Tips to Avoid Fraud
Fraud and Scams are on the rise – protect yourself with these tips on how to identify a Scam and protect your $ and your info!
Getting a call from our fraud department?
Don’t assume just because it’s the TruChoice phone number that it’s TruChoice on the phone – Phone number spoofing is a common tactic with fraudsters. Here’s some easy ways to tell if it’s really our Fraud team who is calling:
We will NEVER ask for full pieces of personal identification
We will NEVER ask for online banking login ID, passwords, or one-time login codes in a text message.
We will NEVER ask for your full card number, expiration date, or CVV unless you are calling us directly regarding an issue with your card.
If you aren’t sure, hang up and dial us directly at 207.772.0808.
It’s not just your financial institution’s phone number that Scammers spoof – it could also be loved ones, or someone claiming they are calling on behalf of your loved ones.
Frequently, these calls will claim that you have a family member in jail, the hospital, or is in some kind of danger. Another common version is someone calling claiming to be from the IRS, government or law enforcement, and claiming you owe them money and will be arrested if you do not comply. Immediately hang up if:
- You are being pressured to act quickly, while they are still on the phone – Fraudsters will try very hard to keep you from talking to anyone else before giving them what they want.
- You're being instructed to pay in a specific way (specific payment app, gift cards, crypto, wire etc.) This is how scammers keep your financial institution from protecting you, and these methods are usually untraceable and final.
- You're being told to not tell your Credit Union/Bank, friends or family about the caller – this is a giant red flag – no government official, law enforcement officer, etc will tell you to keep the call a secret.
- Again, the best thing you can do is hang up, and then directly dial the loved one or organization.
Romance and Friendship scams are another common way fraudsters will try and gain your trust and get your money, and often impact the most vulnerable.
These scams are very common on social media, like Facebook. Here’s how to recognize these scams:
- You do not know the person in real life, and they do not live nearby. They will often make up excuses on why they can’t meet in person or do a video call.
- They may claim to have a common friend (which they pulled from your friends list) who does not actually know or remember them.
- They will try and bond with you quickly, and will pull on your emotions with stories about recent hardship, often with a financial angle. Eventually, if you do not offer to send money, they will ask you directly. This will usually be something they need asap.
- Like IRS/Jail scams, they will discourage you from talking with loved ones or your financial institution, claiming they would not understand/don’t want you to be happy.
- They will try to move communicating off of social media or dating websites, and will start texting you or using a messaging app instead.
- If you do a ‘reverse image search’ on their profile picture, it belongs to someone else.
- Remember – don’t give away your personal info, banking info, or your online banking id or password.
The best prevention for scams or fraud? Trust your instincts!
If something seems to good to be true, or you need to act immediately, or someone tries to get your personal information, hang up! Here’s some final tips:
- If you are being threatened or rushed, this is a way to exploit your emotions -- these are empty threats that encourage you to act immediately.
- Remember – always create strong passwords that include letters, numbers and special characters, and NEVER share your ID or passwords!
- If something seems suspicious or someone is telling you not to tell anyone, the first thing you should do is talk to someone you trust – they will have a different perspective and can help you avoid fraud.
- Do not open e-mails or click on links from people you do not know, whether it’s on social media, text, or email.
Check out our tips on what to do if you suspect fraud on your account.
Want to learn more? Here’s some great links with more tips on avoiding scams!