Anyone who uses the internet is a potential target for fraudsters. Below are examples of common scams that you may encounter online.
New Malware App Targeting Android Users
A new mobile malware campaign, known as Anatsa, is gaining access to consumers’ personal banking credentials through apps downloaded on Google Play including PDF readers, QR code scanners, and two-factor authentication apps. Currently, more than 600 banking apps are being targeted by the malware which infects devices following an app download, stealing credentials and making unauthorized mobile banking transactions.
Be extra careful about apps you install on your smartphone. Make sure to check the reviews of apps to see if a pattern of reports indicate malicious behavior, try to avoid apps with few installs & reviews, and protect your devices with reliable antivirus software.
Scam Verification Texts
Stay Alert! Local consumers/Members are receiving fraudulent transaction verification text messages that appear as if they are coming from LBS Financial Credit Union. The text messages are requesting a response of Yes “Y” or No “N” to confirm recent suspicious activity on your card. When replying to the text message, the scammers are then calling claiming to be an LBS Financial representative and asking for the full LBS Financial debit card number, expiration date and CVV (security code on the back of the card). They may also claim that your Online Banking has been compromised and will ask for your username/password to secure your account.
LBS Financial Credit Union will never initiate a call and ask you for your card details, Online Banking information, SSN, date of birth, account number and/or any other personal information. While our fraud team will send legitimate texts to confirm potentially suspicious transactions, they will not follow-up by asking for all of your personal data.
If you receive a suspicious text message or call as outlined above, please contact the Credit Union directly. Please forward the text message to firstname.lastname@example.org and block the number. If you did respond to a message and provided any personal/account related information, please contact LBS Financial immediately.
Look Out For “Smishing” Texts
Similar to phishing emails, criminals send out SMS text messages posing as a reputable company with a link to a fraudulent website or a phone number to try and collect personal information. LBS Financial Credit Union will never ask you to confirm or provide personal information in an unsolicited text. This includes, but is not limited to, online banking credentials, account number(s), card PIN, card CVV and/or your full SSN number.
Do not reply to any suspected smishing texts or click on any links in the text message. If a text appears to be from LBS Financial Credit Union but looks suspicious, forward it to us at email@example.com.
If you get an unwanted text message, there are three ways to report it:
- Copy the message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM). This helps your wireless provider spot and block similar messages in the future.
- Report it on the messaging app you use. Look for the option to report junk or spam.
- Report it to the FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov.
With the growing popularity of cryptocurrency, it is no surprise that crypto scams are growing as well. Keep in mind the following to help you identify a potential scam:
- Businesses and government agencies will never require you to pay in cryptocurrency
- Anyone on a dating app or website that gives investment advice or asks you to send them or invest in a specific cryptocurrency is a red flag for a scam
- Investment pitches that promise fast or excessive returns for investors in a new cryptocurrency are a sign of potential scam
Victims of virtual currency scams can contact the CFTC at 866.366.2382 or submit a complaint online. They can also report cryptocurrency fraud to the FTC, the IC3 and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information and tips and ways to avoid cryptocurrency fraud, visit the FTC’s website.
Suspicious Buyers and Sellers
- A buyer overpays you with a check; the check then bounces week later and the funds are deducted from your account when the check returns as being fraudulent.
- A buyer overpays via a P2P service and asks you to refund the difference or full amount. If you return funds sent via the various P2P services and the initial deposit/credit you received is deemed fraudulent, these companies (ex: Cash App, Apple Cash or Venmo) may deduct the account you have with them for the full amount of the initial deposit, even though you “refunded” the payment.
- A seller asks you to transfer funds with P2P (peer-to-peer) services like Cash App, Apple Cash and Venmo, or they ask for you to pay by mail via cashier’s check or money order prior to you receiving the item.
- Always make sure the check has cleared before delivering items to a buyer. Keep in mind that when LBS Financial releases funds from a check deposit, it does not mean that the check has “cleared.” Please contact LBS Financial if you have any concerns surrounding a check you received.
- Never trust a buyer or seller who refuses to talk on the phone or meet in person and be cautious when using P2P services when selling expensive items. Accepting cash may always be safer in these circumstances.
- Never pay or send money to a person, vendor, or company for equipment, to have decals installed on your car or as a requirement to be a mystery shopper.
- Legitimate employers will never ask you to send money back to them for any reason. After all, you are looking for work to make money, not send it.
- Do your research before applying for or accepting a job opportunity. Gather as much information about the company before applying. Looking for reviews on the internet can be helpful, but do not be tricked by scammers posting fake positive comments or reviews for a fraudulent company.
- Legitimate companies that offer loans will never ask you to return a portion of the funds they provided you as a way to “validate you will repay them” or to “confirm the account is valid.”
- Never provide a loan company your LBS Financial Online/Mobile Banking credentials in order for them to deposit the funds into your account. They should only be requesting your routing number and account number or mailing you a check.
- Do your research before applying for a loan online. Never apply for a loan through an email offer link you received or from a text message you received. Fraudulent websites that offer loans are common, and they typically offer loans/rates that are “too good to be true.”
Other Scam Variations
- Receiving an email, call, or text message that you’ve won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes.
- Notice of an inheritance from a deceased relative you’ve never heard of.
- Unsolicited emails, calls, or letters demanding an immediate response. The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.
- Requests to cash a check/money order or to allow the transfer of funds to your account, with an offer to keep a percentage of the funds.
Never share your LBS Financial Online/Mobile Banking credentials with a company or person that claims it’s needed for them to deposit funds into your account.
