Common scams to be aware ofProtect yourself from Identity Theft
Aside from destroying documents that contain financial information and protecting your social security number, there are other ways to prevent Identity Theft from happening to you. Telemarketing Fraud is one of the most common scams used to steal your information. Telemarketing Fraud occurs when unknown callers trick individuals into giving out financial information over the phone, or sending money to receive a special offer.
The NCUA recently alerted credit unions of scammers posing as employees of the NCUA calling on credit union members and asking for personal information. Information such as social security numbers, account numbers, addresses, etc. The holiday season is a popular time for scammers to try to gain access to information via telephone, online and in-person. Some other common phrases unique to scammers are:
- “You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”
- “You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
- “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.”
- “You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”
How can you protect yourself? Never give your financial information to someone you do not know. Always ask for a caller’s credentials. Most of the time, they won’t be able to provide that to you. If the caller is informing you of a contest you won, ask yourself if this was contest you entered into. Never send money to an institution or individual you are unfamiliar with. If you are paying for services over the phone, request a written invoice before you provide payment. The NCUA and Cinfed Credit Union will never ask for your personal information via telephone.
If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, notify the police and contact your credit union or bank to close accounts and cancel credit or debit cards. If your social security number has been compromised, you can call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.