Abstract image of online protection.

Scam Alerts!

Your Safety is Very Important to Us!

A scam can be initiated via the computer (email, Internet, social media), text, postal mail, in person, or a phone call. No matter the origin of the scam, the characteristics are the same:

  • There is something to pique your interest - someone in trouble, big discount offers, lottery win.
  • The individual contacting you seems trustworthy, super friendly, and seems to care about you.
  • There's a deadline associated with the offer - act fast, act now.
There will always be scams, particularly those targeted at seniors. Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Co. will NEVER ask you to verify personal information via email, nor will we call you and request information over the telephone. Read emails carefully and DO NOT click on any links you are unsure about.

If you believe you have responded to a fraudulent email or have given your personal information to a scammer, contact our Customer Service Center at 816-358-5000.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website - IdentityTheft.gov can help you report and recover from identity theft. They will walk you through each recovery step and help you put a plan in action.

  1. Use a variety of strong passwords.

Don’t use the same password for every account and avoid using the names of loved ones, birthdates, or common words. Good passwords include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

  1. NEVER share your passwords.

When it comes to online security, remember that giving a password = giving permission. If someone has been given a password to an account, unfortunately, there is little-to-no protection if they decide to take advantage of that access. Passwords only work when they are kept secret.

  1. Log out of your accounts.

Once you have completed your tasks or transactions within your online account, be sure to click ‘log out’, especially when using a public or shared device. This will prevent others from gaining access to your account and private information.

Phishing calls are on the rise and recently people have been receiving calls where the caller ID shows it is coming from Blue Ridge Bank. They are also masking the phone number so that it appears that it is coming from a bank employee. They may ask you to select a number to continue through the message. The best course of action is to hang up. Do not respond or provide any financial or personal information. If you have any questions, please call our customer service center at 816-358-5000.  

Protect yourself and be aware of scammers who are taking advantage of fears surrounding the impact of Covid-19. There have been a variety of scams reported worldwide.

Fake Cures for Covid-19
Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for Covid-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud. They often try to create a sense of urgency - for instance, "Buy now, limited supply."

Phishing emails with links
Phishing emails designed to look like they're from the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They lure you into clicking on a link or providing personal information that can be used to commit fraud or identity theft. Legitimate government agencies will never ask for your social security number, bank account number or login information.

Malicious websites
Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.

Charity Scams
While there are many charities that are worthy of your donations, be sure you know who you are donating to. Research any charity before you decide to donate and go directly to their website. Never give cash or purchase gift cards for payment. You can research charities through the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.

Financial Assistance
Scammers will attempt to get money in exchange for government assistance. Watch out for calls or emails that use the term "stimulus" and ask you to sign over a check or provide personal information like your Social Security number. Another common stimulus con comes via social media, in scam Facebook messages promising to get you "Covid-19" relief grants."

When you're shopping online, you're on a quest to find what you need - fast. But you should also be on the lookout for security. Shop online safely and guard your cards with these tips.

  • Shop on legitimate websites. Stay safe by shopping with reputable companies you know.
  • Use secure connections. Don't shop online while using public Wi-Fi.
  • Lock down your devices. Secure your computer and mobile devices with strong passwords and biometric features.
  • Monitor your accounts. Review your transactions to verify that the charges are correct.
  • Set up alerts. Sign up for email or mobile alerts for your accounts.
  • Report fraud. Notify our Customer Service Center at 816-358-5000 immediately if you suspect fraudulent activity. 
There has been increased activity in scams targeting seniors. Scammers have been known to use spoofing so it looks like a government official, most often Social Security, is calling. The caller may request your personal information and may threaten to stop your benefit payments if you don't comply. Don't believe them! If you owe money to Social Security, the agency will mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights. Social Security does not suspend Social Security numbers or demand secrecy from you, ever.

Here are some tips provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) on what to watch out for:
Social Security phone scammers may:
  • Threaten arrest or legal action against you unless you pay a debt, fine, or fee
  • Promise to increase your benefits or resolve identity theft if you pay a fee
  • Demand payment with retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency or by mailing cash
  • Ask for bank information, such as checking account number, which leads to fraudulent activity on your account
  • Threaten to stop your benefit payments if you don't comply 
  • Demand secrecy in handling a Social Security-related problem, or tell you to make up a story to tell your friends, family or store/bank employees
  • Try to convince you by using spoofed caller ID numbers or officials' real names, or by emailing fake documents
What to do if you receive a suspicious call:
One of the most common scams presented to seniors is the Grandparent Scam. The caller claims to be a relative, a grandson or granddaughter, and the call is urgent. Typically, the grandchild is out of town and is in trouble, needs money fast for some emergency, and doesn't want the rest of the family to know. The caller may have bits of information, some of which could be collected from sources like social media, and prompts the senior to provide more information, making the call appear genuine.

This is not a legitimate call. Hang up the phone and contact your family or the authorities.
Scammers send their target a check or something else of value, whether in the mail, email, text or phone call, that indicates the recipient won a lottery or sweepstakes. In order to claim the "prize," the recipient may have to send a check or money order to cover taxes and fees, and may be asked for banking information to deposit the winnings, or to buy something to enter the contest. This is so the scammer can obtain private banking information. The name of the sweepstakes may seem familiar - quite often scammers will do this to make it recognizable. 

Legitimate contest do not ask for money or financial information up front. Do not respond to these messages with a check, money order or cash.