Learn how to protect yourself against fraud
Be informed of recent schemes so that you can keep your personal information secure.

Beware of calls claiming to be from First Tennessee Bank

First Tennessee Bank customers may be the target of fraud schemes in which a customer is contacted through phone call, email, or text by fraudsters requesting the customer verify personal bank information. A recent scheme involves individuals contacting First Tennessee Bank customers using a telephone number spoofed to appear on caller ID as First Tennessee Bank’s legitimate Customer Service department phone number. This scheme is an attempt to convince the customer to provide account information, passwords, and in some cases, one-time passcodes that enable takeover of the customer’s account relationship.

It is essential to remember that First Tennessee Bank never will contact you directly and ask for your personal or account information that we already have on file. Additionally, we never will ask you to verify your identity by texting codes or passwords to you to confirm who you are. If First Tennessee Bank initiates the call, we already will have at hand the information we need.

If you have received a phone call claiming to be from First Tennessee Bank and believe you are a victim of fraud or notice potentially suspicious activity on your account, contact Customer Service at 800-382-5465.

Protect your business: Fraud Targeting the Retail Industry with Claims of FBI Involvement

A recent fraud scheme targeting major US retailers involves fraudsters calling store employees demanding they withdraw the day’s cash sales for transfer to the fraudsters. Employees were instructed to violate defined company security protocols, particularly procedures applying to handling money.

The fraudsters claimed to be a senior representative from the retailer’s distribution center and employees were able to verify the caller’s name as a current employee through their internal company system or by searching the internet. The callers stated there was a FBI investigation into counterfeit money involving the particular store and employees were to withdrawal all of the cash deposits from the store safe and purchase Visa® gift cards and Green Dot® cards to get rid of the alleged counterfeit cash. The card information was provided to the fraudsters and the purchase receipts were placed into the store safes. In one variation of this scheme, the caller claimed to be from the company and was partnering with the FBI or another law enforcement agency on the investigation. The caller in another variation claimed to be an FBI Agent involved in an investigation against the company. The agent threatened the employee with obstruction of justice charges and arrest if they did not comply. In two of the incidents, the fraudsters sent confirmation emails to the store employees’ personal email addresses.

The victims all claimed the fraudsters had American accents. Additionally, spoofed email addresses and phone numbers were used and the requests were made just as stores were closing which contributed to the fraud scheme’s success.

The following indicators suggest activity indicative of criminal intent:

  • Threatening criminal prosecution
  • Requesting funds via Visa gift cards and Green Dot cards
  • Instructing to violate company security protocols
  • Instructing to commit criminal activity or actions against standard business operating procedures
  • Requesting the use of personal email addresses, phones, and communications instead of company devices for business purposes
  • Requesting employees come into the business, alone, just as the stores were closing for the day

Direct any requests and questions to your FBI Private Sector Coordinator at your local FBI Field Office: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices.

New Wire Fraud Scam Reroutes Payroll Direct Deposits

A recent article by CNBC.com details a current fraud scheme where fraudsters are targeting businesses’ Human Resources departments through email. The fraudsters impersonate senior executives and attempt to convince human resources personnel to change employee’s bank account and routing information in order to route employees’ paychecks to offshore accounts owned by the criminals.

Additionally, the fraudulent emails often go undetected because it defies many existing red flags for malicious communications. The emails are well-written, cordial, and lack misspellings and grammatical errors that would typically trigger email filters.

Focus your company’s efforts, which may include adjusting email filters to pick up common traits of this type of request and training employees in security best practices. Ask your company’s executives to avoid using their personal emails when sending messages. Companies that have been seen versions of this fraud scheme can report it the FBI’s IC3 tip line.

First Tennessee's monitoring of the Equifax data breach

First Tennessee is carefully monitoring the Equifax data breach and our customers’ accounts for suspicious activity. Customers can get more information from Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. We take our customers’ security seriously. Our security measures are well established and rigorously tested, and, as always, we encourage customers to safeguard their financial information.

Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself.

Beware of communication purporting to be from First Tennessee

A phishing scheme targeting First Tennessee is being sent through text messages. This scheme is an attempt to get the user to reset their security answers. This information is intercepted and used to take over the account.

If you receive a text message regarding this scheme, do not click on the link. If you have clicked on the link and provided sensitive information, we strongly encourage you to change your password and security questions immediately, using the actual First Tennessee Bank website at https://www.firsttennessee.com or to call Customer Service at (800) 382-5465.

Avoid credit card skimmers at gas pumps

Being able to use your debit card at the gas pump is convenient; however, be cautious of skimming devices embedded onto the card readers. These skimming devices are used to copy account data as well as PINs if used during the transaction. Once the information is captured, your card information can be used to make counterfeit cards to withdraw cash from your account at ATMs or make card purchases.

