Protecting Yourself from Online and Debit Card Fraud
Here’s How to Guard Against Financial Fraud
Do you know how to guard yourself from financial fraud? If not, now is the time to learn as, unfortunately, we see a lot of fraud attempts directed at our members lately. All types of fraud are happening, but online and debit card fraud are skyrocketing. The best way to protect yourself is to know the tricks scammers use to make you let your guard down. A recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that 80% of people who have learned about a scam will disengage from it before it’s too late. Are you part of that statistic?
Guard Your Financial Information:
Under no circumstances should you ever give financial information like account numbers, debit card numbers and PINs out over the phone or online to people you do not know.
- Never give out your account number to anyone other than employers or other trusted and encrypted sites, such as setting up auto pay for utilities.
- Never give out your debit card number online, such as for a Facebook or Instagram advertised purchase. Once you give the number, there is no way to stop that transaction. We are seeing purchases being made by members, and the money is debited or charged, but the product ordered is never received. Or the members didn’t read the fine print and they are set up on an auto-ship subscription, so the funds keep coming out every month.
- Never pay with a gift card over the phone. Scammers often ask you to buy a gift card and then give them the gift card number and the PIN on the back of the card. Once they have that information, the money is gone, and you will not be able to get it back.
Never Engage These (Fake) People:
Scammers are great at telling a convincing story. Anyone with a legitimate purpose is not going to ask you to pay via a call, text or email. If you encounter any of these stories, the best thing to do is disengage. Some examples of recent reported scams on the rise:
- The IRS needs you to pay taxes or penalties.
- The utility company needs you to pay your bill or it will cut off your service.
- A service member needs to sell something before being deployed.
- A sweepstakes company needs you to pay fees so you can claim your prize.
- Someone buying something from you online has sent you a check for more than the purchase price and asks you to keep that check and pay them the difference.
Don’t Respond to These Emotions:
Scammers often try to catch you off guard with story that makes you feel like you must engage with them. Watch out for the following tactics:
- Scaring you - Scammers often say they are from an official organization like the IRS, then tell you that you’re in big trouble but they can help you out of it. They try to create a sense of urgency by saying things like “This is your last warning,” “Your 401k plan will be frozen,” or “The maximum sentence for this crime is five years in prison.”
- Saying you must participate - Once scammers have scared you, they may say you have to cooperate or face arrest or fines.
- Rewarding cooperation - If you do go along with them, they act like your trusted friend and say they can help you take care of the situation.
- Not letting you go - If you act like you’re going to hang up, they say it’s a one-time opportunity, and if you hang up you will not get another chance to resolve the problem.
If you suspect you might be the victim of a scam situation, tell the person that you just have to think about it, then hang up and call Members 1st Credit Union. We can help you determine if it’s a scammer or scam situation. We’re always here to protect and put our members FIRST!
Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
Festus office: (636) 931-7144
Toll-free: (877) 487-5628