If you suspect you've fallen victim to a scam, the first thing to do is call us at 707-546-6000. You can also visit your local branch.
We will be able to help you take next steps to protect your information and lessen the risk of further attacks.
It seems like bad actors come up with another devious method to scam us every other day. It can be hard to keep up with the next scheme to look out for, but we will keep a running list here so you can educate yourself. Here are some of the most recent scams reported to us by members and seen ourselves!
Caller ID spoofing has become an incredibly simple feat for scammers. They will impersonate a person you know through a text, email, or sometimes even through social media (did we mention that Facebook profiles can be easily hacked too?) and coerce you into clicking a link or sending them money.
Be wary of unsolicited or unexpected messages. If you can, try to verify the identity of the sender through other means.
Urgent alerts regarding unemployment, warrants for arrest, or available relief packages should be regarded with caution.
Remember that official agencies will not text you asking you to click on links. If you receive a suspicious alert, do not click on any links. If you think the message might be legitimate, reach out to the agency directly using their official contact information so you can confirm the information.
Especially around busy shopping times, you may get texts explaining that a package is waiting for you, has been delayed, or needs your attention in some way. Don’t click on these links!
If you’ve ordered something, contact the company directly.
Especially around the holidays, look out for deals that seem too good to be true! These are often linked to spam sites that are created to steal your personal information. Don’t click on any offers from communications you haven’t requested.
If you are shopping online with a store you haven’t used before, make sure to do your research! Sometimes a quick Google search will save you a world of trouble. Another easy way to check a site is to make sure that it is secure (little lock icon by the web address)
Ever get a text, email, or even a call stating that you’ve won a grand prize? Who wouldn’t want a new car or some cash?
Unfortunately, you can be sure these messages are fraudulent. These scams will tell you you’ve won a prize, then ask you to pay some sort of shipping or tax fee to claim your ‘prize’. Like the holiday deals, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
With all these different scams to be on the lookout for, protecting your personal information can seem impossible! Luckily, for all these different scenarios, there are a few key tips we have that can shield you from scams.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to recover any lost funds after a scam. The best thing to do is contact the institution that issued the payment, let them know it was fraud, and ask them to reverse the transaction.
If you sent cash by mail, you can contact the US Postal Inspection Service and ask them to intercept the package.
Cryptocurrency payments are typically not reversible.
If you get a suspicious email, often times you can mark it as spam in your inbox. Your email provider will then know to filter out emails like that one into your spam folder. You can also forward the emails to email@example.com, the Anti-Phishing Working Group. Similarly, you can block numbers that sent you a spam text and forward the text to SPAM (7726) to report it. Phishing attempts can also be reported at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/.
A quick Google search is a good way to start. Search the name of the website you want to use, followed by words like "scam" or "reviews" and see what pops up. Also make sure that the site you're visiting is secure, meaning it has the little padlock symbol over by the website address. You can also use Google's Transparency Report to check whether a site is safe.
Scam sites are also designed to look like sites you're familiar with. Keep an eye out for typos or odd spellings.
It's also a good idea to invest in some antivirus softwares like Norton or McAfee. They can constantly monitor whether malicious software or cookies have been installed on your computer, and can alert you when you're on a site that is trying to get your personal information!
It can be extremely anxiety provoking knowing that you may have accidentally given out your personal information!
Your first steps after you suspect your SSN has been stolen is to report the theft, and to put a freeze on your credit.
Monitor your credit reports; these are a great resource to detect any fraudulent activity using your personal information. Obtaining these credit reports if often free.
Community First Credit Union is committed to protecting our members by constantly monitoring activity, staying up to date on the latest fraud trends, and reaching out to our members when something doesn’t seem quite right. If fraudulent activity is detected, you will be contacted on the telephone number we have on file, so be sure to keep your contact information current.
If you suspect you might have fallen victim to a scam, please contact us immediately at 707-546-6000 or visit your LOCAL branch.