Beware of Banking Scams
There’s been a recent uptick in banking scams where criminals pose as representatives of the victim’s financial institution, thereby obtaining sensitive information. The scammers use the credit union’s social media account or likeness to appear authentic. They then empty the victim’s accounts and disappear.
Often, when the scammers receive a response from the victim on social media, they redirect the victim to what appears to be the credit union’s website. The victim will input a user ID and password, which the scammers use to empty their accounts or open credit cards in the victim’s name.
Sometimes, the scammers impersonate helpful member service representatives seemingly seeking to answer your questions. Other times, the scammers claim your account has been compromised and you need to immediately update your information. Still other times, scammers will pose as representatives of a sweepstakes or another contest you’ve “won.” Of course, these claims are false.
Here’s what you need to know about banking scams:
1.) Check URLs
Verify a site’s authenticity by double-checking the URL. It should match the financial institution’s site exactly. Check a site’s security by looking for the “S” after the “http” on the web address.
2.) Be suspicious
If you’re on guard, you’ll usually spot those fakers. Is a representative claiming there are problems with your account when everything seems to be fine? Are they asking you to share sensitive information through insecure channels? Is someone promising that you’ve won a contest you’ve never entered? If things don’t add up, opt out.
3.) Reach out to us
It may be difficult to determine whether the people you’re talking to are the real thing. If you think you’re dealing with Sharon Credit Union but things seem fishy, hang up or log out and call Sharon Credit Union yourself. You can always reach us at 781-784-7725, or our toll-free number at 877-661-3300. Be sure to call this number and never use another number suggested by a suspicious-acting “member service representative.”
4.) In case of fraud, take action
If you suspect you’ve been taken for a ride, let us know as soon as possible. The sooner you catch a scam, the better. It’s also a good idea to let the FTC know. Contact them at FTC.gov.
5.) Protect yourself
Practice basic safety measures with your accounts:
A. Safeguard account details: Never share account information without being certain about who you are talking to.
B. Use good password hygiene: Use complex passwords and change them often. Use different passwords for each of your accounts.
C. Choose extra protection: Opt in for two-factor identification when logging into your accounts.
D. Set up alerts: Choose to receive an email or text message when transactions on your account exceed your typical level of spending.
E. Monitor your accounts: Check your accounts on a regular basis for any suspicious activity.
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