Watch For Fraudsters

They never stop trying to hack into our data or steal our information. The key is to be prepared!

At MCNJTFCU, providing you with relevant, timely information is part of who we are. We want to keep you informed, as well as protect you and your family.

Beware of Phishing Attempts

Never share sensitive information (this includes personal info, such as usernames, social security numbers, addresses, etc.) in response to an email, text, or phone call. If you’re not sure, verify a website’s validity by typing the URL directly into your browser rather than following a link. Here, you go directly to the source.

What to watch for: misspellings, questionable or odd email addresses, and bad grammar. These are often warning signs of fraud.

Fake Charities

The FTC advises that you research before making any donation, including charities, or crowdfunding sites claiming to assist a person in need, or a cause you care about, such as the current pandemic. Never feel pressured into donating, and if someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it

Fake Account “Alerts”

An individual may receive false or malicious alerts stating your credit union or other financial institution account has been “temporarily suspended,” “deactivated,” or even closed. The victim then receives a link that looks like the financial institution’s login screen, encouraging them to login with their username and password to reactivate their account. This bogus screen allows the criminal to collect the victim’s personal banking information – and use it for nefarious purposes.

At MCNJTFCU, we will never ask you for account information. We have it on file already! So will other legitimate businesses.

Counterfeit Investment Opportunities

These are often bogus online offers. Also, be wary of “publicly traded” companies claiming to prevent, detect, or cure Coronavirus. The ploy is for you to “invest” in these phony companies, and the stock will dramatically increase in value as a result. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says to use extreme caution with any offer. Other investor alerts may claim a company’s products or services can stop the Coronavirus outbreak. This is false.

These faulty claims are also rampant on social media sites. Be wary and don’t click on suspicious links. Never pay to be part of an unknown company claiming a cure for Coronavirus or any other disease.

Secret Shopper Scams

An innocent person responds to a post for a “Secret Shopper” job and receives a check via FedEx. The person must deposit the check, purchase Apple iTunes cards, and share the numbers with the crooks. Once the Apple iTunes card numbers are shared, the money is no longer in the victim’s account, and the person loses out.

Senior Scams

In the “funeral” approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend a complete stranger’s funeral to take advantage of the widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts.

Another scam is the “Grandparent Scam.”

Here, fraudsters call an older person, and when the victim answers, they will say something like: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the grandchild’s name the scammer, most sounds like the scammer has established a fake identity. Once “in,” the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem.

Telemarketing Scams

One example is the pigeon drop, where the con artist tells the individual that he/she has found a large sum of money and is willing to split it if the person will make a “good faith” payment by withdrawing funds from his/her bank account.

The Best Cure Is Education.

Never accept a “check,” make a “donation,” or “share” personal information with a source you don’t know. If you believe you’ve become a victim of fraud, contact us at 609-586-6669.

Source: AARP and the FTC.

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