Watch Out For Scams

Whether it’s by phone, email, social media, or even physical mail, scams seem to appear everywhere you look. While you may find it easy to spot certain well-known scams, con artists are constantly developing new and creative schemes to deceive you out of your hard-earned money or personal information. Don’t be fooled! 
 
At BHFCU, we believe staying informed about the latest scams is one of the best ways you can protect yourself and your money. Most scams succeed because they look like the real thing and typically catch people off guard, so it’s important to be cautious and well informed.  Also, never give out your Online Banking username and password. 
 
Here are just a few of the latest scams out there that you should know about:
 
Fake Loans
As part of a new trend, scammers are reaching out to consumers with a seemingly “incredible deal” on a new credit card or personal loan. However, in order to receive the credit card or loan, consumers must first pay an insurance, processing, or advance fee through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Oftentimes, these scammers claim to guarantee loan approvals for good or bad credit. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, chances are it probably is.
 
IRS Threats
While posing as fake IRS agents, con artists try to convince consumers they owe money to the IRS. If the consumer refuses to cooperate immediately, they may threaten them with arrest, deportation, or even suspension of their driver’s license. In one of the latest versions of this scam, people with college loans are being threatened with arrest and other penalties unless they pay a nonexistent “federal student tax”. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes. 
 
Phishing and Malware Schemes
With a recent surge in email and even text message communications, scammers are working harder than ever to gain access to consumers’ financial information. These fraudulent emails and text messages appear to be from a reputable organization asking you to disclose personal and financial information. They may even include links that contain malware, which can infect people’s computers and allow criminals to access files or track your keystrokes to gain information. Never respond or open suspicious emails and links!
 
It’s important to remember that no matter your background, age, or income level, at some point you could be the target of a scam. If you ever think you’re being scammed, conduct a quick online search or consult with someone you trust before taking any action. You can also take some precautionary measures, like signing up for BHFCU’s Card Alerts program and registering for our Online Banking and Mobile services, which can to help you monitor your account for fraud.
 
In addition, we encourage members to regularly check in with us to learn about the latest threats to you and your money. Feel free to give us a call at 605-718-1818 or stop by your favorite location if you ever have questions or concerns.
 

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