Scams & Frauds - How to avoid becoming a victim
Every season is now scam season! It's easy to fall victim, unless you know what to look for.
United Local Credit Union is dedicated to protecting you against fraud. While our team continually works to stop fraudulent activity, the most effective tool we can give you is awareness. Just remembering a few simple precautions will help you keep your personal information safe.
Credit Union staff, including our fraud department, will NEVER ask you for your PIN, any authorization codes or one-time passcodes. NEVER provide anyone these codes over the phone. The only time you should provide a PIN or case identifying numbers is when verifying transaction on the audio service for your account or with the fraud audio service. These are automated services, a live representative will never ask your a PIN or code.
Scammers are currently posing as representatives of financial institutions and their fraud departments in an effort to collect personal information, including debit card and PIN information.
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from United Local Credit Union or our fraud department asking you for this information, hang up and call our Member Services Department at 559-227-8329 Option 2.
- Keep your account number, password, Social Security Number, ATM/Debit or Credit Card number, PIN and other personal account information are confidential.
A fraudster's goal is to obtain this confidential information so that they can illegally use your money or illegally use your identifying information. Be especially alert with this information on the Internet-fraudsters often try to obtain your confidential information through "phishing" emails and through "spoof" websites.
- It is very important to remember that United Local Credit Union never asks for personal information through email or by phone.
- "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.
- Be wary and thoroughly research any "sellers" on social media. Whether they are an individual or a company with their own website. Remember, just because they have a website does not mean they are legitimate. A high percentage of goods ordered through social media links are never received!
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.