At Richwood Bank, we’re all about looking out for you, especially when it comes to your hard-earned cash. March 3-9 is National Consumer Protection Week so it’s the perfect time to remind ourselves to stay on top of our game against fraudsters and scams. In this blog, we’ll share some helpful tips and resources to keep your finances safe and sound.


Stay Informed

Knowledge is power. Being aware of recent events makes you better prepared to spot a fraudster. There are several ways to stay up to date on scams:

  • Government resources:
  • Magazines: Whether you get a physical copy or read them online, a quick search of Google shows that publications like AARP and Forbes offered up the top scams to watch out for in 2024
  • News outlets: The same Google search for ‘recent scams 2024’ offered up numerous articles and videos from local and national news outlets
  • Richwood Bank also posts to our social media or in posts like this one


Spotting a Scam

There are some consistent tactics that scammers will use to trick you. Here are a few examples:

  • Scare tactics: The easiest way to get someone to stop thinking logically and start behaving reactively is to cause fear. Scammers will use threats of law enforcement or the IRS seizing assets to get you to do something crazy – like giving away your account information over the phone. But they don’t limit it to the big guys. It could be a threat of having your phone turned off if you don’t send gift cards or that your bank account has been compromised and you need to click on a link in a text or email to fix it.
  • Spoofed phone numbers: We thought Caller ID made it easy to spot spam calls, but the criminals have worked out how to ‘spoof’ the real phone number from a company to make the call look legitimate. In cases like these, the types of questions that caller asks will tip you off as to whether it is really a legitimate phone call. If you do business with a company, they already have your information on file. There’s no reason they’d need you to provide things like account numbers or security codes over the phone when they called you.
  • Strange payment requests: Why would the Social Security Office want you to pay with gift cards or cryptocurrencies? Easy answer – they wouldn’t. If you’re ever talking to a company and they request that you make a payment in any form that doesn’t make sense, it’s a scam.


Be Part of the Solution

Reporting fraud makes you an active participant in stopping scams. Recently we had a success story with our email reporting system. It turns out scammers had spoofed our Richwood Coffee page and a helpful person reported it. We shared that report and the information we gathered with law enforcement. That resulted in authorities shutting down the entire server the fraudsters were using to run their scams!

You can also report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at The information you share can help them bust up an ongoing scam, as well as report it as a trend so others can be aware of the danger.


In conclusion, staying informed and vigilant is key to protecting yourself against fraud. By following the tips outlined in this blog post and utilizing the resources available, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to scams. Remember to always verify the legitimacy of requests for personal or financial information, and don’t hesitate to reach out to trusted sources if you suspect fraudulent activity. Together, we can work towards a safer, more secure financial future for everyone.