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Scammers Target Grads and More

Summer is just around the corner, but the weather isn't the only thing heating up! Between graduation season, vacations and other seasonal activities, scammers have many reasons to stay active in the spring and summer months.

What scams should you be looking out for? Here are a few you should know about:

#1: Phony Job Scams

Scammers know that May means many new college grads will be job hunting online, and they're ready to take advantage of eager employment seekers.

Beware of “employers" who ask you to provide your Social Security number or banking information on the job application or before you've even started the job. This is not a normal practice — it's a big red flag for fraud!

It pays to do your research on a company and verify all information before submitting a job application. Fraudsters will often include enticing benefits like work-from-home, large salaries and sign-on bonuses in the phony job description. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

#2: Scholarship and Financial Aid Offer Scams

In addition to college grads, scammers are also targeting high school students pursuing the dream of higher education. Watch out for unexpected offer letters or emails congratulating you on a scholarship or award you didn't apply for — it could be a scam.

Criminals use these phony offers to gain access to students' personal information and may even request payment from you in order to release the “award". Legitimate financial aid is free — you don't need to pay for it!

#3: Travel Scams

With students out of school soon, many families are busy making travel plans. Be skeptical when you see unbelievably low prices for travel-related offers such as airline tickets, hotel or rental bookings, all-inclusive vacation packages and cruises. 

Also, beware of phony messages announcing you've won a travel sweepstakes via mail, email or on social media. After all, you can't win a contest you didn't enter in the first place.

When booking travel, be sure to research everything thoroughly and read reviews before making a decision, and only use reputable, established websites. Look for URLs that include “https://" in the address bar and a lock symbol, which indicates that a website is secure. Another tip is to use a credit card when booking travel for enhanced fraud protection.

Bonus Tip: “Spring Clean" Your Digital Devices!

Now is a great time to refresh your online accounts with new, unique passwords or passphrases. A good password is at least 12 characters long, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.

Avoid using the exact same password for multiple accounts, and opt-in for multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible to add another layer of protection to your accounts.

Protect Yourself from Fraud All Year Round

As your caring financial partner, Wright-Patt Credit Union® (WPCU®) is here to help you safeguard your personal and financial information against fraud. For more helpful tips, tools and resources, check out our fraud prevention page.​