Financial Wellness

Warning Signs of Scams and Identity Schemes

Be vigilant, cautious and aware to best guard against scammers.

Now, more than ever, fraudsters use both simple and sophisticated tactics to try to get your personal and financial information and money. While vaccine scams are headline news this month, other scams and identity theft schemes have not gone away.

Warning Signs of Scams

From gift card payments to government look-a-like sites to scam calls, texts and emails, here is a recap of ongoing scams.

IRS Tax Scams

  • Beware of fraudsters impersonating IRS officers. The IRS will NOT contact you by phone or email.
  • The IRS will never demand immediate payment or ask for payment by gift cards.
  • Hang up on recorded messages or 'robocalls' threatening any action including arrest, penalties or social security number restrictions.

COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations, test kits or treatments.
  • Do not pay to get early access or move up to an earlier group to get the vaccine.
  • Do not give out your personal, medical or financial information to unknown or unsolicited sources.

"Tech Support" Scams

  • Do not click on pop-up windows. This will lock up your browser.
  • Do not call the toll-free number that appears on a pop-up window. Exit and search the listed number for the company.
  • Legitimate error and warning messages will never include a phone number.

Threats and False Payment Scams

  • Con artists instill panic and fear by threatening you or your loved ones with arrest, deportation and other extortion demands.
  • Legitimate businesses and government agencies will not threaten legal action if an exorbitant fine is not paid immediately.
  • Beware of "fine" payments, especially if they must be made by wire transfer, money order, or store gift cards.

Remain Cautious and Beware

  1. Never share your login credentials with anyone.
  2. Government agencies, financial institutions and other reputable businesses will not initiate contact or request personal or financial information by email.
  3. Gift cards are for gifts, not payments.
  4. Caller ID numbers can be “spoofed”. Scammers can disguise themselves by changing the display to show a local phone number or one that looks similar to yours.
  5. Think twice before you click. Do not click on any links whether sent in a text, email or social media post.
  6. Protect your home internet and wireless networks with strong passwords. Change the name of your network and avoid using your name and address so people don’t know the network belongs to your house.
  7. Remind teens and elders to be cautious and aware, too.

If in doubt, STOP! If you suspect fraud, contact CEFCU and your other financial institutions immediately.

Optimize your knowledge scams, fraud, and identity theft by reading our other Scam Awareness & Cyber Security articles.