Updated April 15, 2020
Scammers and fraudsters are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus.
Difficult times can bring out the best in people, but it can also bring out the worst in scammers. Be on the lookout for suspicious, unexpected emails, offers that sound too good to be true, and phone calls asking for personal information, including social security numbers and account numbers. Remember: the credit union will never call you, asking for personal information.
Coming direct from the Federal Trade Commission, here are five things you can do, to avoid Coronavirus scams:
- Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. The details are still coming together.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time.
- Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
If you see a scam, please report it at https://www.ftc.gov/complaint.
Recently, there has been an increase in text and telephone scams, and caller ID spoofing taking place in Wisconsin and across the country.
These calls often appear to come from a local financial institution stating they are from the Fraud Department, and will often try and get credit card numbers, PINs, online banking credentials, etc. It is often difficult to tell immediately if an incoming call is spoofed. Be extremely careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.
We want our members to know:
- Do not trust Caller ID. It is very easy to spoof any phone number.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords, PINs, or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent your financial institution, tell the caller for security reasons you are going to hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the financial institution’s website to verify the authenticity of the request.
- Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
- Scammers purchase random lists, which have no connection to the financial institution, hoping some of the financial institution’s members are on the list. If you get such a call, it does not mean your accounts have been compromised. Your member information and funds are safe.
- Fox Communities Credit Union will never call you and ask for your credit card number, credit card expiration date, debit card PIN, online banking credentials, account numbers, SSN, secure access codes, or permission to access your PC.
- If you received one of these scam calls, and divulged any sensitive information, call the Credit Union immediately and report it.
For more information about how scams work and how you can protect yourself and avoid being scammed, visit our page on preventing identity theft.