Scams are everywhere, and the minute you let your guard down, they can sneak up on you. Fortunately, there are organizations like MSU Federal Credit Union look out for the people in the community sharing tips on how to avoid them.
According to the BBB Scam Tracker, the riskiest scams of 2018 were:
- Online Purchases
- Fake Check or Money Order
Each has a different way to attract the potential victim:
- Employment scams may send a cashier’s check to cover at-home costs for a new position, and then ask the victim to wire transfer the money somewhere else before the first check cleared.
- The online sale of pets had the largest percentage of online scams with the median dollar amount loss of $600. Victims are drawn in by less expensive pets and asked to send a wire of the money in advance and then never hear back from the scammer.
- For fake checks or money orders, victims are sent checks for more than is required, and they are told to send the extra money back from their own bank accounts before the fake checks or money orders are discovered.
In order to avoid becoming a victim to scams, follow these tips:
- Don’t send money to someone you have never met face-to-face.
- Don’t click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
- Don’t believe everything you see. Just because it looks official does not mean it is.
- Don’t buy online unless the transaction is secure. Look for the https in the URL and small lock icon on the address bar.
- Be extremely cautious when dealing with anyone you’ve met online.
- Never share personally identifiable information with unsolicited contact.
- Don’t be pressured to act immediately.
- Use secure, traceable transactions when paying for goods, services, taxes, and debts.
- Work with businesses with proper identification, licensing, and insurance.
- Be cautious about what you share on social media.
MSU Federal Credit Union also offers protection from online scams. Their mobile app has secure transactions with eDeposit, card lock, and eAlerts.
MSUFCU Visa Credit Cards also have built-in fraud protection. It is best to use a credit card instead of wiring cash, which cannot be traced or refunded. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Visa Checkout also allow for easy, secure, and private payments.
For more information, visit msufcu.org.