Scams come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of sophistication. However, they all share the common goal of exploiting people for money, and the victims are the ones who pay the price. Being informed and aware are our best defenses against scammers.
For example, did you know that scammers can make their caller ID display a different name or number?
That’s right! They can even make it display names like: “Social Security Administration” or “Hello Credit Union.” The screen may also display a known or stored phone number.
It is best to always keep your guard up when you receive phone calls about your account or any other personal matter, especially if the caller starts to ask you for private information like passwords or PIN numbers.
Personal information may be solicited on a call you make to us, but Hello Credit Union will never call you and ask you for your:
- ATM/Debit Card PIN Number
- Online Banking Password
- Mobile Banking Credentials
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
Here are a few simple tips that can help consumers avoid becoming a victim:
- Be skeptical of any unsolicited personal contact, telephone calls, letters, emails, or social media messages.
- Do not use the telephone numbers, email addresses, or website addresses from unsolicited contacts to verify the validity of the information provided. Independently verify contact information through several sources before responding.
- Get details in writing before signing agreements, sending money, or giving financial information.
- Read all contracts thoroughly with a lawyer and close family member or friend.
- Do not respond to high pressure tactics. Take the time to verify information and seek counsel from family, friends, or trusted professionals.
- Be wary of anyone requesting payment through money transfer, money order, or by sending cash or gift cards.
- Avoid using debit cards whenever possible. Purchases made by credit card will allow a consumer the ability to dispute charges.
- Use unique, strong passwords and avoid using public Wi-Fi or public computers when making online transactions. Update your computer and protect it with firewall, antivirus, and anti-malware software.
- File tax returns as soon as possible to avoid identity fraud.
- Check your credit report 1-3 times a year through www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Check a company’s complaint history at www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com under “Business/Complaint Lookup,” or by calling 1-800-435-7352. If the business is regulated by FDACS, be sure to find out if they are registered.
- Use “Check-A-Charity” at www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com or call 1-800-435-7352 to verify a charity’s registration status and to check their financial information.
If you ever get an uneasy feeling during an unsolicited phone call, please hang up and call us directly at 850-785-6103 or stop by our main office.
If you happen to accidentally give your information to someone you do not believe should have it, please give us a call ASAP.