Online Security and Avoiding Fraud
Don’t be a Victim!
There are many types of fraud that are constantly evolving year after year. However, the majority usually have several things in common: a victims’ good nature, a victim’s lack of banking/financial knowledge, and/or a victims’ poor financial situation. More often the victims are very young or elderly.
Truliant staff members stay alert for fraud and are constantly defending against it. However, not all cases can be prevented without the help and awareness of our member-owners. By working together, and identifying key components that trigger suspicion, we can pursue investigation early and partner with local and national anti-fraud efforts.
Staying ahead of the curve and being aware of the more common scams is the best way to avoid fraud. Most ongoing scams have similar traits, and they become easier to identify. Another thing to remember is that strangers don't give away money. Again, if it seems too good to be true... it probably is.
If you believe you have fallen victim to any type of fraud relating to your account(s), please contact Truliant as soon as possible.
Some common scams to watch out for:
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but when it comes to impersonating websites, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Phony websites may look like a real version of a website, but in fact, they may be a resource for gathering account information or credit and debit card numbers. They are often tied to fake social media sites, emails, limited-time offers and ‘unbeatable’ deals. Keep your accounts safe by paying close attention to web addresses to be sure you’re on your intended website. Watch for spelling errors and double check that the customer service number is legit.
- Do not simply trust the the look of an email: question the intent of the email. Is it ultimately asking you to verify or enter personal information?
- Before clicking on anything, check the email address of who sent it. If it doesn't look normal ([email protected]), it is likely spam or fraudulent.
- If you receive a suspicious email with a link from a known contact, confirm the email is legitimate by calling or emailing the contact; do not reply directly to a suspicious email.
- Check for misspellings, poor grammar or incorrect domains within any links (e.g., if an address that should end in “.gov” ends in “.com” instead).
- Do not trust a website just because it has a lock icon or “https” in the browser address bar. Always carefully check the URL to be sure that you’re at the right website.
Be aware of an internet email fraud form known as phishing. This practice refers to fraudulent email messages requesting confidential information. The information then allows the perpetrator to gain access to the victim's accounts and steal the victim's identity.
If you receive this type of email:
- Emails asking you to reset account information, restore access or for confidential information
- Suspicious, unsolicited emails containing attachments or requiring members to send personal information to us via email or pop-up windows
- Maintenance/Account Recovery emails
- Truliant will never ask for personal or account information by email
Reporting Fraudulent Activity
- DO NOT respond to the email in any way
- DO NOT click any links
- DO NOT open any attachments
- DO NOT provide any data to any websites
If you believe you are a victim of phishing:
- Change your password
- Contact credit reporting services and have a fraud alert attached to your credit report file
- Monitor the activity in your account for a period of time.
- Notify Truliant’s Member Contact Center at 800.822.0382
The most common check scams involve a person receiving a generous check instructing them to send cash or wire funds from the check proceeds to another person or company. What ends up happening is the check returns as a fraudulent check and they are held responsible for the loss of the funds due to the return of the check. Below are common check scams that are seen on a daily basis.
The victim is mailed a check along with a letter stating they are the lucky lottery winner. The victim is then instructed to deposit the check and send a portion of the funds back to pay for the processing and taxes for the larger lottery winnings. The check that is attached to the letter will have been written off of a company or individual’s account that is in no way associated with the lottery.
Secret Shopper and Work-From-Home
Fraudsters create job postings or create a website advertising work from home jobs or to become a secret shopper to earn extra income. Often these sites advise the perspective victim to deposit a check and then to wire the majority of the money to a third party to purchase office equipment or to test the institution's customer service levels.
One of the trending internet check scams is found on sale sites such as Craig’s List or Ebay. The victim sells an item and receives a check for 2-5 times the agreed upon sale price. The purchaser advises the Seller they wrote the check out for too much money by accident and for the Seller to send back the difference to them. Often the Purchaser will tell the Seller to keep the sales price of the item sold along with $50 for taking the time to wire the funds back to the Purchaser.
Debit Card and Online Banking Scams
These types of scams typically involve connecting with the victim on social media sites or for on-line pay day loan offers requesting the victim’s debit card & PIN number and/or the victim’s on-line banking user name and password.
Debit Card Scams
The victim is contacted utilizing social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The fraudsters tell the victim that they need to use local bank accounts to conduct some business transactions and will leave some money in the victims account for the use of their debit card & PIN number and online banking user name & password. Once the victim agrees the fraudsters deposit fraudulent checks into the account via ATMs and/or remote deposit. The fraudsters then make ATM withdrawals and purchase Visa or GreenDot pre-paid cards to convert into cash later. The victim is left responsible for the losses to the account due to their participation in the scam by giving their card and information to the fraudsters.
Pay Day Loan Schemes
The victims of this scheme are in need of a small loan to help make ends meet. The victim signs up with an on-line loan website and is quickly approved for a small loan with no questions asked. The fraudulent loan company will ask for the victim’s online user name and password and states they need the information in order to transfer funds to the victim’s account. The fraudulent loan company then instructs the victim to send the money back to them to ensure the loan applicant (victim) is trustworthy. The fraudulent loan company actually deposited fraudulent checks into the victim’s accounts through the online banking application. The victim is left with a negative balance due to the checks deposited by the fraudulent loan company.
Again, if you believe you have fallen victim to any type of fraud relating to your account(s), please contact Truliant as soon as possible.
Learn more about protecting yourself against fraud at the Federal Trade Commission.