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Stay Vigilant! Scammers are using new methods to access your finances!


In March, at the beginning of the pandemic, we began to highlight the importance of being vigilant for scammers and fraudulent schemes. With the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, scammers have been taking advantage of the fear and vulnerability of innocent people. In fact, did you know that Americans have lost an estimated $145 million to scams that are directly linked to Covid-19?1 That number has been estimated from the nearly 205,000 filed reports of fraud from victims.

And while this blog isn’t intended to incite fear amongst our members, we want to be the most useful resource we can to help you make sure that no scams or fraud occur with your finances!  With that said, we have highlighted a few more examples of scams that both your credit union and other financial institutions are seeing take place. We hope these examples will help you better identify when a potential scammer is trying to take advantage of you!

Example 1:
Scammers will pose as someone you can trust and probably know very well. They will reach out to you via email posing as this person requesting money. Typically, they will then request that you purchase a certain amount of money worth of gift cards and ask that you relay the gift card numbers as well as the PIN numbers to access the money. If you do receive an email like this from someone that you know personally, make sure to contact them immediately to confirm the fraudulent action.

Example 2:
Email is not the only way scammers will try to take advantage of victims. Text messaging has also become a popular way for fraudulent activity to occur. One such example, related to Covid-19, shows that people are receiving direct text messages encouraging the potential victim to click a link to “accept” a stimulus payment.2 Once that link has been clicked, the scammer can gain access to all sort of personal information that will make you vulnerable to financial loss.

Example 3:
In another example of text messaging fraud, a woman received a message from someone posing as her grandson and requesting money so he could get back home from out-of-state, due to Covid-19.2 In a situation where the message you are receiving appears to be from someone you know, make sure to contact them personally before transferring any funds to the unknown source. Often times you can identify the situation as fraudulent by simply contacting the person the scammer is pretending to be.

If you have experienced any of the above examples of fraudulent activity or if you have any questions about potential fraudulent scenarios, come in and see us! Protecting you and your finances is what is most important to us!


1 - Americans have lost $145 million to scams linked to Covid-19 

2 - Robocall Enforcement Unit warns of potential scam calls and texts 

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