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How to Protect Yourself from New Scams

Woman sitting on a couch tracking spending on her phone

The security of your personal information is important to us – and that's why Summit Credit Union will never ask you for confidential information, like full social security number, full bank account number, debit or credit card numbers, CVV or PIN in an email or via a website, online chat or from an unsolicited visit or phone call. If you receive a suspicious request for confidential information, it's not from Summit. 

If you’re not sure if something is a scam, it’s ALWAYS better to act like it could be!

Fraudsters are always coming up with creative new ways to steal from you and quick to take advantage of a crisis.

Here are some of the most popular recent scams:

  • The “problem with your account” scam. You get a text, call or email: Something’s wrong with your account. Your “financial institution” is happy to check it out – just provide your password and account number. Summit won’t contact you to ask for personal info.
  • “FREE” money scam. Money you weren’t expecting shows up in your account and you get a text/email telling you what to do with it. Watch out! That deposit is likely stolen or fake and you could be helping launder money.
  • Overpayment scams. You’re selling something online. The buyer “accidentally” overpays and wants the difference in gift cards. You find out too late the original payment was fake.
  • Loan scams. You applied for a loan online and some of the money is already in your account. But now the company wants you to wire them money or send a gift card before they’ll send the rest. That deposit is bad, and you’ve already paid their fees before you realize it.
  • Gift card scams. You’re trying to buy something online and the seller will only let you pay with gift cards. You send them but your item never arrives.
  • Romance scams. You find your soulmate online. Things are moving fast, but that’s okay because you have so much in common! It’s too bad they live so far away, and an expensive illness means they can’t afford to travel. But if you send them some money – preferably in gift cards, using a wire transfer or by putting money into a new account they opened in your name, they’ll be there in a heartbeat. As you’ve likely guessed, once you send the money, they’ll have some reason they can’t visit right now – and they might even ask you for more money. People lose more money on this type of scam than any other, so watch out!
  • Unexpected unemployment payments. Scammers use stolen personal information to apply for unemployment benefits. Once the payment appears in your account, they may call, email or text you, saying they’re from the state unemployment agency and requesting you send the money back to them. Don't spend or withdraw the unexpected funds and contact your financial institution immediately.
  • Facebook posts promising special grants to help pay medical bills. These claim to be from a government agency that will help you qualify for a grant to pay your medical bills. A link in the post will take you to what appears to be a government agency where you’ll be asked to provide your Social Security number to verify your identity to get your grant.
  • Anyone calling you with a “must act now” message. Anyone who calls with a high-pressure message – and a request for your personal information – is likely up to no good. These callers typically say they’re from a government agency or the IRS and need your personal information right away to ensure you don’t miss your chance to receive a payment. The government will never call you. And the IRS doesn’t need your Social Security number – they already have it.
  • Investment scams. These people know a roller coaster stock market makes people nervous. If someone contacts you promising “guaranteed returns” on an investment, they’re likely fraudsters.

Protect yourself against common frauds – and whatever the fraudsters dream up next.

If you’re not sure a request is real, get the name of the person who contacted you and call the company back to confirm they contacted you. If your personal information has been compromised, you should contact your financial institution immediately. For Summit members, call 800-236-5560. If you have questions, check out our mobile security FAQs.