First Community Bank has joined the American Bankers Association (ABA) and banks across the nation in launching a first-of-its-kind, industry-wide campaign to educate consumers about the persistent threat of phishing scams.
The FTC estimates that consumers lost $1.48 billion to phishing schemes in 2018, and the ongoing pandemic has only increased the threat. To combat phishing, the #BanksNeverAskThat campaign uses attention-grabbing humor and other engaging content to empower consumers to identify bogus bank communications asking for sensitive information like their passwords and social security numbers.
“The channels customers use to access their financial information and technology are changing at a rapid pace. Fraudsters take advantage of that speed to scam individuals by posing as the bank to gain access to their accounts,” said Amber Bass, SVP business & electronic solutions at First Community Bank. “Education is the key to combating this fraud, and if we can add a little humor as we help our customers, that is even better.”
“This campaign is an unprecedented effort by the banking industry to address a growing threat to our customers,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “Thanks to participating banks like First Community Bank, we’re turning the tables on the bad guys by giving consumers the tools they need to spot illegitimate bank communications.”
First Community Bank, along with banks across the country and ABA, are simultaneously launching the campaign on Oct. 1 to mark the beginning of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Throughout the month, First Community Bank will share eye-catching and engaging short videos, animated GIFs and consumer tips on social media and in bank branches designed to highlight common phishing schemes. Because cybersecurity education and fraud awareness can often be dull and forgettable to many consumers, the campaign is designed to be bright and bold with a bit of comedy.
“Do you believe in aliens?!” one of the campaign’s animated GIFs asks social media users. “Banks would never ask you this question. Here’s another question a real bank would never ask: we’ve spotted some unusual activity on your account; can you please verify your username and password?”
The campaign’s short videos offer similarly ridiculous questions that banks would never ask and direct consumers to BanksNeverAskThat.com for more information. At that website, consumers will find the #BanksNeverAskThat quiz, videos, phishing red flags, tips and FAQs.
For more information about phishing scams and how to stop fraudsters in their tracks, visit BanksNeverAskThat.comhttp://BanksNeverAskThat.com.