Beware of these Scams During the Holiday Season

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With the holiday season upon us, we are bringing awareness to some of the scams that typically increase during this time of year. GFCU remains committed to helping our members recognize these and other types of similar scams and the negative financial impact they can have.

Impersonating a Financial Institution

This type of scam attempt occurs when a fraudster calls or emails a potential target and identifies themself as an employee or representative of the individual’s financial institution in an attempt to collect personal and financial account data.

Please keep in mind that Generations’ staff members will NEVER call you to request any personal identifying information from you, such as your social security number, date of birth, card number(s), account number(s) or your online/mobile banking login information.

Generations has the highest levels of security in place to safeguard your information. You can help us with this effort by staying informed.

If at any time you have concerns about the validity of a call or email from GFCU, call us directly at 210-229-1128 to verify the contact was legitimate.

Remote Access Scams

Remote access scams try to convince a potential victim that he or she has a computer or internet problem, and they need to buy new software to fix it. The scammer may ask the potential victim to call a specific phone number, or they may contact the individual pretending to be a staff member of a large tech company such as Microsoft. The caller will request remote access to the victim’s computer after convincing them they need to download software to the device to “solve the problem.” They may even ask the victim for his or her bank account or debit/credit card details.

The scammer might request that the victim download money service apps, such as Cash App or PayPal to send funds to the scammer’s account. Similar scams involve a fraudster calling a potential victim claiming to be with a well-known organization such as Amazon or eBay. They create a sense of urgency to make the victim give them access to their computer.

Mobile Check Deposit Fraud

Mobile check deposit scams involve fraudsters contacting their victims directly through email or social media posing as a potential employer or lender. This contact may also happen as a result of a public job posting on a site such as Craigslist, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc. The fraudster gives the victim an opportunity to earn quick money by offering to deposit a check into the victim’s bank account (or they may request the victim’s bank account information, mobile banking login credentials, etc. to conduct the mobile deposit on the victim’s behalf).

The fraudsters use this information to deposit a fake check for services they claim the victim will provide, such as mystery shopping, car wrap decals or to purchase office/computer equipment to do remote work. Once the deposit is made, the scammer will request funds be immediately transferred back to them via money order, gift cards or wire transfer. After the funds have been sent to the scammer, the check is returned, and the funds will be removed from the victim’s account causing a loss to the victim.

Romance Scams

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. The scammers establish a relationship with their targets to build their trust, although never having met the person.

They then make up a story and ask for money. The scammer will often say they are traveling outside the country working in places such as an oil rig or in the military. The scammers typically ask their victims to send them money via wire transfer, external transfers or by gift card.

Here’s how you can protect yourself from fraud:

  • Never provide personal information to anyone requesting it by phone, email or private message on social media.
  • Change your passwords on a regular basis, and do not share your online/mobile banking username or password with anyone.
  • If you ever have doubt or concerns about the legitimacy of a company or financial intuition that contacts you requesting information, reach out to the organization directly using the contact information they provide on their official website or your account statement.