Fraud & Security: How To Keep Yourself Safe

by Jonathan Smith

Fraud Operations Manager, CFE

Coastal's Fraud Prevention Tools

Coastal's Fraud Prevention Tools

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, fraud scams and schemes have seen a significant increase worldwide by fraudsters. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, which publish yearly Occupational Fraud 2022: A Report To The Nations, worldwide losses account for more than 4.7 trillion annually. These numbers continue to increase year over year.

Similarly, Coastal has seen an increase in attempts for fraudsters to steal, coerce, and even threaten members into willingly sending their money to these unprincipled individuals. Keep in mind, fraudsters will try to incorporate hints of truth about member’s information to appear legitimate. They research social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, WhatsApp, Instagram, or LinkedIn. They may even research court records, real estate, marriage’s, divorces, or any other public records. 

Most commonly among the elderly membership, fraudsters contact a member claiming to be from a Government agency. The fraudster will claim they are from a reputable agency such as the FBI, IRS, or something that sounds official. They will proceed to tell the member they have been involved in some sort of trouble or have a warrant for their arrest, owing money to the government if they do not pay or corporate. These claims are false.

If this happens, a member should take these simple steps below:

  • Stop communication with the perpetrator
  • Search online for the contact and the proposed offer.
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to produce fear.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, texts, mailings, and door-to-door service offers.
  • Never provide any personally identifiable information (PII).
  • If you receive a suspicious pop-up or locked screen on your device, immediately disconnect from the internet and turn off the device.
  • If victimized, monitor your accounts and pull a credit report for suspicious activity.

This type of scam and scheme is just a small portion of the type of fraud that Coastals Fraud Department deals with daily. There are many others, even more elaborate and intricate that can cause many members to become victims, regardless of age.  Here is a short list members should be aware of that have recently been on the FBI’s Consumer Alerts list.

  • QR scan code: Fraudsters will post flyers in public places with malicious Quick Response (QR) codes embedded with malware directing scans to sites where fraudsters steal victim data, gain access to the device, or redirecting payment for cybercriminal use. Be cautious of scanning random QR codes and double check for legitimacy
  • Tech Support Scam: Criminals pose as technology support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues. 
  • Romance Scam: Criminals pose as interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites.
  • Grandparent scam: Criminals pose as a relative-usually a child or grandparent-claiming to in immediate financial need.
  • Sweepstakes/charity/lottery scams: Criminals claim to work for a charitable organization to gain victims’ trust, or claim victim has won a foreign lottery sweepstake, which they can collect a for a “fee.”

Coastal's Commitment To Keeping You Safe

Safeguarding your personal information is our highest priority. That's why at Coastal we have worked hard to ensure you have the fraud prevention tools you need at all times so you can have peace of mind. 

Explore Coastal's Fraud Prevention Tools


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