To minimize your chance of being compromised by debit and credit card skimmers at gas pumps, use the following tips:

  • If you see anything suspicious on the pump (e.g., damage to the card reader or a potential skimming device) do not use your card at the pump. Make your purchase inside the gas station and inform the clerk of the damage or your suspicions.
  • If you use a debit card, a way to protect your PIN is to select the “credit” option for the payment.
  • Monitor your bank and credit card accounts regularly. If you notice unauthorized charges or cash withdrawals, report them immediately.

If you need to report fraud on your card, call customer service at 877-242-9895 (seven days a week, 8 am - 9 pm Eastern) or talk to a representative at a financial center near you. If you need to report fraud after hours, please call 800-382-5465.

Protecting seniors from financial exploitation

Elder fraud and financial exploitation is forecasted to become the fastest growing crime in the next 10 years. Sadly, the people exploiting older adults are often family members, caregivers, or other trusted individuals who are handling the financial affairs of a parent, relative, caretaker, or friend.

You can help protect seniors from fraud and exploitation by preventing the abuse and intervene early when the threat is from trusted persons handling financial affairs, fraudsters and theft by staff or intruders.

A variety of things you observe or detect may signal that a senior is a victim of fraud or financial exploitation. Here are a few of the many red flags you may see:

  • Senior, regardless of cognitive impairment, complains or reports that someone is misusing or stealing his/her money or property
  • Senior is unaware of transactions or missing funds
  • Senior is being encouraged to withdraw a large sum of money
  • Sudden transfer of assets or changes in a will
  • Unexplained names on a senior’s accounts
  • Senior lacks basics (e.g., underwear, deodorant) but personal needs account is depleted
  • Observing/hearing a senior being threatened by a family member, caregiver, or other trusted individual
  • Checks or other documents signed/dated when the senior is no longer able to write
  • Senior becomes secretive and suddenly starts hiding possessions or hoarding papers
  • Senior is agitated or distraught prior to or after a family member, caregiver, or other trusted individual visits
  • Senior is refused needed care and medical services in order to keep the senior’s assets available for the abuser
  • Senior who appears to lack decision-making capacity signs new power of attorney document

Your top priority should be early recognition, documentation, and reporting. If you feel a senior is being financially abused, report the situation to your nearest financial center. All financial centers have an Elder Fraud and Financial Exploitation brochure available for additional resources and information.

You can also visit https://ncea.acl.gov/ or http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ for additional information regarding prevention, documentation, reporting and “scam alerts”.

Fraudulent salary review scheme

Please be aware of a scheme involving fraudulent e-mails sent to a company’s tax reporting employee(s) purporting to be from the company’s CEO requesting that a “salary review” be conducted on 2015 W-2s.

These e-mail requests have been determined to be fraudulent and should be deleted. Some companies have already provided Social Security numbers of their employees, which would then be used by cyber thieves for identity theft.

Tips to protect your personal data

With the heightened attention regarding the theft of personal data, we remind our customers to be aware of fraudulent correspondence. Do not provide any sensitive personal information requested through email, text or phone call. Here are some tips we recommend to protect your identity:

  1. Be alert to any unexpected email, calls, instant message, voicemail, or text that claims to be from a bank, credit card, or online company with whom you have an account. In the event that you do receive such a message, it is a good idea to first call the customer service number on your bank, credit card, or online statement (but not any number listed in the message) and verify whether the message is legitimate.
  2. Do not respond to any email, phone, text, or fax instructions that prompt you to divulge your personal information.
  3. Do not click on links in a suspicious email or text.

Payday loan scheme

Be aware of a recent payday loan scheme that involves operators fraudulently soliciting money from consumers. The operators of this payday loan fraud scheme are using threatening tactics (e.g., lawsuits, asset seizure, arrest) to force consumers into immediately paying debt on loans they never authorized or paid off several years ago. Those perpetrating this scam have obtained identifying information about consumers (e.g., Social Security numbers, addresses, banking information) and will use this in order to appear as a legitimate collection agency.

Numerous consumers also reported their place of employment has been contacted in an attempt to collect “past due” funds.

To avoid becoming a victim or if you believe you are a victim of this scheme, follow these tips:

  • If you are unsure whether you are delinquent on a payday loan, contact your lender directly using your loan paperwork to find a legitimate contact number.
  • If your place of employment has been contacted and you know you have a loan that you paid in full, inform them you believe you are a victim of a fraud scheme.
  • Never provide personal information to a third party unless you initiated the contact.
  • If you receive a phone call regarding this scam, or have fallen victim, contact local law enforcement and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at www.consumerfinance.gov.
  • If you believe someone stole your personal information and used it to obtain a fraudulent loan, contact Customer Service at (800) 382-5465, contact the credit bureau and visit www.identitytheft.gov for tips on what you can do to protect your identity.

