Latest Scams Affecting our Members

Whether it’s by phone, email, social media, or even physical mail, scammers and identity thieves can be a relentless and a potentially dangerous part of your life. These crooks are increasingly combining new technology with age-old tricks to earn your trust and deceive you out of your hard-earned money and/or personal details. If you don’t think you’ll ever be a target, think again … 
 
Here are a few examples of the latest scams affecting BHFCU’s members:
 

Looking for love in ALL the wrong places

The Situation: It all started when Lucy Member connected with Joe through an online dating site. Their relationship blossomed quickly, and Lucy found herself falling in love. When Joe lost his job, Lucy didn’t think twice about sending money to help him “get back on his feet”. But, it turns out Joe’s actual name is Frank, and he never lost his job. Frank is a scam artist who just swindled Lucy out of thousands of dollars.
 
Scams like this, known as romance or confidence scams, are all too common among consumers. Often scam artists will create fake profiles on social media platforms, chat rooms, and dating sites/apps, and pretend to be potential suitors in order to solicit money and/or information in the name of love.
 
>Watch for these potential warning signs
  • The person wants to contact you through personal email or an instant messenger app immediately after connecting with you
  • Claims to be in love very early on in the conversation
  • Claims that work – often abroad - or frequent travel prevents them from meeting in person
  • Recently went through a traumatic life event or a bad business deal.
Don’t be fooled into sending someone money or giving out your account information!    
 

Easy money doesn’t always come cheap 

The Situation: Toby Member was busy, and the friendly, online payday lender promised to get his check processed right away. All he needed was Toby’s Online Banking login information to complete a mobile check deposit. He assured Toby it was the quickest, safest, and easiest way for him to receive his money. A few days later, the lender called saying the company “accidentally” overpaid Toby, and he needed to wire back the difference. After Toby completed the wire transfer, the check from the company bounced, and Toby ended up losing more than a thousand dollars.

Social engineering scammers, like Toby’s online payday lender, often operate under the assumption that it’s much easier to fool someone into giving up their information or click a malicious link than it is to hack their account. They often take advantage of consumer’s trusting personality and financial stress to gain access to their information and/or accounts.

>Watch out for these common social engineering attacks
  • Payday lenders offering quick loan approval, either online or over the phone
  • Callers claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service
  • Phishing attempts through email, social media, and websites that contain malicious downloads or links
  • Emails offering you money or free items in exchange for your information
  • Malware infected messages that appear to come from a legitimate and popular company, bank, school, or institution
  • Suspicious social media invites
  • Fake technical support phone calls requesting remote desktop access
Never give out your information!
 
Many of the above scams succeed because they look and sound a lot like the real thing, and typically catch people off guard. No matter your background, age, or income level, always remember that at some point you could be the target of a scam, fraud attempt, or identity theft ploy. In these situations, it’s important to remain calm and cautious.
 
Remember to Protect your identity:
  • No Passwords
  • No PIN
  • No Personal Information
 While BHFCU works hard to protect you and your information, we encourage you to regularly check in with us to stay informed about the latest threats to your money and personal information. 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 to help monitor your account for fraud.

Visit bhfcu.com/security to learn more about how you can further safeguard your identity and information. Feel free to give us a call if you ever have any questions or concerns.
 

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