Zelle® is a person-to-person funds transfer service that simplifies a consumer's ability to remotely pay other individuals quickly and easily. Offered by FIS, Zelle® was adopted earlier this year by Benchmark. It is available to our internet banking and BCB Mobile App customers.
FIS has notified Zelle® financial institutions of a potential security risk involving account takeovers by fraudsters. This scam involves “phishing” (e-mail messages containing a link disguised as being from the consumer’s financial institution) or “smishing” (text or SMS messages containing a disguised link).
Here is how the scam works:
You receive a “phish” or “smish” notifying you of fraudulent activity on one or more of your financial institution accounts. The communication will look authentic. It will contain a link you can click that will, supposedly, connect you to your financial institution. In reality you will be connected to the fraudster posing as a customer service representative from the financial institution.
The fraudster will tell you they are sending a security code to your e-mail or mobile phone number. When you receive the one-time security code or password, the fraudster will ask you to give them the information.
If you give them the information, they will then be able to access your account(s), change your password(s), e-mail address(es), and/or mobile phone number(s).
Then the fraudster enrolls in Zelle® using the new e-mail address and/or mobile phone number they’ve entered. All confirmation communications will go to the e-mail address/mobile phone number they’ve entered.
Once the Zelle® account is confirmed, the fraudster can transfer any and all funds from your account(s) to them using the e-mail address and/or mobile phone number that cannot be traced back to them. And you’re out of your hard-earned money.
Here’s what you can do to prevent this from happening to you:
If you receive a message via e-mail or text/SMS appearing to be from Benchmark Community Bank, DO NOT click on any link(s).
Here’s what FIS is doing:
FIS is re-tooling the enrollment process for Zelle® to address these issues. It is anticipated to be completed by December 8, 2019. They are continually monitoring the situation and related incidents in order to best respond to the ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.
What else can you do?
Clear your device’s internet history to clear out all saved passwords for the sites you visit. It’s a little more trouble to keep up with your passwords, but can save you a lot of frustration in the event someone attempts to access your accounts.
Opt-in to two-step verification for all your accounts (Benchmark and others). Be sure to list a mobile phone number for the device in your possession.
Download and activate SecurLOCK for your Benchmark checking and VISA account(s). It will notify you when your cards are used and allow you to reject transactions you do not recognize. Be vigilant! The fraudsters are out for your money. Keep it - and you – secure.
Benchmark Community Bank has become aware of customers receiving telephone calls from people claiming to be our employees. If you receive an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be a Benchmark employee:
1. DO NOT give them any personal information like:
- Your Benchmark account number(s);
- Your Social Security number;
- Your birthdate.
- Ask for their full name and the branch where they work;
- Ask for their telephone number;
- Tell them you will call them back;
- Hang up and telephone your local police department to report the incident;
- Notify your local Benchmark branch to make us aware.
Keep your account information safe and secure. Benchmark Community Bank will never ask for your personal information over the phone, through e-mail, or online.