Fraud during a Pandemic
Easy steps to prevent fraud
COVID-19 has disrupted all normalcy, stripped away a sense of security and unraveled the blanket of certainty for tomorrow for some. It is in these times when fraudsters prey on those whose attention is most fragile because they know individuals are worried about employment, their families, their health and their stability.
Stress and worry can impede your judgement but there’s one thing you have on your side – you have knowledge and the understanding of the tricky games fraudsters play. Let’s learn their tricks so we are better prepared.
- Fake CDC Emails
These have links that deliver malware to the computer to steal personal information or to lock the computer and demand payment.
- Phishing Emails
These ask to verify personal information in order to receive stimulus checks.They may be related to charitable contributions, airline carrier refunds, fake cures and vaccines or fake testing kits.
- Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment
If you’re receiving communication and you’re just not sure use this rule: When in doubt, check it out!
- Look for misspellings, blurry logos and incorrect web domains. Fraudsters are sneaky but they’re not perfectionists. No legitimate company would allow these items to occur in their communications.
- If you don’t know the sender – do not click on the links. You know the businesses you deal with so if something is emailed, mailed or texted from an unknown sender - delete it. If you’re unsure, contact the business using reliable contact info and find out if the communication piece sent out legitimately came from them.
You can actively work to prevent fraud with these quick and simple steps.
- Use extra security. Apps like CardNav allow you to set alerts for suspicious activity, charges outside of your set charge limit and enable you to turn your debit/credit cards on and off if you feel there may be a fraudulent charge or to prevent a fraudulent charge from happening.
- Request a free copy of your credit report. You can receive one from each of the national credit reporting agencies once every 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com. Double check that nothing looks suspicious and all is accurate.
As a credit union member, you have the benefit of a trusted financial institution who has your back and you have more important things to worry about than fraud monsters.