Local expert weighs in on rising concerns of banking scams

A number of people are falling victim to banking scams in western Mass. A local expert explained this may be a consequence from COVID-19 lockdown.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 7:39 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - A warning in western Mass. about a spike in the number of people falling victim to banking scams. A local expert explained this may be a lingering consequence from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Outside of Freedom Credit Union where experts are warning folks to be weary of any phone call, text or e-mail from someone they don’t know.

Lisa Pandolfi, a fraud analyst at Freedom Credit Union in Springfield. She told Western Mass News banking scams are reaching new highs.

According to Pandolfi, nearly $9 billion dollars was lost in scams last year nationally. A figure she said is up 30 percent from 2021.

Pandolfi offered one possible explanation for the uptick in scams.

“We’ve also seen because of COVID, and we were locked down, it gave scammers and fraudsters time to develop identities,” said Pandolfi.

Pandolfi explained many of these scammers use social media to target seniors.

“From the things you’re posting they can get your security questions, your passwords, just from items that you’re posting,” added Pandolfi. “The fraudsters are constantly going through Facebook looking for things.”

She expressed that the best thing you can do to keep your banking information safe is to never open a text or link from someone you don’t know.

Pandolfi added that everyone should be checking their account activity every day.