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Common Scams

Hands typing on a computer.

These are just a few of the scams that you may come across. For a full list of known scams and how you can protect yourself, please see the FBI website


Phishing is a scheme that uses fraudulent email, web pages and text messages to gather personal, financial and sensitive information for the purpose of identity theft. Most commonly, users receive spam email (mass email messaging), text messages and pop-up windows that appear to come from legitimate businesses like Rivermark. People have been tricked by these deceptive solicitations into sharing passwords, credit card and bank account numbers.

How Phishing Works

Phishing emails and text messages are sent to many recipients and appear to come from legitimate businesses, sometimes even duplicating legitimate logos and text. Within a phishing email, you may be requested to click on a link that takes you to a fraudulent site or pop-up window where you are asked to submit personal and financial information. A phishing text message may request that you send personal information back to the sender through text message or call a phone number.

In order to increase the chances of a response, messages may imply a sense of urgency or an immediate risk to bank accounts or credit cards if you fail to answer. Special offers and prizes may also be promoted as incentives.  One way to detect a phishing scam it to look closely at the URL you’re being directed.  Rivermark’s official website domain is

Phishers can access your accounts using your passwords and other information to withdraw money or make purchases. Personal information can also be used by phishers to open new bank or credit card accounts in your name.

Sweetheart Scams

As online dating becomes more and more common, the number of scams taking advantage of those looking for love online grows. Many dating profiles are fraudulent, created by scammers looking to make money from unsuspecting romantics. Often times these scammers use social engineering techniques to con people into relationships, building trust and ultimately gaining access to finances. 

Take these steps to avoid falling victim:

  1. Use dating sites with security measures in place to help stop fake profiles.
  2. Google your potential match and make sure that any photos line up.
  3. Never share personal information online, or with anyone you don't know. This includes identifying information as well as log in information for financial accounts. 
  4. Don't send anyone money that you are not confident is real. Many times scammers will have elaborate stories about why they need money in a short amount of time. 

If you do fall victim to an online dating scam, the FBI and Internet Crime Complaint Center are the first places you should turn. For more information or to file a complaint, visit Also be sure to report the crime to the dating or social network site you met the scammer. 

Redemption Fraud

Redemption Fraud, also referred to as 'Strawman' or 'Bond Fraud', is a growing scam. Often times this type of scam involves fraudsters contacting you with instructions to access fictitious secret federal bank accounts. They will ask you to use bogus routing and account information from non-existent accounts to fund your account or pay your loans. You are legally held liable for transactions you initiate to make payments or fund your account. 

Much of the time, these fraudsters use documents that closely resemble legitimate, legal documents. 

Take these steps to help avoid this type of fraud. 

  1. Be wary of individuals or groups selling kits that they claim will inform you how to access secret bank accounts.
  2. Be wary of individuals or groups proclaiming that paying federal and/or state income tax is not necessary.
  3. Do not believe that the U.S. Treasury controls bank accounts for all citizens.
  4. Be skeptical of individuals advocating that speeding tickets, summons, bills, tax notifications, or similar documents can be resolved by writing “acceptance for value” on them.
  5. If you know of anyone advocating the use of property liens to coerce acceptance of this scheme, contact your local FBI office.

ATM Skimming

ATM skimming is a growing threat to your financial information. If you're not familiar with ATM skimming, it's the act of obtaining card information using a reader device attached to an ATM or card reader. While Rivermark ATMs are equipped with anti-skimming technology, not all ATMs adhere to the same standards and we want to make sure you know how to stay safe. 

Here are some tips:

  • Spot the Skimmer. If the keypad looks raised above the surface of the device or easily moves, don't use it. Look for holes near a keypad that might conceal a camera. 
  • Check for Loose Parts. Inspect the reader to see if any part of it is loose or damaged. It shouldn't wiggle at all. Check for adhesive tape or glue.
  • Protect your PIN. Cover the area with your hand or a piece of paper as you type in your PIN in case there is a device recording your action. 
  • Use Credit Union ATMs. The ATMs at most credit unions, including Rivermark, have anti-skimmer technology and are generally safer than ones not associated with a financial institution.  

If you notice any unauthorized transactions on your card and you believe your information has been compromised, please call our Lost or Stolen Card Hotline at the following numbers:

  • Regular business hours: 800.452.8502
  • After hours: 800.472.3272

Have a concern about scams, fraud or email and text message fraud? Contact us at 503.626.6600 or 800.452.8502.