SAN ANTONIO – USAA is warning its members about fraudsters calling local residents and pretending to be from the bank.
The company said the scammers are trying to get members to provide passwords and other personal information.
“These criminals are ruthless,” Stacey Nash, senior vice president of fraud with USAA, said. “They are despicable and they are coming at consumers at a rate we haven’t seen before.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than $2.3 billion in losses were reported last year due to imposter scams — up from $1.2 billion in 2020. In general, consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, an increase of more than 70% over the previous year.
Nash said there has been a massive increase in scammers casting out a wide net to gain access to consumers online banking information. She said these scammers are not just posing as USAA, but other banks as well.
She said when these fraudsters email, text or call, don’t be fooled by the bank name that may appear on your caller ID.
“The number on your phone on caller ID looks like it is coming from your bank. So, you trust it,” Nash said. She says they are using a spoofing software to make it appear they are calling from USAA’s 1-800 number.
Nash warns the scammers are also sending out texts or emails, asking if you have made any large out of state charges.
When you reply no, the scammers then say your account has been compromised. She said that’s when they’ll call you asking for passwords to make updates. If you give the scammers your online banking login information they then can get access to your accounts.
So how you can tell the difference between scammers and your actual bank?
“We are not going to ask you for security information and passwords and pins all of those thing that are giving criminals access to your online banking.”
Nash said the bank already has all of your login or security information. She said when USAA contacts you, they will also give you at least the most recent four transactions on your account and then immediately try to help you with your fraud.
She said when in doubt, call the number on the USAA or your bank’s website yourself. And always report anything suspicious.
“They are saying wait a second I got this message and it doesn’t feel right or is this real? And that’s been able to give us information to build cases and ultimately work with law enforcement.”