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Protect yourself from fraud related to COVID-19


Times of crisis are prime opportunities for cybercriminals trying to steal your personal information using phishing attacks and deception operations. There have been several fraudulent emails, texts, calls or even fake websites to trick victims.

To stay safe, avoid unsolicited emails and validate all requests for your personal information and login credentials. If you receive a suspicious email or text message, do not respond, click on links, or open attachments. As a reminder, Vantage Bank Texas will never call, email or text you for confidential information such as your Social Security number, full account number, login credentials, card PIN or security questions.

Here are a few examples of phishing attacks:

  • An email from a false news outlet claiming a cure has been found or a pandemic has been declared. A link is supplied to access an article for the victim to click to read the additional details. While the act of clicking alone may not sound alarming, that is enough for the cyber criminals to infect your system, steal data, or hold your computer with ransomware.
  • A work email that appears to be coming from a Vantage email account claiming to be from Human Resources or company leadership with an updated work from home policy in response to the virus. The memo is provided in an attachment that needs to be opened. The act of clicking on the attachment and opening the document could be enough in and of itself to compromise your system.
  • A text message (or telephone call) from a fraudulent charity soliciting donations to find a cure or help those impacted. As with any time of crisis, people will try to create fraudulent schemes to steal money. Donate by going to charitable organizations’ official websites. Don’t do so through text or over the phone.
  • Fake texts, emails or calls about your stimulus or government assistance check. The IRS will issue the stimulus check directly to you based on your 2019 tax return (or your 2018 return if you have not yet filed your taxes for 2019). Click here to learn more.

Fraudsters prey on the emotions of good individuals in times like these. We want to protect ourselves, our families, our employees and we want to help others. Be skeptical about anything sent to you from unknown individuals or entities as it applies to COVID-19.

  • Warning Signs Text messages and correspondence containing certain red flags should alert users to a possible phishing or SMiShing attack, including:
    • Misspellings
    • Grammatical errors
    • Offering fantastic prizes
    • Creating a sense of urgency
    • Requesting personally identifiable information (PII)
    • Requesting User IDs and Passwords
    • Threatening with consequences
    • Making demands
  • Beware of Unsolicited Contact Look at who sent the email, text message, phone call, letter, etc. to you. Is this someone that you know? If it isn’t, pause. Look closely at the sender and the content. If it isn’t something directly relevant to you, delete it.
  • Even Your Friends Could Get Hacked and That May Affect You If the correspondence is from someone you know, were you expecting it? Is it something they normally send to you? If you weren’t expecting it, or it’s something out of character from them, think before reacting. Contact the sender and confirm that it was indeed legitimate. Don’t simply REPLY to the message since that would go back to the hacker. Call your friend or family member if you received a suspicious email from them. Email by creating a new message using their known address.
  • Trash Junk Mail If it looks like spam, simply delete it.
Vantage Bank Texas will NEVER call, email or text you for confidential information such as your Social Security number, full account number, login credentials, card PIN or security questions.

To learn more about COVID-19 resources or current fraud schemes, and how you can protect yourself, please visit: