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AG Nessel and Michigan Bankers Association Kick-off National Consumer Protection Week with the #BanksNeverAskThat Anti-Phishing Campaign

LANSING To kick-off National Consumer Protection Week, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined the Michigan Bankers Association (MBA) to promote #BanksNeverAskThat, a nation-wide campaign educating consumers about the persistent threat of phishing scams.  

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), aims to help people understand their consumer rights and avoid frauds and scams. NCPW runs from March 3 – 9, 2024. 

“By taking a proactive approach and educating residents about the deceptive practices bad actors employ, we can help prevent Michigan residents from falling victim to these nefarious and all too common scams,” Nessel said. “I’m excited to work with the Michigan Bankers Association on the #BanksNeverAskThat campaign and hope that together we can reach even more people with this important message.” 

To spot phishing scams, just remember “Banks Never Ask That.” 

  • If you receive an email, text, or phone call asking for confidential information, it’s a definite red flag. It’s better to be safe than sorry. End the call, delete the text, and trash the email because banks never ask that! 
  • You may be asked to verify confidential information if you call your bank, but never the other way around. If you receive an incoming call from someone claiming to be from your bank, the safest thing you can do is hang up and call your bank’s customer service number on the back of your debit or credit card. 

If you receive a suspicious email or text: 

  • Do not download any attachments in the message. Attachments may contain malware such as viruses, worms or spyware. 
  • Do not click links that appear in the message. Links in phishing messages direct you to fraudulent websites. 
  • Do not reply to the sender. Ignore any requests from the sender and do not call any phone numbers provided in the message.  
  • Report it. Help fight scammers by reporting them. Forward suspected phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group. If you receive a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726). Then report the phishing attack to the FTC

If you receive a suspicious phone call that seems to be a phishing attempt:

  • Hang up or end the call. Be aware that area codes can be misleading. If your caller ID displays a local area code, this does not guarantee that the caller is local. 
  • Do not respond to the caller’s requests. Financial institutions and legitimate companies will never call you to request your personal information. Never give personal information to the incoming caller. 

“I am proud to stand with the Attorney General's Office, the American Bankers Association, and banks across our state championing the #BanksNeverAskThat campaign,” stated T. Rann Paynter, president and CEO, Michigan Bankers Association. “The alarming surge in phishing scams and fraud is a stark reminder of the persistent threats facing consumers today. At the Michigan Bankers Association, we believe in the importance of collective action to combat these challenges.

“By joining forces with industry partners and leveraging the #BanksNeverAskThat campaign, we are not only raising awareness but actively empowering consumers to recognize and counteract phishing attempts,” Paynter continued. “In the face of escalating fraud cases, our commitment to fostering a secure financial landscape for our communities has never been stronger. Together, we can outsmart scammers and fortify the defenses against fraudulent activities, ensuring the safety and trust of those we serve.”

Because cybersecurity education and fraud awareness can often be dull and forgettable to many consumers, the #BanksNeverAskThat campaign is designed to be bright and bold with a bit of comedy. The campaign’s short videos offer similarly ridiculous scenarios like wallpapering a room with cash, roasting marshmallows over a cash fire, and recycling cash on garbage day to remind people they stand to lose real money if they aren't vigilant. Consumers are directed to the Banks Never Ask That website, where they will find a new interactive quiz, the "Scam City" video game, engaging videos, and tips on how to spot phishing scams.

This year, the campaign is also offering a Spanish language version of the website and providing a host of other #BanksNeverAskThat consumer resources in Spanish.  

To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact: 

Consumer Protection Team
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll-free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form


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