So how can you protect yourself? Education and awareness are the keys to keeping yourself safe. Over the past few years Sikorsky Credit Union has seen a number of scams, but these are a small sample of the most prevalent:
The Romance Scam: Scammers will build trust from a victim, after a short time, a romantic relationship is formed. The scammer will then ask for money to be sent to assist with various needs. The victim is often blinded by the relationship and will send or wire funds through cash apps, wire services, gift cards, crypto currency and more.
The Employment Scam: If you are on the job hunt this is one to definitely watch out for. The victim, in search for employment (usually on a job board like Indeed or Zip Recruiter), applies for a job through a fraudulent job posting thinking it is legitimate. Most of these scams are online or remote jobs. The fraudster will send the victim a large check to deposit to buy equipment to set up their home office. The scammer will have the victim keep a small amount for their salary and send the remaining to an office supply company. Once the check is found to be fake, the money sent for supplies is lost and the victim is responsible for the lost funds.
Email or Popup Scam: A victim will receive a popup message or email from a sender they trust, like Amazon, PayPal, Microsoft Windows or virus protection software like McAfee. The messages will state that the victim’s account is compromised or references a purchase or rebate and asks the victim to click a link or call a telephone number provided for assistance. Since the victim trusts the company, they will call not knowing they are talking to a scammer who will then steal their information.
Don’t fall victim to scams, here are some tips to keep yourself safe:
- Don’t open unsolicited emails or texts
- Don’t allow remote access to your computer or cell phone
- Don’t give our your social security number, account information or any other personal banking information (user ID, etc.)
- Don’t send cash, gift cards, wire transfers or crypto currency for payment (legitimate companies most likely do not use these methods)
- Make payments to your trusted companies using your account log on from their website or app
- If you are concerned that you are involved in a scam, cease contact with the scammer immediately and contact the Credit Union or your local branch, do not send funds
Remember that when a victim engages with a scammer (even unknowingly), if the funds are lost, the victim is responsible, not the financial institution.
Stay tuned for more monthly fraud prevention tips and guidance.