Digital Banking and Online Safety: Tips to Avoid COVID-19 Scams and Fraud

Digital Banking and Online Safety: Tips to Avoid COVID-19 Scams and Fraud Featured Image
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In these times, protecting yourself from COVID-19 is a daily focus. Yet there’s a new, growing need for protection: digital banking and online safety.

As we observe shelter-at-home orders and social distancing, a new norm occupies our days. More and more, we are using digital channels to work, shop, bank and socialize. With so many people spending time online, we need to use safe digital practices.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that phone scams and phishing attacks related to COVID-19 are on the rise. To protect yourself from scams, here are some recommended digital banking and online safety tips.

Digital Banking and Online Safety tips to protect yourself from scams

  • Protect your personal information. Never give out your personal or financial information by phone, email or text. This includes your Social Security number, date of birth, bank account numbers, PINs, verification codes, usernames, passwords or other online credentials.
  • Watch out for phishing schemes and imposters. Be wary of emails and website links from organizations that may appear to be legitimate health organizations or businesses. Most phishing schemes are looking for you to provide personal information, click on links or download files.
  • Avoid clicking on links. Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails or social media messages. Hover over linked text to confirm URLs. Similarly, be wary of fake links that look like familiar URLs but may have an extra word or misspelling. If you think the address is correct, retype it in a browser window.
  • Don’t download attachments or files from unknown emails. Be wary of unknown emails or suspicious looking attachments. Above all, when in doubt, don’t download.
  • Watch out for requests for unusual forms of payments. Scammers often ask for payments in cash, virtual currencies or gift cards. That’s because they are difficult to trace.

Additional tips to protect yourself from scams

  • Don’t answer phone calls from numbers you do not recognize. Chances are, if you do not recognize the phone number, it could be a scam. Let it go to message.
  • Don’t give in to pressure or threats by phone. Legitimate charity, nonprofit or government agencies will not call you and pressure you to pay or provide personal information at once. Hang up and talk to someone you trust.
  • Go with instinct and common sense. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. In other words, take a pause to evaluate whether it makes sense or not.
  • Stay informed. Make sure you keep up to date with news about COVID-19 from trusted sources. For example, the CDC is a trusted source of information.

Visit the CDC for more information about preventing phone scams and phishing attacks. You can also sign up for free alerts from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Protect yourself from commons scams and fraud

Dime Community Bank will never contact you via unsolicited email to verify personal information previously given to us – your account number, password, or Social Security number.

Contact us immediately at 800.321.DIME (3463) if you suspect you have fallen victim to a social engineering attack and have disclosed information concerning your Dime accounts.

To learn more about common scams and how to prevent them, read our blog Protect Yourself from COVID-19 Fraud-related Scams.

Visit for more information about how to prevent fraud.

To learn more about the benefits of digital banking1, read our blog “The right time to use digital banking: Banking through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

1  Must have Dime Online Banking to use Dime Mobile Banking. Dime Mobile Banking App is available for select mobile devices. Mobile Banking is a free service from Dime. However, your mobile carrier may charge for data and text message usage. Transfer of funds and bill payments from savings and money market accounts are limited to six per monthly statement cycle.

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