Easy Ways to Help Protect Yourself from Popular Fraud Schemes

Every day fraudsters are developing new ways to scam innocent people. It’s important to understand that anyone can fall victim to fraud. That’s why we are here to provide resources about popular fraud schemes and how to avoid them.

Fraud is defined as any intentional act or omission designed to deceive others that results in the victim suffering a loss and/or the perpetrator achieving a gain. FTC data shows that consumers reported losing more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, a 14% increase over reported losses in 2022.

At Needham Bank, protecting your money and personal information is our top priority. That’s why we’ve outlined how to keep your Needham Bank account(s) safe and the services we offer that can help in doing so.

Common Types of Fraud

Account Takeover Fraud

Account takeover fraud is when a fraudster gains access to an account that does not belong to them, changes information such as log in credentials or personal information, and then makes unauthorized transactions in that account.

Check Fraud

Check fraud is any effort to obtain money illegally using paper or digital checks. This can include writing bad checks, stealing and altering checks and forging checks. 

Elder Financial Abuse

Elder financial abuse is when financial resources are misappropriated and/or control of financial resources is abused (in the context of a relationship where there is an expectation of trust), and that abuse causes harm to an older person.

Fake Check Fraud

Fake check fraud is when a person you don’t know will ask you to deposit a check and send money back to them. These checks will either be phony, meaning they were created on a computer and printed out, or real, meaning they were stolen and forged.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is when a fraudster uses someone’s personal identifying information without their permission in order to commit fraud or other crimes.


Impersonation is when a scammer creates a fake social media account to impersonate someone you trust. Since it appears to be someone you know, you will be more likely to share information and click malicious links.


Malvertising, or malicious advertising, is when a scammer injects malware into a legitimate online advertising network through code. The ads are created to look real and the malicious code will then install the malware on your computer, ultimately allowing the criminal to capture your credentials. 

New Account Fraud

New account fraud is when fraud takes place within the first 90 days after an account is opened. The accounts are often opened solely to commit fraud.


Phishing is when scammers use email to trick you into clicking a malicious link or giving out personal information, enabling them to hack into your account.


Smishing, or SMS phishing, is when a fraudulent text message is sent to try and get you to pay money, click on a suspicious link or download an app.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is when a fraudster tricks someone into giving up their confidential account and/or personal information by convincing them to think they are communicating with trusted and known sources.

Tech Support Scam

Tech support scams take place when scammers trick you into unnecessary technical support services to fix nonexistent problems on your computer, software or internet, ultimately trying to gain access to personal and financial information. The scammer will initiate contact by displaying fake error messages on your computer enticing you to call tech support or they will call you directly pretending to be from a well-known tech company.

USPS Mailbox Fishing

Mailbox fishing is when a fraudster “fishes” for envelopes containing written checks in the United States Postal Service mailboxes. When they come across a check, they use techniques to erase all of the details in order to rewrite a fraudulent check to themselves for a large sum of money.


Vishing, or voice phishing, is when a fraudster calls using personal information a scammer has previously obtained from a phishing attack. After stealing your confidential information from the fraudulent email, the cybercriminal will need to take it a step further to receive your SMS password or digital token to finalize the fraud operation.

Be Informed and Aware

Being a victim of fraud can result in fraudsters accessing your personal information, bank account, and more. The first step in preventing this from happening is with education.

  • Don’t choose the same password for multiple accounts and use a combination of symbols, upper and lowercase letters, and numbers. Be sure to change your passwords regularly and if you write them down, keep them somewhere safe.
  • Never provide any passwords or financial credentials to anyone requesting them via a phone call, email, or text message. Legitimate financial institutions and businesses will never ask for that information.
  • Confirm email requests via phone prior to making any transactions.
  • Never click on a link or open an attachment within an email unless it is from a known source.
  • Make sure computers are up to date with malware and security settings.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be rushed when someone is asking for information or money – take your time, ask questions, and verify what’s being said.
  • Make sure you are continually brushing up on common scams and warning signs.

Protect Yourself Using Our Services

  • With NB Online and Mobile Banking, you can monitor your activity in real-time to ensure that all transactions posted to the account are authorized and accurate.
  • Set up account alerts in order to keep tabs on your activity and receive notifications when things don’t seem right.
  • Use our secure online Bill Pay to receive your bills electronically so you know what is due, for how much, and when without having to shuffle through a pile of papers.
  • Sign up for Zelle to enjoy a convenient and safe way to send money directly into the recipient’s account.

If you suspect that there has been fraudulent activity with your Needham Bank account(s), call us at 781-444-2100 as soon as possible.