There has been a significant rise in fraud schemes related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic over the last year. Here are some schemes and prevention-tips to help you and your family.
Emails/Websites/Social Media Sites Including:
- Email links to websites/social media sites supposedly providing information on the virusEmail links to websites/social media sites supposedly providing information on the virus
- Phishing emails requesting you to verify your personal information to process a stimulus payment
- Phishing emails soliciting charitable contributions
- Phishing emails soliciting crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project (like maybe a vaccine or treatment, or sewing masks at home, or building ventilators) by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet
- Phishing emails/website/social media sites soliciting assistance in obtaining airline refunds
- Phishing emails/websites/social media sites soliciting preventions (PPE), vaccines, diagnostic tests, or treatments
- Email links to websites to apply for the PPP (Payroll Protection Program) loan/grant
- Fake emails appearing to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Fake websites set up to falsely portray the appearance of selling products related to the COVID-19 crisis
- Unemployment claim for someone still employed with the organization
- Unemployment claim for someone who has never worked for the organization
- Unemployment claim for a previous employee, who has no valid claim now
- Filing income tax returns in someone else’s name
- Intercepting U.S. mail seeking to obtain personal information
- Fraudsters applying for loans/receiving loans with your existing creditors in your name and redirecting the funds elsewhere
- Fraudsters attempting to “validate” banking information such as routing and account numbers by posing as the account holder
- Fraudsters submitting a change of address on a members account, then applying for a loan and having funds directed to the new address
- Fraudsters posing as title companies, requesting wire transfers of down payments and closing costs for a mortgage that doesn’t exist
- Fraudsters impersonating a financial institution representative through email, text, or phone in order to obtain personal data or account access. Remember, if BHCSCU calls you, we will not ask for personal information.
- Scammers creating fake websites that are found by members using a search engine such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. When you click on the site, you enter your credentials and they are captured by the fraudster. Look closely at the URL address for minor variations. For instance, our website is “www.bhcscu.com” and a fraudster might make the address “www.bhccu.com” or some other unnoticeable change.
- Requests to download apps to your computer or mobile devices to “fix” issues or update software. The app allows remote access to your device and may allow the fraudster to obtain your login credentials to your financial institution or other accounts where personal data may be stored.
- Requests to pay any debts or make gifts to unknown parties using gift cards, cryptocurrency, ACH transfers, or wire transfers. This is especially popular in romance scams.
- Requests to disclose a verification code sent to a mobile device that you did not request
Tips to Avoid Becoming the Victim of Fraudsters:
|Do not click on links or attachments in emails from people you don’t recognize||Verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.|
|Do not click on links or attachments without researching them first. If you hover over the link you can see the URL/website address. If it isn’t recognizable it probably isn’t a legitimate website.||Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for instance, does a domain end in .gov but should end in .com) or is it slightly altered (www.bhccu.com instead of www.bhcscu.com).|
|Never provide your username, password, date of birth, social security number, account number, or any other personal data in response to an email or a robocall.||When making a purchase from an online retailer, check to see if they have any online reviews prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Look closely at the review dates and the content of the reviews to determine if they are legitimate.|
|NEVER give your debit or credit card number, PIN, CVV code to another person.||Sign up to receive your credit score using Credit Sense on our mobile app. You will be notified of payment history, inquiries, and accounts opened in your name. This is free to all members.|
|Change passcodes on online accounts frequently, and don’t use the same password on all of your accounts.|
Obtaining Legitimate Information:
- For accurate and up to date information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov or www.coronavirus.gov.
- For information on unapproved or counterfeit PPE visit www.cdc.gov/niosh, www.fda.gov, and www.epa.gov.
Resources for Reporting Fraud:
- Report counterfeit products to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov and to the National Property Rights Coordination Center at https://iprcenter.gov.
- If you believe you are the victim of an Internet scam or cybercrime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Savvy Money is a free service available to Online Banking users and offers instant access to credit scores and reports, personalized money-saving offers, and financial education tips – all built into our secure Online Banking platform. Use Savvy Money to:
- Receive daily credit monitoring with alerts for major changes, to help detect potential fraud
- Identify credit bureau errors
- Understand the factors that impact your score
- And much more!
Our Card Control App makes it easier for members to protect their BHCSCU debit and credit cards from Fraud. Simply download the app for iPhone or Android and enjoy instant access to fraud protection with real-time alerts and geo-tracking, “On” and “Off” card management, spending limits for general use or specified limits for merchant types, card balances, transaction monitoring, and more! Learn more and download the app today!