One scam to be vigilant about when it comes to protecting your accounts is check deposit fraud.
Check Deposit Fraud is Increasing
This occurs when a check is deposited into a member’s account by either the member or another party, in person at the credit union, through an ATM, or by using online/mobile banking. In each case, the member takes on the responsibility that the check is valid and the risk of loss if it is not. If the check is deemed to be fraudulent or “not good” by the originating financial institution, the funds are removed from the member’s account. If those funds were already spent or sent to a scammer the funds are still removed from the account and in most cases result in a negative balance. Frequent or excessive fraudulent check deposits can result in deposit restrictions being imposed on the member’s accounts.
Do not provide a “FRIEND” with access to your account. They may tell you they need to make a check deposit because they “have checks and no bank account to deposit them into.” This is usually a scam and a way for the scammer to take your money. This is done either at the ATM or through mobile banking. The scammer (friend) will offer a small amount of the overall deposit in return for the use of your account, debit/atm card, or online banking credentials. Once the money is available and given to the “friend,” the check gets returned as fraudulent from the originating financial institution; the member is then responsible for repaying the funds back to the Credit Union.
Scammers know when deposited funds are mandated to be available, usually within two days. They will pressure the members to send the funds and keep a small amount. However, when the funds are available it is not an indication that the check is valid. Some banks take several days to verify a check and if the funds are gone, you are responsible to pay the credit union those funds back.” “Your best bet: Don’t rely on money from a check unless you know and trust the person you’re dealing with.” (FTC.Gov)
Keep Your Online Banking/Mobile App Credentials Confidential
Your online or mobile banking username and password are some of the most important pieces of your member information and should remain highly confidential. Do not give your username or password to anyone! Giving this information to someone not only gives them access to all of your Sikorsky Credit Union accounts, but it will also give them the ability to move and steal your money. Mobile banking will never be used as a direct deposit for a rebate, a purchase correction, a test transaction for a future loan deposit, or payroll.
Some Tips to Protect Yourself
- Keep all account information confidential unless you call Sikorsky Credit Union at 203-377-2252, no one should ask for your full account number, social security number, etc.
- If you get an email from Sikorsky Credit Union regarding your account, don’t click on a link or call the number provided. Call 203-377-2252.
- If you get a call from someone saying they are Sikorsky Credit Union, hang up and call our Member Solutions Department at 203-377-2252. We will never contact you asking for any personal or account information.
- Don’t answer pop-ups, unsolicited emails, or text messages regarding your account; for example, Paypal, Amazon, etc. Log onto your account with that company (if you have one) and go through their customer service. Do not Google the company’s customer service number, some of those search results provide a fraudulent telephone number to a scammer posing as customer service.
- Don’t allow access to accounts to someone you met online, or a friend that needs to use your account.
- Do not give out any personal identifying information like social security number, date of birth, mom’s maiden name etc. on online applications, there is no way to verify who you are giving that information to.
- If you are enrolled in online banking, take advantage of customizable account alerts to help you monitor your account activity.
Stay tuned for more monthly fraud prevention tips and guidance.