Security Is Our Top Priority
Ways to keep your account safe
A scammer pretends to be someone you trust — a government agency like the Social Security Administration or the IRS, a family member, a love interest, or someone claiming there’s a problem with your computer. The scammer can even have a fake name or number show up on your caller ID to convince you.
To avoid being scammed, never give out your personal confidential information to anyone – even if they sound convincing. Hang up and call the person or company they’re claiming to be to verify. Even if it’s a legitimate call, you should not give out this type of information. Companies you do business with will already have the information on file.
Debt relief and credit repair scams
Scammers trying to take advantage of people dealing with debt will offer to lower your credit card interest rates, fix your credit, or get your student loans forgiven if you pay their company a fee first. But you could end up losing your money, ruining your credit, or being forced into bankruptcy.
A legitimate debt relief company can’t legally make you pay up front. No one can improve your credit over night or guarantee that your creditors will forgive your debts.
Scammers like to pose as charities and request donations for disaster relief efforts. This is a very common phone scam. Always do your research on a charity before you give, and don’t feel pressured to give immediately over the phone. Before you do, ask them to mail you the information to review the validity of their request.
Extended Car Warranties
Scammers find out what kind of car you drive and when you bought it so they can urge you to buy overpriced — or worthless — service contracts. You may receive calls or texts warning that your vehicles warranty is about to to expire.
The companies behind the messages may give the impression they represent your car dealer or manufacturer. They use phrases like “Motor Vehicle Notification,” “Final Warranty Notice,” or “Notice of Interruption” to make the offer seem urgent — and to get you to respond. They’re likely trying to sell you a service contract, although they may call it an extended warranty.
Check with your lender or dealer and compare pricing before purchasing extended warranties that you may not need.
Prize and lottery Scams
In a typical prize scam, the scammer informs a victim that he/she has won a large award or is entitled to a large inheritance from a deceased relative. However, before the victim can receive the money, he/she must supposedly pay taxes or fees. The victim ends up wiring funds to the scammer to pay the taxes or fees but never hears from the scammer again.
If someone tells you to pay a fee for taxes, shipping and handling charges, or processing fees to get your prize, you’re dealing with a scammer. And if they ask you to pay by wiring money, sending cash, or paying with gift cards or cryptocurrency to get your prize, don’t do it. Scammers use these payments because it’s hard to track who the money went to. And it’s almost impossible to get your money back.
Vehicle cloning is a sophisticated crime that involves criminals gathering legitimate vehicle identification numbers (VINs) from legitimately registered vehicles from parking lots, dealerships, and even on the streets. They take a digital photo of the VIN plates under the windshield or the driver’s side doors, then create counterfeit VIN plates for stolen vehicles illegally sold. The stolen vehicles are typically the same model, year, and often-times color.
The counterfeit VIN plates are used to replace the stolen vehicles original plates. In some cases, the criminals grind out the VIN stamp on the engines of the stolen vehicles and re-stamp with the legitimate vehicles’ VINs. Authorities will seize the stolen vehicles upon discovery and eventually return them to their rightful owners, leaving the innocent member with no vehicle and an unsecured loan.
When members are scammed through car cloning, they are still liable to make payments for the loan.
Using fake online dating profiles with photos of other people to lure their victims, scammers often say they are from the U.S. but are temporarily traveling or working overseas. The scammers quickly profess their love and tug at the victim’s emotions with fake stories and their need for money. The scammers often request money for reasons such as a plane ticket, other travel expenses, and customs fees – all needed to get back into the country. The victims often wire the scammers money never hearing from their “sweetheart” again. Use caution with online dating apps and do not send money to people you don't truly know.
Elderly scams target seniors where the scammer will call an elderly person, often a grandparent, pretending to be a grandchild or other relative. They will indicate they have been arrested and need bail money or are at the border and trying to get back into the country and they need money wired to them, usually by Western Union. When receiving these calls, the grandparent is anxious to help their grandchild, but if they call the grandchild at a number of record or other relatives for assistance this scam should be discovered rather quickly.
Variations on this scam include an “attorney” calling on behalf of the person in trouble, and instead of wiring funds the request is to purchase gift cards and provide the account numbers. Always verify the person you are talking to is indeed them and not someone pretending.
Secret Shopper Scams
People looking to earn extra cash are frequently tricked into participating in the secret shopper scam. If a person accepts the job, he/she receives a counterfeit cashier’s check ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. They are instructed to cash the check and purchase money orders and gift cards and send them to the scammers. For their efforts they will keep a percentage of the check they receive. The counterfeit check is subsequently returned unpaid and charged back to the member’s account. Even if you deposit a fraudulent check unknowingly, you will be responsible to pay it back.
Phishing involves an email being sent out, often to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people at one time (otherwise known as spam). The email may appear to be sent on behalf of a well-known organization such as PayPal, eBay, Microsoft, or Apple, among many other well-known brands. In other cases, the email may appear to be sent from a bank or credit union, government agency such as the IRS, or even from a service company such as FedEx.
Keep in mind that no matter who the email appears to be sent from, it may look very legitimate and trustworthy, but it may not actually be that. It also will usually include a link or attachment that the sender intends for you to click on. Clicking on a link can lead the scammer to stealing login credentials, personal information, or install malicious software on your device giving the scammer access to your data.
Spear-phishing is often far more difficult to detect. In this type of attack, cybercriminals will go to great lengths and do research ahead of time about the victims they are planning to target using social media and other public postings. By doing this, it allows them to send a message that looks like it was sent on behalf of a colleague, manager, or even a friend. In addition, the email will often be very cleverly crafted to cover a topic that would be logical to send and receive at your place of work, often with the sense of urgency. Don’t hesitate to verify the email request with a phone call or separate email, especially if it seems out of place.
Ways we Help Keep Your Money Safe
CardValet allows you to monitor your account with immediate text alerts each time your debit or credit card is used. You can turn your cards on and off with a click of a button, limit where your card can be used, establish spending limits and so much more.
This convenient service is a one-way communication channel that allows us to send automated text messages to inform you about information that may affect your account, disaster recovery efforts, branch emergency closings, and more.