How to Identify and Thwart Impersonator Fraud

An Elvis impersonator in front of a Las Vegas sign.

Don’t be an accomplice in your own identity theft

Impersonator fraud involves imposters posing as an institution you trust and attempting to scam you into revealing your own personal information. 

For example, you may receive a text or an email from someone claiming to be a representative from F&M Bank. The message says there is an urgent problem with your account, like a fraudulent transaction for instance. Then, when the scammers ask for your login credentials or account numbers to resolve the financial emergency, you give it to them — along with full access to your bank accounts.

These faked messages pose a real threat to your financial well-being. Falling for an impersonation scam could lead to significant money loss, fraud and identity theft. But with the tips below, you have the power to shield yourself from these undercover attacks.


How to prevent impersonation fraud:

  1. Verify the sender.
    Scammers often use alternative name spellings or unofficial email addresses when impersonating a company. To confirm the sender is who they say they are, use Google to go directly to the institution’s official website and verify their contact information.

  2. Check for typos.
    One of the easiest ways to identify fraudulent messages is to find frequent typos, misspellings or grammatical errors.

  3. Take your time.
    Thieves are banking on you to act quickly on your fear. If the message contains a financial emergency that requires your immediate attention, beware of the urgency.

  4. Don’t be fooled by appearances.
    The caller ID or email may look almost identical to the real thing. Scammers are more than happy to steal logos and names if it helps them steal your information.

  5. Don’t reply.
    Instead, use Google to find the company’s official website and contact them using the information provided there.

  6. Don’t share personal information online.
    Be cautious of unsolicited emails, text messages or phone calls requesting your personal information, social security numbers or account information. Remember, F&M Bank will never ask for sensitive details through these channels.

  7. Don’t open suspicious links or attachments.
    Clicking links or attachments puts your device at risk of downloading viruses and malware. Even if a website looks legitimate, scammers have the ability to track your keystrokes to record your login credentials or any other personal information you enter via their links.

  8. Review your accounts.
    Regularly reviewing your account statements and transaction history allows you to quickly report any unauthorized or suspicious activity immediately. You can also enable multi-factor authentication for your online banking access to add an extra layer of security.

  9. Delete the message.
    When you identify a message as suspicious or fraudulent, immediately delete it from your device.

  10. Most importantly, contact F&M Bank.
    If you ever suspect any fraudulent activity or encounter a potential scam, please contact us immediately or visit your nearest F&M Bank office. We’re here to support you.


Protecting your financial information requires more vigilance than ever. F&M Bank invests in leading-edge security and offers IDProtect®, an identity theft monitoring & resolution service to help safeguard your data.

Thank you for being a valued client and entrusting us with your financial well-being. Together, we can defend against impersonator fraud and keep your finances secure.

IDProtect® is available with Power Checking and Signature Checking for no charge. Contact us today or visit an F&M Bank location for more information.