Fraud and Scam Attempts Continue – Watch Out!
Criminals continue to be busy targeting consumers with scams and fraud attempts. Here are some situations you need to watch out for.
Don’t Be a Money Mule
You may have recently seen notices from the U.S. Postal Service about this issue. “Money mules” are people used by fraudsters to receive and transfer money so it’s more difficult for authorities to track. Mules are recruited through several methods:
- Work-from-home scams: a job posting offers you easy money for reshipping packages, buying gift cards or postal money orders, or transferring money, from your home.
- Confidence scams: a person or business you don’t know offers you a commission/cut if you will transfer money for them.
- Lottery scams: a person informs you that you need to transfer or accept money in order to collect a prize or winnings.
Transferring money or valuables on behalf of others only benefits criminals and can lead to serious consequences for you. Protect yourself:
- DO NOT engage in financial transactions with strangers.
- DO NOT take a job that promises easy money and involves sending or receiving money or packages.
- Double-check any work-from-home opportunity or money transferring offer with a trusted family member or friend. You can also contact the local Better Business Bureau office or access your state’s corporation directory to help verify if the business is legitimate.
- Report money mule activity/scams as soon as possible.
For more information about money mule scams, visit www.uspis.gov/money-mule or call 1-877-876-2455.
Falling for Fraudulent Texts
Scammers use text messages to trick consumers into providing their account information. They can get ahold of your mobile phone number and pretend to be a business or financial institution. In fact, here’s an actual example of a text received by a Cinfed member.
Be wary of unexpected texts with links, especially those that use scare tactics or a false sense of urgency. Another clue: texts from Cinfed come from a special five-digit code, while texts from scammers typically come from standard nine-digit phone numbers.
To check the status of your account, you can securely log in using the Cinfed Mobile App or through Cinfed Digital Banking online. If you have any questions about your account security or receive suspicious alerts, call the Contact Center at (513) 333-3800.
Don’t Trust Fake Friends
Fraudsters use social media to build trust before trying to obtain account information. Avoid social media contacts who have no other connection to you, yet ask for money or personal information.
Romance scams are common. A person you’ve met online or on an app says they’re romantically interested in you and asks you to transfer money and/or packages. Talk to a trusted family member or friend about the situation before you commit money or access to someone you’ve never met.
If you have any questions about a message you received from Cinfed, call our Contact center (513-333-3800) or your nearest branch location to confirm.
Want more information about fraud and scams? Start at Cinfed’s Security Corner. Additional resources:
COVID/pandemic related scams [Coronavirus Advice for Consumers | Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov)]
Identity theft [Identity Theft | FTC Consumer Information]
Most common scams [Scam Alerts | FTC Consumer Information]