Bank Fraud, Scams, and Identity Theft FAQs
Learn more about popular schemes and how we help protect your future.
Identity theft happens when someone assumes another’s personal identification, such as a Social Security number, name or financial information. The more you know about identity theft, the better equipped you are to protect yourself and your family.
- Visit our Identity Theft Education page to learn more about identity theft
- Protect your future with Fifth Third Identity Alert® solutions
ACCOUNT & INFORMATION EXPOSURE
Fraudsters are continually coming up with new schemes to get your account and personal information. So, it’s critical to stay updated on current schemes to avoid falling for them. These are some of the most common types of attacks:
Don’t fall for phish bait. Has something phishy arrived in your inbox? Phishing emails are a common way that fraudsters try to get unsuspecting recipients to share personal and financial information. Avoid the bait. Learn how to spot phishing:
- Download our infographic on how to identify a suspicious email
- Watch the many ways phishing works and how to protect your information
Like phishing emails, fraudsters will use SMS messaging to share personal and financial information—this is called smishing. Avoid the bait!
A malware attack will appear like your computer has a virus. A window will pop up, prompting you to call a number to get your computer fixed—don’t call. In this scheme, the fraudster will ask for payment information and may even “take over” your computer to fix the malware problem. In reality, the criminal is accessing your account information, opening the door for theft in the form of counterfeit checks, ACH transactions and more.
Ransomware is a type of malware that can take over your computer and your information. Your data or system may become unusable while the hacker prompts you for payment. And even if you pay, it doesn’t guarantee you will get access or information back.
Data breaches and compromises can occur when your information held within an organization is exposed to fraudsters.
Physical theft is another way criminals try to get your information by stealing wallets and purses, home thefts, and more. Fraudsters will go as far as going through your trash to look for sensitive information they can use.
You may unknowingly pass along information to a scammer that can result in an exposure. Be sure to protect sensitive personal and account information.
- Protect your online banking credentials
Do not allow others to access or view your online banking. Never give out your login username or password, and do not relay things like one-time passcodes to others. Fifth Third will not ask you for this information.
- Change your passwords regularly
Change your passwords on a regular basis and do not use the same one across multiple applications. Use unique passwords and avoid common ones.
- Set up online or mobile banking alerts
Create online or mobile banking alerts to ensure you are notified when large or high-risk transactions occur.
- Ensure your computer or login device is secure
Make sure that your systems and antivirus protection are up to date.
- Monitor bank activity and statements
If possible, opt for electronic statements—paper statements risk interception in the mail. Monitor your bank activity and statements regularly and dispute any unauthorized charges or transactions.
- Move to digital payments
Eliminate check interception risk by using digital-based payments instead of checks.
- Don’t click on suspicious links
Avoid clicking on suspicious links found in email, instant messages, texts, or other communication applications.
CHECK AND CARD FRAUD
Fraud can occur on checks associated with your deposit accounts. Prevent this type of fraud by protecting your statements, online banking credentials, checks, and check usage. These are a few types of check fraud:
Counterfeit checks are fraudulent checks that are being created and negotiated. The fraudster will create checks that may or may not look like the valid checks and fill out and sign the check.
- Forged Maker
Forged maker fraud occurs when a valid blank check is intercepted or stolen by the fraudster. The criminal will use the valid check, filling it out as the maker.
An altered check is a valid filled-out check that is then altered or changed. Alterations usually include the amount and the payee.
- Forged Endorsement
A forged endorsement happens when a valid filled-out check is then intercepted or stolen. The fraudster will pose as the payee and attempt to negotiate the item.
Another way for fraud to take place is through scams. Scammers have a lot of different schemes. They can convince victims to deposit fraudulent checks, send their own money or use their accounts to receive bad transfers. Communication can occur through phone, email, or various social media and application-based services. Scammers will pretend to be your friend, a love interest, a family member in peril or a prospective employer. They can even pose as representatives of an organization or business you interact with on a regular basis. Scammers will have you doing their dirty work and they will get paid for it. Here are some common scams to be aware of:
- Bank Imposter Scam
The fraudster impersonates a bank employee to have the victim relay information such as One-Time Passcodes, access such as username and password, or send money externally.
- Romance Scams
Victims provide, receive or expect to receive money related to a relationship they believe they are in with someone they met—typically online.
- Online Sale Scams
Victims provide, receive or expect money related to an online sale. A person will typically give out their login or bank account information, believing this is an appropriate way to conduct transactions.
- Work/job Scams
Victims provide, receive or expect money related to a job they have located online in which they believe they will be working from home. Fake jobs will include paperwork, payroll services, and more.
- Loan Scams
A scam where the victim believes they are obtaining a loan. These fake loans are typically found through social media and target people with poor credit. They often involve the customer giving out their banking credentials.
- Refund Scams
A scam in which a scammer pretends to be a legitimate company issuing a refund to one of its customers. The refund turns out to be the customer’s own funds, which they send to the scammer unknowingly.
- Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Email Account Compromise (EAC)
Scammers also attempt to scam people into sending them the money intended for legitimate transactions and payments. They will communicate through email to pose as legitimate businesses, changing payment methods or accounts.
PROTECTING YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY
Share this information with friends & family who are unaware of or vulnerable to fraud risk. This is especially important for older individuals who may be more prone to attack. Fraudsters will often target seniors who may have more savings and may not be up to date on the risks. Criminals will especially prey upon those with diminishing mental capacities.
Use these easy-to-read checklists that can help protect you, your family, and any business from fraud.
- Protect your business with our Business Account Security Checklist.
- Learn how to protect yourself from common consumer scams with our Consumer Scams Guide.
At Fifth Third Bank, we take the security of your accounts and confidential information very seriously. We employ various tools, techniques, and processes to help protect your accounts and information and make your online banking as secure as possible. For more information on how we protect you, visit:
If you believe you have had fraudulent activity on your account, please get in touch with a Fifth Third Customer Service Professional to file a report at 800-972-3030 Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
Protecting Yourself from Phishing
To help keep you and your money safe from fraudsters, be on the lookout for these common warning signs. And remember: We’re always here to help.
3 Ways to Keep Your Accounts Safe
Don’t make a fraudster’s job any easier. Use these three security tips to help protect your information.
Learn more about popular schemes and how we help protect your future.
As always, thank you for choosing Fifth Third.
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