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General Security & Fraud Tips

Scammers want nothing better than to part you from your hard-earned money!

Use these resources, tips and scam alerts to keep yourself informed about how to keep your money and personal information safe. OUCU goes to extraordinary lengths to keep your account information private and secure. Always contact us if you believe you are a victim of a scam or identity theft.

Be Aware of These Scams

U.S. Customs Scam

A potential victim received a call from “U.S. Customs” saying there was a package in their name at the border which contained cocaine and $100K cash.  This person was going to be fined, the caller said, and needed to withdraw $4400 immediately and then go purchase gift cards from Lowes. 

U.S. Treasury Scam

A victim was contacted by a caller supposedly from the U.S. Treasury and was advised that his Social Security number had been stolen.  It sounded reasonable, so he listened to the caller. The fraudster told him that large sums of money had been moved from the U.S. to Mexico using his SSN and that it was necessary for him to take action to protect himself from further use of his stolen identity.

The fraudster said a new SSN would be needed and that his current one would be abandoned, so he needed to liquidate all accounts and open new ones with the new number. He was told that if he did not take action to do this, the U.S. Treasury would put a freeze on all of his accounts and he would lose his money. 

Security Tip!  NEVER PROVIDE PERSONAL INFORMATION OR SEND FUNDS TO UNKNOWN CALLERS. Sometimes their stories sound very legitimate and quite scary -- if they were true. For calls from the U.S. Treasury, file a claim online. For calls regarding Social Security, file a claim with the Social Securty office. If the caller requests you withdraw funds from your credit union accounts, call us first. If the calls become agressive, you may need to put a block on your phone. When in doubt about a suspected scam, you can also contact the police.

Phone Scams

Telephone schemes are one of the most popular methods scammers use to defraud their victims! Be wary if you receive unexpected calls or text messages that:

  • Ask you to provide sensitive information including credit card numbers, account numbers or social security numbers.
  • Claim to be a relative or friend in trouble and in need of urgent money.
  • Claim to be a representative of a financial institution or the IRS asking you to act on an urgent issue.

Security Tip!  Never provide sensitive information over the phone to an unknown caller. Hang up and contact OUCU with any questions about your OUCU accounts, and check your statements and transaction history at least once a month.

Email Scams

Email makes it easy for scammers to target many victims with one message, making it another popular method of fraud. Simply clicking one bad hyperlink is all it takes to be a victim. Be wary of emails:

  • Claiming to be a credit card account or online account has been disabled and asking for account numbers, passwords or other sensitive information.
  • Claiming to be from a computer company like Microsoft asking for remote access to your PC to repair a detected problem.

Security Tip!  It’s best to not open an email from an unknown source, but if you do, never click on any hyperlinks or attachments. Never give out sensitive information to someone who emails you. A reputable company will never email to ask for personal information – they already have it. Always go to your trusted financial institution’s website.

Paper Check Scams

Many common scams defraud victims by tricking them into cashing false checks and sending a portion of the check back to the scammer, who pockets their portion while the victim is left responsible for paying back the full amount of the check to the financial institution. This is common with online job listings and Craigslist transactions. Victims may also be told that they have won a prize or gifts and need to send money to receive the prize.

Security Tip!  Never agree to cash a check for another person and send a portion back to them, as this is the biggest red flag for check fraud. Also, remember that legitimate prizes and gifts are free and will never require payment to receive them.

Credit & Debit Card Scams

Beware of scammers contacting you and attempting to get your credit or debit card information. A common ploy scammers use involves calling victims and posing as a representative notifying them about suspected fraud and asking for card numbers to verify your identity.

Security Tip!  Never disclose your card information to an unknown caller. While you may receive legitimate calls from a card company asking to verify transactions, a card company will never ask you to disclose your card numbers or passwords over the phone.

Cryptocurrency Scams

Don’t pay or give personal info to random contacts demanding crypto. Be wary of anyone who:  
•    Wants you to withdraw cash and take it to a crypto ATM (especially if it’s an online purchase)
•    Sends you a check, then tells you to send money back via crypto because they “overpaid” you
•    Demands that you pay in crypto to protect your money or solve a computer issue or legal problem
•    Promises free crypto or huge profits
•    Offers to pay you up front for a job
•    Send crypto to an online love interest