Bank of Botetourt, which has a location in Moneta, joined the American Bankers Association (ABA) and banks across the nation in launching a first-of-its-kind, industry-wide campaign to educate consumers about the persistent threat of phishing scams.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that consumers lost $1.48 billion to phishing schemes in 2018 with the ongoing pandemic increasing the threat. To combat phishing, the #BanksNeverAskThat campaign uses attention-grabbing humor and other engaging content to empower consumers to identify bogus bank communications asking for sensitive information like their passwords and social security numbers.

“This campaign is an unprecedented effort by the banking industry to address a growing threat to our customers,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “Thanks to participating banks like Bank of Botetourt, we’re turning the tables on the bad guys by giving consumers the tools they need to spot illegitimate bank communications.”

Bank of Botetourt, the ABA and banks across the country launched this campaign together Oct. 1. This coincides with the commencement of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Throughout October, Bank of Botetourt will share “eye-catching and engaging short videos,” animated GIFs and consumer tips on social media and in bank branches designed to highlight common phishing schemes. Because cybersecurity education and fraud awareness can often be dull and forgettable to many consumers, the campaign is designed to be bright and bold with a bit of humor.

“We are pleased to partner with the ABA on this campaign to help bring awareness to our customers regarding the threats of identity theft,” said G. Lyn Hayth III, Bank of Botetourt president and CEO. “Protecting our customers and equipping them with the information to help protect themselves is extremely important.”

The campaign’s short videos offer similarly “ridiculous questions” that banks would never ask and direct consumers to BanksNeverAskThat.com for more information. At that website, consumers will find the #BanksNeverAskThat quiz, videos, phishing red flags, tips and FAQs.

For more information about phishing scams and how to stop fraudsters in their tracks, visit www.BanksNeverAskThat.com.

Chartered in 1899, Bank of Botetourt operates 12 retail offices in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with offices and ATMs located in the Cities of Roanoke, Salem, Lexington and Buena Vista and throughout the Counties of Botetourt, Rockbridge, Roanoke and Franklin.

Bank of Botetourt also operates a mortgage division, Virginia Mountain Mortgage and a financial services division, Botetourt Wealth Management. For more information, visit www.BankofBotetourt.com.

Read more stories in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at www.smithmountaineagle.com/subscriber_services to view articles in the print and/or e-edition version.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.