Security Awareness

At Mission Fed, we’re always looking out for your success. And that includes giving you tools and resources so you can help keep your personal information and accounts secure.

Common Scams

Online scams, quick money schemes or even a request from a friend or family member may compromise your information. Help protect your personal information and accounts by reviewing some of these common scams.

Tax Scams

It can be scary to get a phone call from someone saying you owe back taxes and will go to jail unless you pay up immediately. Keep calm and watch for red flags that it’s a scam.

  • The person on the phone asks you to purchase gift cards in large amounts from a technology store.
  • Once you have the cards, they ask you to read them the info on the cards over the phone.
  • As soon as they have the gift card info they can charge the cards and you have no way to get your money back.

Computer Virus Scams

Scammers try to provoke an emotional reaction so you stop thinking clearly, and one of their favorite targets is your computer. Here’s how they try to trick you into giving them you credit card info:

  • A mysterious pop-up on your screen says your computer has a virus and you need to call the number on screen right away.
  • You make the call and the person on the other end of the call pretends to be a computer tech who can remove the virus...once they have your card info to pay for the service fee.
  • The scammer pretends to fix the issue, which never existed in the first place, and then they make additional fraudulent charges with your card hoping you won’t notice.

ATM Skimming

Thieves try to use the latest technology to help them steal your card info, especially if they can catch you when you’re doing a real transaction. Here’s how card skimming works:

  • Thieves install a card reader on an ATM machine so they can read your card info when you swipe/insert it.
  • They also need your PIN, so they'll have someone nearby watching or will install a small camera on the machine so they can see your hand on the keypad.
  • Prevent skimming by using well-known ATMs at your credit union or bank, and always cover your hand when entering your PIN.

Mobile Deposit Scams

Some people get taken advantage of by mobile check cashing scams, either trying to be helpful or thinking it’s a way to make some easy money. Here’s how sharing your login info can go downhill fast:

  • A friend or acquaintance (who happens to be a scammer) asks to use your account login so they can deposit some checks and then withdraw the cash. The member also takes out cash for them or lets them borrow their Debit Card and PIN.
  • The checks turn out to be counterfeit, or drawn against accounts without any funds, and the person who was trying to help gets stuck with the withdrawals taken from the ATM or purchases on their card.

Check Cashing Scams

If you think getting paid to cash a check and wire some money sounds too good to be true, you’re right. But people still fall for this tried and true scam all the time. Here’s the scenario:

  • The scammer reaches out to a member with a “job opportunity,” or looking for help with “research.”
  • The scammer sends a check with instructions to the member to deposit it and then wire transfer only a portion of it back, so the member thinks they get to keep the difference.
  • But the check is a counterfeit and the wire transfer is taking actual money out of the members account.

Romance Scams

There are no rules in love and war, and that applies especially to scammers who prey on people in online dating or family-member-in-need situations. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Someone whom you meet online (and usually living in a foreign country) develops a relationship with you over time and then starts asking for money to pay off debts or business expenses so they can come and meet you.
  • Someone contacts you online or over the phone and says that a distant relative or family member in the military has gotten ill or arrested, and asks you to send money to help them out.
 

More Resources

In addition to being aware of scams, you can help protect your information with these tools. Mission Fed offers the following services to help you manage your money and watch for fraud:

  • Mastercard ID Theft Alerts
    Mastercard’s ID Theft Alerts can be used with Mission Fed Debit and Credit Cards to monitor charges for suspicious activity.
  • Fraud Text Alerts
    Mission Fed’s own fraud monitoring service can send you alerts to your mobile device to verify charges that don’t match your usual spending behavior.
  • Online Banking transaction alerts
    Set up alerts via email or on your phone when charges over a certain dollar amount clear your account and stay on top of your balances.

For more information about fraud, scams and online security best practices, check out:

Fraud and Security Blogs

Here are some recent posts on the Mission Fed blog that dive into fraud and security topics.

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