Scammers have come up with clever ways to steal money and personal information, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself from falling victim to fraud. Check out these tips from your Envision family to help you stay aware and informed.
Spotting a Scammer
Spotting a scammer can be tricky, but if you look for the right things you can take steps to protecting yourself and your family from fraudulent activity. Here are some behaviors and tactics that should raise some red flags:
- Persistent phone calls or emails. Beware of phone calls, emails, or communication that you receive persistently, as scammers may try to pose as reputable businesses or government agencies, even the IRS. Be sure to take precautions to verify those who contact you and avoid giving out any personal information.
- Overtly threatening or pressuring demeanor. Scammers like to avoid giving you time to check if their offer is real before you commit to it. They will also often pretend to be from a well-known organization or government department and try to scare you into giving them your personal information or money with threats like fines or disconnecting your access.
- Fake websites and emails. Scammers can contact you from emails that look like they have come from your bank or someone you know. Always check emails and webpages for authenticity and avoid sharing personal information online.
- Fake social media profiles. Beware of scammers making fake profiles on social media. They may send you a friend request or message, sending you offers to make quick money or invest or asking for money to help them with trouble they are having.
Avoid Scammers & Protect Your Information
- Don’t open attachments, click on links, or call the phone number from unfamiliar sources.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi and computers to conduct online transactions.
- Install operating system patches when available, and protect your home computer with a firewall and antivirus software.
- Use multi-authentication for account logins and avoid using the same passwords for multiple websites.
- Pick a strong password, keep it secure, and change it frequently.
- To avoid tax identity fraud, file annual tax returns promptly.
- Don’t keep your computer on all the time. This makes it more prone to spyware and other hacker attacks.
- Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list, as this can lead to more phone calls.
- Research the company and read the cancellation policy before signing up for any free trials.
- Don’t share your personal, banking, or credit card information with people you don’t know or trust.
- Check your credit report every four months to watch for new or re-opened accounts.
- Destroy personal documents before you throw them away.
- Download the Card Valet app to monitor your debit card transactions.
- Contact us immediately to report a suspicious charge on your account. Click here for more information on card safety.
- Check out additional tips and information here.
Protect Your Kids Online
Minors under 18 are common targets of identity theft. Here is what you should check and warning signs to look for:
- Collection notices or calls products or services in your child’s name.
- Notice declaring your child owes income tax
- Offers for pre-approved credit in your child’s name. This could be a sign that an account was opened at a financial institution.
Checking Their Credit
- Contact Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to request a credit report in your child’s name.
- If a credit report is found in your child’s name request a fraud alert and consider placing a credit freeze.
Stay Alert During Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In these uncertain times, there are scammers out there looking to take advantage of the innocent. Please be on the lookout for the following scams.
- Fake Apps- Text links promising an app to track Coronavirus stats. It allows scammers to watch you through your smartphone camera & listen to you through your microphone or see your text messages
- Email Scams- Claiming to provide information about Coronavirus. If you click the embedded links, you will download malicious software onto your device. This software allows cyber-criminals to take control of your computer, log your keystrokes, and access personal information and financial data, these could all of course lead to identify theft
- Fake Government Programs or Charities- Falsely personifying programs to provide links, etc.
- Fake Commerce- Falsely selling Coronavirus items or supplies online (undelivered goods)
- Robocalls- Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. You should hang up and not press any numbers
- Phishing- We have observed fraudster emails and voice mails sent directly to cardholders asking for personally identifiable information and impersonating the Financial Institutions, health groups and federal government agencies
- False Impersonations- Criminals in possession of card details and other forms of personally identifiable information are spoofing the phone number from financial institutions to fool cardholders into thinking that text messages and phone calls are actually from the fraud department of their financial institution
Additional Tips for Cardholders
Neither our Credit Union nor the Fraud Department will ever ask you over the phone for your PIN, CV2 codes or Expiration Dates
A text alert warning of suspicious activity on a card will NEVER include:
A link to be clicked. Cardholders should never click on a link in a text message that is supposedly from us
Vague reference to a “Merchant” transaction; details should be included
Requests for cardholder data such as card numbers, PINs, CV2 Codes, Expiration Date
- A text alert from us will always be from a 5-digit number and NOT a 10-digit number resembling a phone number
- A valid notification will provide information about the suspect transaction and ask the cardholder to reply to the text message with answers such as ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘help’, or ‘stop’
- A phone call from one of our Call Center agents will only include a request for the cardholder Zip code, and no other personal information, unless the cardholder confirms that a transaction is fraudulent
- Only then will the cardholder be transferred to an agent, who will ask questions to confirm the cardholder’s identity before going through the transaction history. If, at any point the cardholder is uncertain about questions being asked or the call itself, they should hang up and call us directly.
- If a call is received by the cardholder, claiming to be your Call Center and asking to verify transactions, no information should have to be provided by the cardholder other than their Zip code, and a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the transactions provided