With the COVID-19 Pandemic spreading world-wide, fraudsters continue to utilize fear and worry as a way of provoking people into falling for their scams. In this blog, we are going to cover some ways to help you recognize and prevent scams, as well as, what to do if you fall victim.
Recognizing & Preventing Scams
Be cautious – legitimate businesses will not ask you to give out any personal information (full social security numbers, bank information) over a message or email. If the business is legit but you’re not sure about the email or call, contact the business directly though a number or website you know is real.
Guard financial information – Fraudsters will often ask for payment via specific means (wire transfer, loaded gift card) or they will ask for account information. Just remember there is no reason to share this information via phone call or email.
Poor writing skills – Many scam attempts originate in foreign countries and are written by people whom English is second language. These include grammatical errors, strange sentence structure , and misspelled words.
Don’t give into pressure – Many times, callers will make you feel a false sense of urgency or messages may include words like “Act Now!” as a way to push you into sharing personal information. In these cases, delete the message or end the call.
Think before you click – Always practice good good browsing while online. Never download attachments or click on links in an email from an unknown source, malware is often sent via attachment. If you are unsure of a website authenticity, check the URL for an “S” after “HTTP” – this indicates the website is secure.
What To Do If You Fall Victim:
Notify your bank and your creditors – It’s very important to stop the fraudulent activity as soon as possible. Call your credit card companies and your financial institution to put a stop to any further transactions.
Place a Fraud Alert – Immediately call one of 3 major credit reporting agencies and an alert will be placed on all 3 reports. You should view your credit report at least once a year to ensure no fraudulent activity occurs.
Check your accounts and statements – Check your accounts through online banking or the mobile app and review your financial statements regularly to help detect any unauthorized charges.
Contact the Federal Trad Commission (FTC) and your local police departments – Fill out the FTC’s ID Theft Complaint Form from their website and make a copy for you. Contact your local police department and fill out a police report on the crime. Try to give as much information as possible to help the investigators.
Update your security information – Updating your password on your phone, computer or any other device that might have personal information like banking information stored.
WCU Credit Union values the security of your personal information. That is why we will never ask you for confidential information, like full social security number, full bank account number, or PIN via email or website, an online chat, text message, or unsolicited phone call. If you receive an email or phone call requesting personal information, it is not from WCU Credit Union.