Tips to Prevent FRAUD
- Use strong passwords
- passwords should be at least 8 characters.
- include upper and lower case letters as well as numbers.
- avoid using names and interests. This information is easy to get a hold of from your social media profiles and can be easily guessed.
- Do not disclose your PIN number to anyone. Your Credit Union will never ask you to give your PIN number in person or over the phone.
- Do not give your Credit Card number to people who call requesting it. Credit card thieves may pose as Credit Card issuers and other businesses to trick you into giving out your credit card number. Be very cautious who you give your Credit Card number to!
- Shred unwanted personal information such as bank statements, credit card bills, unwanted receipts, cheques and old tax returns.
- Beware of common Internet Scams
- Romance scams-online dating sites with fake profiles of scammers posing as attractive men and woman. They claim to need money to help in an emergency, typically when they claim to be out of the country or on a business trip.
- Antivirus scams-never click on pop-up antivirus alerts. They commonly appear after you have opened an email attachment or downloaded a file. The software or “free scan” often doesn’t work or can actually infect your computer with the dangerous programs it is supposed to protect against. Once your computer is infected, your personal information can be at risk.
- Work from home scams-avoid listings that guarantee you wealth, financial success or that will help you get rich fast. Do not send money! Legitimate employers will not charge to hire you or get you started.
- Subscription traps-they can appear as an advertisement on your favorite social media site or a referral from a friend (on facebook, for example), a fake survey that pops up on your computer while you are online on another website, or from a telemarketer. They usually offer you a “free” trial or purchase of a product, and all you have to do is simply pay the shipping and handling with your credit card. If you agree to this, you can find yourself signed up to a subscription service with ongoing fees and unexpected charges. The details are routinely buried in the fine print of the terms and conditions that you agreed to. Often, by not returning the “free” product that you ordered, you agreed to a monthly subscription of that product and authorized charges on your credit card. Once you are stuck in this situation, it is often extremely difficult to put a stop to the charges.
- Prize lottery scams-you will receive an email claiming you won a prize, lottery or gift. To receive the prize you only have to pay a “small fee” to claim it or cover “handling costs”. The scammer will take your payment and fail to deliver the prize or money or send you something that falls short of the promised prize. Sometimes scammers actually do send you cheques for a portion of the winnings, to trick you into thinking this offer is legitimate. However, this cheque will eventually bounce and you will not receive any real payments.
- Vacation scams-these are usually cold calls or recordings saying that you have won a vacation in a contest that you didn’t enter. They may ask for a credit card number to cover the taxes before receiving the vacation. Never give out personal information or credit card information over the phone.
The age old saying “if something is too good to be true, it probably is” still applies today!