FDIC-Insured Bank Deposits are Safe, But Watch Out for Scams Using the Agency’s Name

Plus FAQ regarding FDIC & Coronavirus
While there are many causes for concern regarding the Coronavirus, both from a health and financial perspective, it’s important to remember that Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured banks, like JBT, are still the safest place to keep your money.
In these uncertain times, however, the FDIC has issued warnings to Americans to be on the lookout for scams where imposters are pretending to be representatives of the agency to commit fraud.
IMPORTANT: The FDIC does not send unsolicited correspondence asking for money, etc.
The FDIC DOES NOT send unsolicited emails or other correspondence asking for money or sensitive personal information. According to the FDIC, “the agency will never contact people asking for personal details, such as bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or passwords.”
Scammers play on fears regarding the safety of your deposits
Be suspicious of any information you receive, electronic or otherwise, regarding the safety and security of your deposits or your ability to access cash. Chances are the information is false and is being generated by scammers.
Be sure you know who’s contacting you
The FDIC points out that another popular tactic used by scammers is to claim to be a representative of the FDIC or another agency, a bank, or another entity. Emails are frequently used by scammers to reach out to consumers, but phone calls, text messages, social media and letters are all popular methods as well.
Again, generally these scams will try to get personal information from you such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other details that will enable them to either commit fraud or sell your identity. DO NOT provide any of this information.
If You Think You’re a Victim of a Scam
Consumers are encouraged to contact the FDIC's Call Center at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), if they have any questions or believe they have been a victim of fraud or a scam.
Bottom line… Your FDIC-Insured Funds are Secure
As the FDIC points out, since 1933, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds. An FDIC-insured account is the safest place for consumers to keep their money. Learn more about deposit insurance here.
FDIC's Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE) is a tool that can help consumers determine deposit insurance coverage based on accounts they may already have with a bank or accounts they are considering opening. The agency recommends using EDIE for questions about FDIC deposit insurance coverage.
FAQs regarding FDIC amid the current Coronavirus climate
Below are a few of the frequently asked questions regarding the FDIC and banking in the current environment.  More information is available at https://www.fdic.gov/coronavirus/faq-customer.pdf.
1. If my bank has temporarily reduced branch access or is not open, is my money still insured?
A. In difficult circumstances, some banks may need to temporarily limit operations to protect the health of their employees and customers. This may include closing a lobby, converting to drive-thru only services, or encouraging customers to use ATMs or digital channels to access their services. Regardless of the bank’s operating conditions, your money is insured by the FDIC. Deposits with an FDIC-insured bank or savings institution will continue to be protected up to at least $250,000. Please see additional information regarding deposit insurance.
2. Will there be enough cash during a pandemic or other national disaster?
A. The Federal Reserve System has and will continue to meet the currency needs of banking customers. Be assured that sufficient resources are available to handle customer needs. Keep in mind, the safest place for your money is inside a bank. Banks will continue to ensure that their customers have access to funds either directly or electronically, and inside an FDIC-insured bank, your funds are protected by the FDIC.
3. Our community is being encouraged to use social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19. My bank is restricting lobby access to branching facilities and I need to go to my bank to get cash and conduct transactions. What should I do?
A. Contact your bank’s customer support line to ask for assistance in meeting your banking needs. Banks may be offering expanded services through the use of drive-up teller windows, or providing assistance at ATMs located outside of the branch office. Bank employees may also help you set up or use online banking, or the bank’s mobile app and digital channels, to complete transactions such as depositing a check to your bank account or paying bills. In addition, you may want to consider signing up for direct deposit so that a paycheck or public benefits payment goes directly into your account at the financial institution.
4. How can I protect against fraud or scams? Protect your personal and financial information. Understand that some people may take advantage of COVID-19 by using fraudulent websites, phone calls, emails, and text messages claiming to offer “help” but may be trying to trick people into providing Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and other valuable details. Do not divulge your bank or credit card numbers or other personal information over the phone unless you initiated the conversation with the other party and you know that it is a reputable organization. In addition, you should be cautious about online solicitations. Be on guard against imposters who contact you claiming to be government employees or volunteers and who ask for personal financial information or money. Reject offers to cash a check for someone in exchange for a fee, even if the bank makes the funds available to you right away, as it may later turn out that the check was fraudulent.
Additional FDIC resources for Consumers: