In recent days, scams against our members have increased exponentially, especially in the area of online scams. These types of scams are frequently facilitated via telephone and email with the ultimate goal of deceiving our members into giving the scammers their information and ultimately access their finances.
Below are a few tips you can use to help avoid these types of fraudulent scams:
1. Scammers will pretend to be employees of places you know
Scammers will pretend to contact you from your financial institution or other important government agencies or local authorities such as the IRS or your local Police Department. The Scammers may even fraudulently call from the same number as your financial institution or other agency, pretending to be their staff. If you receive a call from PSCU or another agency that you were not expecting, we encourage you to not give any information out, and call your financial institution or agency back directly to ensure their staff was trying to reach out to you.
2. Scammers will make the call sound urgent or state there is a problem
Scammers love to create a sense of urgency by claiming a family emergency or that you owe money to the government or that there is a virus on your device. Other scammers will claim that there is problem with your account, and they need to verify your information.
3. Scammers will demand that you act immediately
Scammers want you to act quickly before you have time to discover this is a scam. The scammers might threaten to arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you. They might say your computer is about to be corrupted, all of which from scammers is false.
4. Scammers will ask you to pay in unconventional ways
Scammers will ask you to pay using crypto currency, wiring money, and most recently sending them money via purchasing gift cards and giving them the numbers on the back of the card. Scammers will also mail you fake checks that they want you to deposit and send them part of the money back via online resources.
5. Additional tips to help avoid scams
Block unwanted calls and text messages. Do not answer calls you are not expecting. If it is a legitimate phone call especially from PSCU, a voicemail will be left on your phone.
Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. PSCU and other organizations will never call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links, but instead call that company directly using their confirmed real phone number, not just the number that called you.