WBA is alerting banks to be vigilant as members have contacted the association regarding a new fraud trend. Fraudsters are calling banks, identifying themselves by a particular customer’s name and asking for account information on loans such as home equity loans or personal lines of credit. The scammer has the customer’s correct social security number. The criminal typically hangs up if asked to verify checking/debit card information, challenge questions, or other additional information.

There has been speculation as to whether this is stemming from the Equifax data breach or recent tax filing deadlines. The WBA Financial Crimes Committee has indicated that where the scammers are pulling their information for this latest scam is less important than reviewing your bank’s current procedures on identifying who your customers are by means other than social security numbers. It’s becoming more critical for banks to explore new identification methodologies such as behavioral customer identification in addition to ensuring bank staff are following standard operating procedures when verifying customer identification.