Scams & Frauds - How to avoid becoming a victim
Did you know that the holiday season is not only the busiest shopping season of the year, but also the biggest scam season of the year? It's easy to fall victim, unless you know what to look for.
Follow the tips below to avoid becoming a victim this holiday season.
- "Secret Shoppers" - Yes, secret shoppers do exist. However, they will never hire you over the phone or internet. Secret shoppers work directly for the companies they evaluate. They will never post the job opening on Facebook or Craigslist. You would apply directly with the company and interview in a local store or office for the position.
- "Personal Assistant" - These are normally Online, Facebook or Craigslist ads looking for personal assistants and/or personal shoppers to help during the holiday season.
Both of these scams have one thing in common, they will send you funds in the form of a money order or "Cashier's Check". They will instruct you to buy specific items from different retailers. Then they will tell you to send back a certain amount of the funds using Money Gram or Western Union. The money order or check that you received is counterfeit and will be returned as unpaid after you deposit it into your account. You will be responsible for these funds. It is NOT POSSIBLE for the Credit Union to get these funds back on your behalf.
Other popular scams include lottery winnings, raffle winning, inheritance funds, online jobs and computer intrusion. Remember the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- If you did not buy a lottery or raffle ticket, you cannot win it. You cannot win the lottery and/or raffle in a state or country that you do not live in.
- Inheritance funds would be handled through a licensed lawyer in the state you live in. Not online, by fax/email and not over seas.
- 99% of jobs listed on Facebook, Craigslist and on Pop Up ads are fraudulent. Only use reputable online job searches like Cal Jobs, Indeed, Zip Recruiter, Career Builder, etc.
Computer Intrusion happens when someone calls you and claims to be from IT Support for Microsoft, Google, Apple, Dell or any other computer software company. They will tell you that there is an issue with your computer and they need access in order to fix it. DO NOT GIVE ANYONE REMOTE ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER, unless you have called IT support for your specific software product yourself. Once the scammers have remoted into your computer, they will place malware on your PC that will record all your user names and password, including your Online Banking credentials. With this information they can log into your financial accounts and transfer money our of your accounts.
For more information and resources about keeping your account safe, visit our Security Page.