The recent collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has sent shockwaves through the financial world, and its implications are being felt by businesses and consumers alike.
Bad actors will attempt to capitalize on the chaos in the aftermath of such a large-scale event. The likelihood of fraud increases as a result. So, with that in mind, read on to discover how you can limit your potential exposure to risk and prevent future attacks in the process.
Increased Fraud Risks for Consumers
It’s too early to identify any specific fraud trends directly linked to the incident. However, the collapse of a major financial institution like SVB can have far-reaching implications on the banking industry as a whole. This can include the potential for an increase in fraud.
We might see spikes in scams like:
Cybercriminals may use the SVB collapse as a pretext to send phishing emails, posing as financial institutions or government agencies. These emails may contain malicious links or attachments designed to steal sensitive information or infect devices with malware.
Fraudsters might exploit the uncertainty around the financial markets by promoting investment opportunities related to the SVB collapse. These scams could promise high returns with little or no risk, but are actually designed to defraud investors of their money.
As people scramble to protect their finances, the risk of identity theft increases. Criminals may attempt to impersonate individuals affected by the collapse, seeking to steal personal information and gain access to their financial accounts.
Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams
Scammers may hack into an email account associated with a business tied to SVB, and impersonate another individual. They may then send out emails from the account, attempting to trick employees and/or consumers into giving up personal information.
Preparing for Increased Risk
It’s essential to carefully examine any requests for information and thoroughly vet individuals claiming to be associated with SVB or financial regulators. Unsolicited communication from either party is likely to be a scam.
To mitigate risks associated with the SVB collapse, you should also take the following steps:
- Use strong passwords
- Implement 2-factor authentication on your devices when available
- Change passwords regularly, or use a password manager
- Update software frequently
- Treat unsolicited emails, calls, and social media messages with caution.
- Verify that any message is legit before taking action or sharing information.
Also, consumers should keep a close eye on their financial accounts, and report any suspicious activity to the relevant financial institutions and authorities.
Fighting Back: What to Do If You Suspect Fraud
No matter what you do, you will never be immune to fraud. So, while it’s vital to know how to spot and prevent fraud when you can, it is equally important to know how to respond when you recognize that you’ve been targeted.
If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of fraud in the wake of the SVB collapse, take the following steps:
Step #1: Act Quickly
The sooner you report the suspected fraud, the better your chances of minimizing damage and recovering any lost funds.
Step #2: Contact Financial Institutions
Notify your bank, credit card companies, and any other relevant financial institutions of the suspected fraud.
Step #3: Report to Authorities
File a complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), for consumer-related fraud.
Step #4: Perform Damage Control
Change passwords, update security measures, and monitor accounts closely to prevent further unauthorized access.
The Bottom Line
The SVB collapse presents new challenges for consumers. But, by being vigilant and proactive, you can minimize the risks associated with fraud. Stay informed, be cautious, and take appropriate steps to protect your financial well-being in the uncertain times ahead.