Latest Scams Affecting our Members - April 2018
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 combine 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 think you’ll never be a target, think again …
Here are a few examples of the latest scams affecting BHFCU’s members:
>Fast cash from a fishy source
The situation: Within minutes of submitting a loan application, Jerry Member received a call from the friendly online payday lender saying his loan had been approved and they had a check waiting for him. All they needed was Jerry’s Online Banking username and password to complete a mobile check deposit. Unfortunately, Jerry didn’t think twice about giving out his username and password. A few days later, the lender called saying the company “accidentally” overpaid Jerry, and he would need to send back the difference through a pre-paid gift card. After sending the gift card, the check from the payday lender bounced, and Jerry ended up being scammed out of hundreds of dollars.
Whether online or over the phone, payday lending scams like the one above are designed to trick you into giving out your personal, financial, and/or account information. What may seem like a reputable company online, could actually be a scam in disguise. It’s important to remain cautious and do your research before giving out any information to an online payday lender.
Watch for these potential warning signs
- The online payday lender requires you to provide Online Banking login information in order to deposit borrowed funds and/or withdraw repayments. No legitimate company will ask you for your Online Banking username and password.
- The online payday lender is not recognized by the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org), has minimal contact information, and refuses to provide any upfront information about fees and charges associated with the loan.
- Additionally, be wary of payday loan collectors who call and threaten to sue or have you arrested if you don’t immediately wire a payment or provide a bank account or credit card number to pay off a supposed debt.
- The fake collector may claim to be from a law firm or government agency and threaten to garnish your wages, levy your bank account, or use a variety of other intimidation tactics. Never give out your information!
BHFCU offers a variety of loan options to help you achieve financial success. See how BHFCU can help.
>Stop blowing up my phone
The situation: The phone number wasn’t in Brittany Member’s contact list, but her caller ID listed the number as local. She worried it might be someone calling from work or her son’s daycare. She decided to answer, just in case. The caller said he was calling on behalf of a local charity and wondered if Brittany would be willing to support their organization. She gladly handed over her credit card information for a donation. Only later, when numerous unauthorized charges showed up on her card, did Brittany realize the caller was actually a scammer.
Phone spoofing scams like Brittany’s are becoming increasingly common as technology is making it easier for scammers to mask caller ID information. These scam artists often use local numbers or familiar locations to trick you into answering. Don’t be fooled!
Watch out for these additional phone spoofing scams
- Be wary of phone numbers that have a caller ID claiming to be from a government agency like the IRS, Federal Trade Commission, or FBI.
- Avoid answering calls that show up as “unknown”, “123456789”, or with a phone number similar to yours. If needed, let the call go to voicemail.
- If you do pick up, be sure to avoid selecting any of the phone menu options and never give out any personal or financial information.
Many 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, be cautious, and keep in mind the following:
Remember to P
rotect 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.
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.