How to Avoid Being Scammed
COVID-19 has caused a lot of fear and anxiety. Unfortunately, scammers are trying to exploit our fear to commit fraud. Remember that Members Credit Union (MCU) will never call, text or email you to ask for your account number, social security number, debit card number, PIN, password or Secure Access Code. Protect yourself from fraud and never share this information with anyone, no matter how trustworthy or authentic the request may seem. Here are some additional tips that can help you avoid being the victim of a scam.
- Never click a link on a website or email from a source you don’t know and trust. The link could open an automatic download and install malware on your computer. Malware includes viruses, keystroke loggers, ransomware and other forms of malicious software. This software can be used to compromise your account by being able to see what websites you visit and copy your login credentials as you log in to online banking or other websites.
- Ignore offers that claim they have vaccinations for COVID-19. There are no shots, pills, or other medicines available to treat or cure this disease. Anyone that offers you treatment or cure is a scammer.
- Don’t respond to texts or emails that claim they are sending you a government relief check. The checks that you are hearing about in the news are not available yet. When they are available, the government will not ask you to pay anything upfront to obtain your check. Anyone that tells you they can send you a check and charges you a fee to obtain the check is trying to scam you.
- Hang up on robocalls. If the recording tells you to press a number to speak to a representative or even opt-out of their call list, don’t press the number because it may lead to more calls. If you receive a robocall, just hang up.
- Know where your donations are going. Anytime there is a disaster people come together to raise money. However, sometimes a fraudster will pose as a do-gooder to take advantage of good-natured people. Do your research on the charity. It is most likely a scam when someone insists on receiving donations by cash, gift card or wire transfer.
- A message that appears to be from MCU but uses strange word combinations, abnormal sentence structure or misspelled words - is a scammer attempting to spoof a letter from MCU. If you have any doubts about an email or letter you receive that claims to be from us, please call us to confirm at 800-951-8000 during our normal business hours.
While we can’t prevent the fraudsters out there from trying to take advantage of a bad situation, we can be vigilant and protect ourselves from becoming a victim of fraud. For more information about how to protect yourself from scams please visit our webpages about Cybersecurity Awareness and Identity Theft Protection. Both pages are accessible from our website under the "Protect" menu option.