, too. Watch the video below for a classic example of how we’re looking out for you. Working together, we can protect your money from those who want to steal it.

Protecting your Privacy

Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some of how your personal information is shared. See how Pinnacle protects your personal data.

Stop Email Fraud

Pinnacle developed a list of the Super Six questions you can ask yourself to help determine the legitimacy of any email.

Trusteer Rapport

Trusteer Rapport will not be supported in Tennessee after Dec. 31, 2018. Instructions for uninstalling the software are available here.