In general, be cautious about sharing your usernames and passwords with people, companies, and services especially when your personal information and money are involved. Whether you are applying for a loan, a new job, or were contacted about “making quick cash” via social media, your LBS Financial Online/Mobile Banking credentials should never be shared. If your LBS Financial Online/Mobile Banking credentials are requested in order to deposit funds into your account, this is a red flag and could be a scam. Once you provide your credentials to another person, company or service, they will have full access to your LBS Financial account. In legitimate scenarios, these companies typically will mail you a check or request your routing and account number to direct deposit the funds into your account. It’s important to research the company before disclosing any personal/account related information.
Additional key points to keep in mind
LBS Financial monitors your account for suspicious activity, but we can’t always tell if a personal check, a cashier’s check or money order – including the maker’s endorsement – is real.
Federal law requires banks to make deposited funds available to you, usually within 1 to 5 business days. While you can withdraw cash from your account soon after depositing a check or money order, that doesn’t mean it will be paid by the maker’s bank. Counterfeit checks and money orders can take weeks to be discovered and returned to your financial institution unpaid.
Contact your local police department immediately if you believe you’ve been the victim of fraud, have received a phone call, or responded to an email from someone you believe was trying to perpetrate fraud.
Preventing Fraud & Identity Theft
The sooner fraud is detected, the lower the financial impact. Often the victim is the first person to discover fraudulent activity. Follow these suggestions to recognize the warning signs of identity theft:
Monitor your accounts
Check your account activity frequently for anything unusual and contact your financial institution immediately if you see anything suspicious. If you suspect that any of your accounts with LBS Financial have been compromised, please notify us immediately at 800.527.3328.
Enroll in online alerts
We recommend enrolling in alerts via your LBS Financial Online or Mobile Banking profile. This includes signing up for email or text alerts that notify you when certain events occur such as logins into your account, username/password changes & contact information changes. It’s also helpful to set up threshold alerts to notify you of low account balances or unusually high account transactions. Alerts like these can help signal fraudulent spending, so you can put a stop to it quickly.
Be aware of scams
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scams are not only limited to the internet. Criminals also use phone, text, social media, and email scams to gain personal information and commit fraud and identity theft. Please see the “Avoiding Scams” tab for up-to-date examples of ongoing scams.
Use a credit monitoring service
Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service that notifies you when changes are posted to your credit report. This is one of the fastest ways to find out if someone has opened new accounts in your name.
Stay in the know
Stay in the know about the latest scams and tactics by visiting Onguard Online. This is a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintained site that provides practical tips on how to guard against internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information. It’s also important to take the time to verify any calls or emails that you receive about your finances by contacting your financial institution directly. Locate the contact information from their company website, your online statements, or other materials from the company.
Handling Fraud & Identity Theft
If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft or financial fraud take the following steps immediately.
Report account fraud to your financial institution
If you think your LBS Financial account has been compromised, please call us at 800.527.3328.
Contact the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report
Report any identity theft incidents as quickly as possible by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus listed below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. In addition, you may also want to consider placing a “security freeze” on your credit on each of the three credit bureaus listed below to help prevent additional unauthorized use of your credit.
Experian – 800.509.8495
Equifax – 866.349.5191
TransUnion – 800.916.8800
Contact the Social Security Administration
If you think your identity or Social Security number has been used without your consent, call the Social Security Administration Fraud hotline at 800.269.0271.
Order a credit report
Review your credit reports carefully looking for any inconsistencies. Verify that your personal information (SSN, mailing address, initials, etc.) is correct. Look through your credit report for accounts you didn’t open or debts you can’t explain. If you find information on your credit report that you think is the result of identity theft, you can ask the credit bureau to remove that information from your credit report.
Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. You can request your free credit reports online.
Close fraudulent accounts
If you find accounts have been opened in your name without your knowledge contact the company directly and ask to have them closed. Inform the company that the account was opened fraudulently. Keep detailed notes of your conversation and ask for documentation showing the account has been closed.
If you suspect that any of your accounts with LBS Financial have been compromised, please notify us immediately by calling us at 800.527.3328.
File a police report
Contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report to help you with creditors who may need more information.
Personal Security Tips
Protect your security code
Fraudsters may call you pretending to be from LBS Financial and ask for the 5 to 6 digit security code that was just sent to your phone. Don’t be fooled. LBS Financial will never call you and ask for a code.
Keep in mind that LBS Financial will need to verify your identity when you call us directly. To verify it’s you, we might ask questions or send a code to read back to us over the phone. This is the only time we’ll ask for a code over the phone.
Watch out for “smishing” texts
Just like phishing emails, criminals send out fake SMS text messages with a link to a fraudulent website or a phone number to try and collect personal information. LBS Financial will never ask you to confirm or provide personal information in an unsolicited text.
Password protect your mobile device
Set your device to lock when it’s not being used. This will help prevent someone from getting access to your personal data.
Protect your credit card, debit card and PIN
Always keep your credit and debit cards in a safe place. If your card is lost or stolen, contact the issuing company immediately. Memorize your PIN code. Do not write it down or share it with anyone including bank employees or police agencies.
Use caution at the ATM
Be aware of your surroundings at the ATM. Make sure others cannot see the keypad while you’re entering your PIN. If you do print a receipt, take it with you and keep it in safe place. The receipt may contain information about your account balance and a partial account number, which may be used for fraud. When you’re done with your receipts, shred them.
Engage in social media responsibly
Think carefully before you provide personal details on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Never share information that financial institutions might use to identify you like your Social Security number (including the last 4 digits), date of birth, personal phone number, home address, where you were born or schools you attended. Criminals might use this information to gain access to your account or use it to open accounts in your name.