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Collins Community Credit Union

Be Your Own Fraud Fighter: Tips To Keep Your Money Safe

In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission recorded 2.2 million reports of fraud and $3.3 billion lost by victims. As these numbers continue to grow, it's crucial to stay informed and take action to protect yourself against scams and potential fraud. Check out the tips and current trends below from Collins Community Credit Union's Fraud Officer, Tabby C., to help keep your money safe!

Published on Apr 26, 2021

Tips to Fight Fraud

  • Never share your online banking credentials with anyone. If you suspect that someone has gained access to your credentials, change your username and password immediately.
  • Do not allow anyone to use your debit or credit card. Even out of your possession, charges made are still your responsibility.
  • Opt-out of convenience checks from your credit card companies. These checks are often mailed without your knowledge and can be easily stolen from your mailbox and used against you. Collins Community Credit Union offers several credit cards for your unique financial needs, and we skip the convenience checks.
  • If you have statements mailed to you, and all of a sudden stop receiving them, contact your financial institution. Your mail could have been intercepted and your personal information stolen. Signing up for electronic statements is a great way to keep your sensitive information out of the wrong hands.
  • If you are contacted for any reason and told that crimes have been committed in your name and to not reach out to anyone, including your family or financial institution, you are likely about to fall victim to a scam. At Collins Community Credit Union, we will never call you out of the blue and ask you to send or transfer money.

Examples of Common Scams

  • Romance or Sweetheart - be leery when meeting a significant other online, especially if the relationship escalates quickly without meeting in person. If you're being asked to open a bank account, send money to your sweetheart, or accept money on their behalf to purchase something with or send somewhere else, cut ties and contact the authorities.
  • Overpayment - when purchasing or selling an item, an overpayment of any amount should raise a red flag. The scam works by taking advantage of your trusting nature. You will be asked to purchase gift cards or send the difference to someone and when the check comes back as bad, you are out and responsible for the entire amount. Be sure that you are only accepting guaranteed funds when selling an item and if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Family In Trouble - being contacted about a family member or friend in trouble can be nerve-wracking. Of course, you want to help your loved one, but have you made an effort to verify with that person or a trusted relative of theirs, that they indeed are in trouble prior to sending money to help them out? This scam relies on quick action and high emotions. Take a few minutes to contact the person that is supposedly in trouble and you will likely learn that they are just fine.
  • Lottery - being contacted about winning a substantial amount of money is something we all dream about. The reality is, if you have not entered to win, but still win, there is something very wrong. You will likely be asked to pay a fee or taxes on the winnings in order to receive the funds. Once you send that wire or give your account information, the money is gone and likely cannot be recovered.  
  • Inheritance - chances are that if you have a relative you don't know, that's left you a substantial amount of money upon their passing, it is a scam.  Similar to lottery scams, you will be asked to pay for attorney fees or estate expenses in order to receive the funds. Ask yourself, why would someone that I do not know want to leave me money? If you cannot come up with a logical answer as to why this might occur, trust your instincts and do your own research to see what you can find.

If you think that you might have fallen victim to any scam, contact our team at 800-475-1150 and we can help ensure that your money is safe and protected.

-Tabby C., Collins Community Credit Union Fraud Officer

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