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It’s #FraudWeek! How to Spot the Red Flags of Fraud

International Fraud Awareness Week is here! Now is the perfect opportunity to promote awareness of the steps we can all take to spot, avoid and prevent fraud. Especially with big holiday shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, Fraud Week is a timely reminder to stay alert and protect ourselves.

Scammers work hard during the holidays to come up with new twists on their old tricks. But if you know the warning signs to look for, you may avoid becoming a victim!

Can you spot a scam? Here are the common red flags of fraud:

Red Flag #1: You're contacted out of the blue

Phishing scams target victims by posing as legitimate, trusted sources such as the IRS or FBI, a well-known company or retailer, and even banks and credit unions. Many times, these scams start with an unexpected call, email, text or social media message, aiming to catch people off guard so they react without thinking. If you're randomly contacted by someone who pressures you to “act now," don't fall for it. Instead of responding, contact the source directly to verify if they were, in fact, trying to reach you.

Red Flag #2: An offer seems too good to be true

Everyone loves a bargain, especially on the hottest holiday gifts! But as you're searching the web for the best deals, don't be fooled by websites, emails or social media ads promoting extremely low prices. You could end up with a low-quality, knock-off product — or nothing at all! Stay safe by doing your research to compare prices and only buying from familiar online retailers you trust.

Red Flag #3: Someone tells you to pay in a certain way

If someone insists you pay them using untraceable payment methods such as a money wire transfer or gift cards, steer clear. This is something scammers do! Once you send someone money using these methods, it's generally gone for good.

Red Flag #4: Something just doesn't feel right

Scammers are counting on you to let your emotions control your decisions. Resist the urge to act immediately and pause before you click or respond. When in doubt, trust your instincts! Remember, a legitimate source will not contact you and ask you to update or verify private information such as your Social Security number, login credentials, account numbers or credit card numbers. When something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. 

Keeping your personal and financial information safe

At Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU), the safety and security of our members' accounts and information is our top priority!

We use several effective measures to protect your personal and financial information, including:

  • When logging in to your Mobile or Online Banking account, your answers to a series of personal questions identify you as an authorized user.
  • If unusual/suspicious activity is identified on your account, you may be contacted about the authenticity of the transaction in question.
  • WPCU members have access to identity theft assistance through Identity Fraud, Inc., as well as discounted identity protection plans.
  • WPCU debit cards have an embedded microchip that encrypts information to increase data security when making in-store transactions. Be sure to use your chip whenever possible!
  • WPCU also has enhanced monitoring programs to specifically watch for suspected fraud on debit cards.
  • As a reminder, WPCU's Mobile and Online Banking should not be accessed on public Wi-Fi hotspots, especially those that are unsecure.

WPCU will never contact you via email, phone, text, chat box or pop-up message asking you to provide personal information or update/validate your personal account information or credentials. If you have any questions or concerns about your account, please contact us.

Be Fraud Smart with WPCU! WPCU is here to help you stay up-to-date on the latest scams and protect against fraud. For more helpful fraud prevention tips, tools and resources, visit our Fraud Prevention page.