As fraud constantly evolves, United Heritage Credit Union reminds members to remain vigilant when it comes to their finances. Outlined in this blog post are a number of common scams that you can avoid if you are attentive and armed with the right knowledge.
1. Employment Scams
Employment scams target individuals by promising them high-paying jobs that can be done from home. Fraudsters will often advertise the jobs on online forums and social networks such as Craigslist and Facebook, as well as send out emails and text messages to large groups of random individuals.
Some employment scams require job seekers to pay money up front – for supplies, job placement and more – while others ask for credit card or bank information prior to "hiring" an individual. You should never send money or give out sensitive information to an unverified source.
2. Lottery Scams
Lottery scams promise large amounts of lottery winnings in return for an initial processing fee. Once the fee is paid, the scammer never distributes the promised winnings to the victim. Elderly persons and the financially vulnerable are often targeted in lottery scams.
3. Payday Loan Scams
In payday loan scams, the victim is promised a loan in exchange for a fee. These scams often claim that the loans are guaranteed regardless of credit history or employment status, making this an attractive option for college students and underemployed individuals. Once the victim sends the fee or provides financial details, the scammer takes the victim's money without ever providing a loan.
4. Romance Scams
Romance scams target those who are emotionally vulnerable. Fraudsters make contact on online dating sites, online forums and social media networks with those seeking companionship.
At some point after a rapport is established, the fraudster requests money – often claiming the funds are needed for medical expenses, travel costs to see the victim or a business opportunity. Once the victim begins sending the fraudster money, he or she will often continue requesting larger and larger amounts. For more information on romance scams, click here.
Because anyone can become a victim of a financial scam, it's important to make sure you recognize the signs of potential fraud early on. For more information on a variety of scams and how to protect yourself, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website.