ACH Fraud

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is used to process direct deposits, checks, bill payments and cash transfers between businesses and individuals. It can also be a popular way for fraudsters to steal money from unsuspecting consumers. ACH fraud is a scheme that is expected to continue to trend upwards.

To avoid becoming a victim, follow these tips:

  • Never give out any personal information to a third party unless you initiated the contact
  • Monitor your accounts and statements thoroughly, ensuring that all account activity is yours and correct
  • Always log off from online banking sessions
  • Never click on links or open attachments sent from an un-trusted email
  • Store new and cancelled checks in a safe place
  • Use a secure connection when paying online – look for “https” and a green security lock in the address bar of your browser

If you believe you are a victim of ACH fraud, contact Customer Service at 800-382-5465.

Important notice: beware of social engineering schemes

Recently there has been an increase in fraud schemes where customers are being contacted by phone or email to obtain personal information, such as account information (account numbers) and/or identifying information (e.g., social security number, date of birth). Some tactics used include advising you that there is a problem or missing information related to your account and additional information is needed to correct the issue. In some cases, threatening tactics may be used (e.g., criminal pursuit, collection agency referral) to obtain this information. To avoid becoming a victim, follow these tips:

  • Do not provide any personal information to an unsolicited caller.
  • Never respond to a phone call or voicemail asking you to verify account information or reactivate a service.
  • Never provide personal or account information over the phone or via email/text, even if it appears legitimate. Contact the organization directly using information listed on their website or other trusted source.

We have the necessary information to conduct business with you and we would not ask you to supply your full account number or card number during a phone call.

If you have received a phone call purporting to be from us and believe you are a victim of fraud or notice suspicious activity on your account, contact Customer Service at 800-382-5465.

How to avoid a card cracking scam

Card cracking is a form of fraud where consumers respond to an online solicitation for "easy money" and provide a debit card for withdrawal of fake check deposits. Click here to learn more.

Beware new social media fraud scheme

In a recent social media scheme (primarily Facebook), users are being enticed into opening new accounts or using their existing accounts in exchange for merchandise or “fast cash.” The proposal is typically made via a post with pictures of cash or other items encouraging anyone interested to comment for more information. The accounts are ultimately used to conduct transactions involving the deposit of fraudulent checks and subsequent fraudulent card purchases/ATM withdrawals.

Consumers should be aware that participation in this type of scheme is illegal and that you may be held responsible for purchases or cash withdrawals made from the proceeds of a fraudulent check deposit. Such activity could result in account closure and possible criminal prosecution.

If you have any questions or see any posts like this on Facebook or other social media sites, please contact Corporate Security at 901-523-5336.

Beware of unsolicited offers

If you receive an unsolicited offer that promises you something in exchange for money or account information, you should not respond unless you are sure the offer is legitimate. Common scenarios include offers that require an upfront fee, requests to wire funds, a notice that you won a lottery/contest, or a person on a social website who asks for money (e.g., travel money to meet you, emergency cash, medical bills, etc.).

If you receive an offer or request and are unsure if it is legitimate, contact First Link at 800-382-5465. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If your business accepts wires, beware

If your business accepts wires and/or sends outgoing wires to or on behalf of customers, beware of a scheme in which hackers can take over a legitimate email address and initiate fraudulent wire requests. (See article "Important Notice: Beware of Recent Email Scheme" below.)

Ensure that your business has procedures in place to verify any wire that is received via email or fax. For example, calling your customer directly using a phone number on file before proceeding with a wire can determine if the customer actually sent the request.

If you become aware that your customer's email has been compromised, advise the customer to contact their email and virus software providers, as their password/account information could have been compromised by a third party.

Important notice: beware of recent email scheme

The First Horizon Family of Companies takes your account security very seriously. Sometimes fraudsters have the ability to take over a customer's email accounts and send requests to bank employees asking for wire transfers or account information. Please be assured that we will never disclose your personal account information or initiate a wire transfer via e-mail.

There are steps you can take to help protect yourself against this scheme, such as:

  • Do not provide confidential information via email (i.e., account number, balances, Social Security number, PINs, etc.). If you must provide an account number, use only the last 4-6 digits.
  • Note that we already have the information necessary to do business with you; you will not be asked to supply personal information via email
  • Whenever possible, discuss sensitive banking information via telephone or in person
  • Use a strong password on your email account
  • Make sure your computer is free of malware
  • Ensure your anti-virus software is up-to-date

If you become aware of sensitive information that has been compromised through your email, contact your email and virus software providers, as your password/account information could have been compromised by a third party.

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