With the news about the coronavirus outbreak, we wanted to remind you that during media-intense events like this, cyber attackers try to take advantage of the situation. Don’t let them. Here are some popular scams to keep an eye out for:
Charity Scams. During a crisis nonprofits and fundraisers are often called upon to obtain donations and services to aid people in need. Scammers know this and will take advantage of the situation.
- Ask for detailed information about the charity or nonprofit, including name, address, and telephone number.
- Never wire money to someone claiming to be a charity or nonprofit. Scammers often request donations to be wired because wiring money is like sending cash.
- Consider it a red flag if the organization thanks you for a pledge you do not remember making.
Computer and Internet Scams. This is when scammers dupe older adults into giving out their personal financial information by creating authentic-looking emails, text messages, or internet pages to entice their victims into disclosing financial information.
- Do not email financial information or account numbers. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.
- Do not open any message that comes from an unfamiliar source. Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails.
- Use trusted security software on your computer and make sure it is updated regularly.
Grandparent Telephone Scam. This is when an imposter calls a grandparent pretending to be a grandchild in trouble. Sometimes the scammer even knows the grandchild’s name and is usually crying, making it hard to recognize their grandchild’s voice.
- Be sure to telephone your grandchild or his/her parents at a number you know to be valid to find out if the request is legitimate.
- If a caller claims to be from an established organization, such as a hospital, charity or law enforcement agency, look up the number of the organization yourself.
- Consider it a red flag if they caller insists on secrecy.
Never listen to anyone who discourages you from seeking information, verification, support and counsel from your family members, friends or trusted advisers before you make a financial decision. If you have any questions about a transaction that you think might be fraudulent on your account or about someone asking you for money, feel free to reach out to the credit union for help.