Introduction To Scammers
Fraud Protection Series: Part 1
We always think “It could never happen to me” or “I would never fall for something like that” when it comes to hearing about how another has fallen for a scam. The people behind the scam are always imagined as these high-tech wizards with the ability to tap your phone by you just answering the call. Unfortunately, we unknowingly are accomplices by providing them with information before we even realize what is going on.
Let us set up one common scenario, you answer a call from your energy company, and speak with an agent claiming that there is a delinquent balance on your account. You are so delinquent that they will immediately cease services and your light is about to be cut off. This call is just a courtesy to notify you this will be going into effect immediately. At this point your only concern is getting that paid, so you express your concern BUT now is the point where the agent is asking for additional information. The agent is going to need to “verify” you with a variety of things (social security, date of birth, email ect.) Of course, you provide what they need, while they continue to review your account and assure you that there is a very quick and free new payment method. It could be by sending money through a transferring app like Zelle. So, you send the funds. The representative ends the phone call shortly after, and because the exchange was done so quickly you have not had a moment to process the situation. At some point, you begin to get that gut feeling, that something is not right.
Scammers will be as bold as to impersonate your financial institution, claiming to be a fraud department verifying a transaction to earn your trust. Practically threatening that this metaphorical charge is going to wipe out your account. Once again, they will “verify” you, and using the information, they attempt to open new loans and accounts under your name. You none the wiser until your attempt at applying for your new home comes with some shocking news that you have open accounts that do NOT look familiar.
These are common scare tactics used, the goal being to throw the potential victim off guard and stress the “urgency” of the situation. They do not give victims even a moment to think about if this is legitimate or not.
A rule of thumb for any call you receive from a business, if you do not feel right about the conversation, hang up and call back. Someone will answer and more then likely have the notes as to what the call was about if it was legitimate.
We are here to educate you not only on your financial wellness but to also keep you from becoming a victim to scam. Our Contact Center Representatives are also trained and educated on common scams and assess situations to determine if there is a possibility you are at risk.
The goal is to out smart the scammer, and we are here to help you do that!
Post author: Angelica Garcia, Senior Contact Center Representative
The opinions expressed on this page are for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of the article and may not reflect the views of the credit union.