As your local, trusted financial services resource, our goal is to keep our members aware of local instances of fraud so that you can best protect your financial assets. Here are some things of which to be aware:
- Identity Theft - criminals and fraudsters attempt to obtain people's personal information in a variety of ways, and then use it to open credit cards, make purchases or file taxes, amongst other things. Remember to always shred any paperwork or documentation that contains your personal identifying information such as your name, address, birthdate, and/or social security number. As well, don't let mail sit in your mailbox for extended periods of time. If you suspect your identity has been stolen, here's a quick list from the FTC on what to do now.
- Phishing - email phishing is when criminals design an email with non-secure, embedded links in it that appears to come from a trusted source. These emails may ask you to click a specific link to verify your personal information, or to call a specific number for account support. Be mindful of where these emails come from - check the email address or url of any link they direct you to. If it looks strange, it is probably not legit.
- Check Washing & Check Kiting- fraudsters literally use a chemical to "wash" your written information off your check and replace with phony amounts, which they then withdraw from your account. Know to whom you are writing checks, and keep an eye on your online banking or statements to make sure that the amount that clears your account is the amount you wrote your check for.