At Northern Credit Union, we strive to provide the best all-around security for you and your accounts. Northern continues to research and develop new strategies that allow us to stay ahead of evolving scams and enable us to fight back against fraud before it occurs.
During the month of July, we uncovered scams affecting the North Country. While these scams are not new, it’s important to remember that anyone can be a target and take steps to protect yourself.
Scams To Watch For:
- Computer Repair Scam. A common scam that begins with a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or Geek Squad. The scammer requests access to your computer to fix a potential virus. Once logged in they can access online banking, attach a virus to the computer, or demand money before they will leave your computer. Microsoft, Geek Squad, and other IT professionals do not monitor personal computers for customers, and they will not reach out to you first. If you receive an unsolicited call, it’s a sure sign of a scam.
- Lottery Scam. The scammer will call or email to congratulate you on winning a recent lottery or sweepstakes! They say all you need to do is send a money order, wire, or ACH to pay for the “lottery fees” to receive your prize money! A true sweepstakes or lottery will require you to put in an entry, no sweepstakes will enter you without consent. It is also illegal to win foreign lotteries. Both are clear indications it’s a scam.
- “Old Friend” Scam. The scammer poses as an old friend from college, high school or a past job on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. They may go as far as stealing profile pictures and information from your actual friend’s account. The scammer typically tells a sad story of hard times and asks you to send money to help with daily expenses. Scammers will often refuse to speak over the phone, a scam red flag!
Protect Yourself From Scammers:
- Don’t allow an unknown person access to your computer if you have not initiated the call.
- Never give out personal information to unknown persons. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
- Make sure you know who you’re chatting with on social media and remember people are not always who they say they are.
Call 315-782-0155 or stop into any relationship center if you’re suspicious of a check, money order, or any communication you’ve received, or you suspect the person you’re talking to is trying to take advantage of your finances. We’re trained to spot and resolve cases of fraud before they turn into financial loss.