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5 Resolutions for a Scam-Free New Year

December 7, 2020

Protecting your personal information is more important than ever. These five security resolutions will give you a good start in 2021.

  • Purchase carefully.
     Look out for products “guaranteeing” results or making claims such as “lose 30 pounds in a month.” And disregard “free” trials that end before you even get the product.
  • Protect your information. RCU will never ask for the PIN on your credit or debit card, or for the password to your online or mobile banking. If someone asks for this information, don’t give it to them. Instead, hang up or stop messaging them immediately, and notify us by emailing fraud@redwoodcu.org or logging in to your RCU account to send a secure message.
  • Choose the right kind of job. Don’t pay for kits that promise easy money working from home or quick hiring for “previously undisclosed government jobs.” If you get an email offer from a noncorporate email account, that’s a red flag. So is a request up front for a Social Security or financial account number. Don’t pay for a background check or “supplies.” If they ask you to receive payments and then forward a portion, say no. And be wary of positions with a pay rate much higher than realistic ranges. Learn more about job scams.
  • Be smart with your heart. It’s hard to be objective when it comes to love and romance, but if you’re having an online relationship with someone, here are some indications they may not be in it for love:
    • They ask for money.
    • They promise to meet in person but always come up with an excuse.
    • They ask you to leave the dating service or Facebook to take it “offline.”
    • They use poor spelling and grammar.
    • They move the relationship along too quickly.
    • They ask you to not tell your friends or family about the relationship.
    • For more information about romance scams, visit the FTC.
  • Donate wisely. Before donating, check the organization’s legitimacy at a site like charitynavigator.org. Beware of requests for personal information or credit card numbers over the phone (and don’t trust what you see on Caller ID—scammers can manipulate it). Assume email solicitations are scams unless you previously gave them your address. When donating online, do a search for the organization by name and donate through their official website. Learn more.

And always remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Taking steps to protect your personal information will help you enjoy a more safe and secure new year.