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How to Spot Financial Scams

June 22, 2022

Woman with phone, laptop, and coffee

When it comes to fraud, we all want to believe we can spot a scam when we are targeted. The reality is that anyone can fall prey to a phishing attempt. Fraudsters are always evolving and constantly developing new ways to deceive us.

We encourage our Members not to share personal information, but fraudsters often try to override your instincts by stressing urgency and using fear tactics. When this happens, the best thing you can do is pause, resist pressure to act, tell the person you will get back to them, and think critically before acting.

What to ask yourself:

  • Is it too good to be true? If your answer is “yes” or even “maybe,” immediately cut off contact with the potential scammer. If anyone you don’t know requests money, personal information, or access to your accounts, you have reason to be suspicious.
  • Why am I being contacted on social media? Scammers are getting creative about how they obtain access to financial accounts. They often will pose as your friend or your financial institution on social media, in hopes they can trick you into giving them your information. Never share your username, password, or any personal information with anyone on social media.
  • Is it poorly written? If you receive unexpected communication from a financial institution, such as RCU, check it over for misspellings or grammatical errors. If you are still not sure whether the message is legitimate, contact us through one of the methods listed on our website to ask if we really sent you the message.
  • Are they asking to follow a link, open a file, or provide personal information? Phishing attempts often tell a story to trick you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. This may look like an email letting you know that your online account is locked with a link to provide personal information. Go directly to the source instead of clicking the the link.

A good rule of thumb is to always be cautious about unsolicited “opportunities.” If you didn’t reach out first, there’s a good chance a fraudster is on the other end. Never give out your personal information and never give money to someone you don’t know. And if the person asks you to lie to your financial institution in order to withdraw or transfer funds, don’t do it. It’s a scam.

Help protect the people you care about by sharing these tips with them. For additional tips and information, visit our online Security Center.