Fraud and Scam Education
Four Signs of a Scam
- Pretending to be from an organization you know.
- Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government, your medical and/or financial institutions, or other known organizations such as utility service, universities, schools, non-profit organizations and more.
- Scammers use technology to change the phone number that appears on your called ID, so the name and number you see might not be real.
- Scammers say there is a problem or prize.
- Scammers will use scare tactics to make you think you are in trouble with the government, you owe money, someone in your family has an emergency, there is a virus in your computer and more.
- Another scamming tactic includes saying there is a problem with one of your online accounts and verifying personal identifying information. UNCLE Credit Union will NEVER call, email or text you asking for your personal information.
- Other scamming tactics include lying to say you have won money in a lottery or sweepstakes, but you have to pay a fee to access the cash.
- Scammers pressure you to act immediately.
- Scammers do not want to give you time to think. If you are on the phone, they might tell you not to hang up so you cannot confirm their story.
- Some scammers will go as far as to say they are threatening to arrest you, sue you, take away a license, or deport you.
- Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.
- Scammers often insist that you pay be sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and having you send it to them.
- Some scammers will also send you a check (a fake check), tell you to deposit it, and then send them money.
Five Ways to Avoid a Scam
- Block unwanted calls and text messages.
- Do NOT give your personal or financial information in response to a request you did not expect.
- Real or legitimate organizations will not call, email, or text you to ask for personal information like your social security number, bank account or credit card numbers.
- Resist the pressure to act immediately.
- Real or legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
- Know how scammers tell you to pay.
- NEVER pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service such as account to account transfer, Zelle, CashApp, Venmo or other money transferring services.
- NEVER deposit a check and send money back to someone.
- Stop and talk to someone you trust.
- Before doing anything else, tell a friend, family member, neighbor, or someone you trust what has happened to you. Talking about it could help you realize you are about to be scammed.
- UNCLE Credit Union is here to help our members who may feel as if they are victims of fraud. If you feel you may be a victim of a scam, call 1-800-447-5001 or visit a local UNCLE financial center immediately.
While online dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools to find love and friendship, they have unfortunately also become popular tools for fraudsters known as romance scammers. Scammers use fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.
- Romance or friendship scams profess adoration and love quickly, without actually meeting you.
- Scammers may say they care about you, they listen to you, and they may even be in love with you, but this is a common tactic to get you to give up personal details and answers to security questions that you use to lock down your online accounts.
- Romance or friendship scams claim they need money for an emergency, hospital bills or travel.
- Be suspicious of anyone who asks you for financial assistance, no matter how dire their circumstances may be.
- Common scamming storylines include “I need money to support a sick relative”, “I need fund to finalize a loved one’s funeral”, “I need a short-term loan to be able to visit you”, or “I am a US service member overseas and need money”.
- Romance or friendship scams lure you off of a dating site.
- Be very cautious when someone asks for your phone number or email address to take the conversation off of a social media site. This makes it easier for scammers to access your personal information.
- If you wish to communicate outside of a social media or dating site, set up an alternate email address or utilize an instant messaging app that is not connected to personal information like your primary email or phone number.
- Romance or friendships scammers plan to visit you, but they always cancel because of an “emergency”.
- If an online love or friendship interest makes plans to visit but always seems to change their plans at the last minute, you should be very suspicious. Often, a cancellation will be accompanied by a request for a short-term loan or payment.