Cybersecurity Awareness Month: 3 Common Scams to be Aware of

by Joe Mecca

VP, Communication / Company Spokesperson

Member Tips

Did you know? Consumers lost $5.8 billion to fraud last year — up 70% since 2020. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and to help you stay on guard with your finances, we’re sharing three common scams that you should be aware of. As your chosen credit union, we feel it is our duty to inform and help protect our members as best we can from the widespread increase of fraudulent solicitations.

1. The Social Media Scam

Have you received a friend request on a social media platform from someone you thought you were already connected to? This scam will catch users off guard by using profile photos of someone you know in real life to lure you into a chat. Once you accept the friend request from the scammer (who looks like someone you know), they will start either asking you directly for money or they will tell you to click on a link. One easy way to spot a fake social media profile is to look and see how many friends they have before you accept their friend request. If the profile shows no other friends – and if you can find your friend’s existing profile, try calling your friend to confirm if it’s really them or not. Most likely this is a scammer pretending to be someone you know to gain your trust and gather your financial information.

2. Email, Text Message and Phone Call Phishing

Have you received an email, text or phone call from what appears to be your financial institution stating that there’s an issue with your account? Perhaps they are asking you to confirm a recent purchase? Whatever the message may say, scammers are commonly making themselves appear as though they work for your financial institution. At Coastal, we will never ask you to share your usernames, passwords or one-time security codes with us. If someone is asking you for these things, please delete the text or email, or hang up and contact your financial institution to share that you were solicited.

3. The Home Warranty Scam

While online scams are up 25% in the US, don’t forget that scammers can reach you through traditional channels like the mail, too. Some fraudsters are mailing letters to consumers that reference a connection to your financial institution to give the illusion of credibility. These letters typically say that you must call to get your Home Warranty up to date or you will have to go without. If you get a letter like this in the mail, do not call the phone number listed on the letter. Instead, speak to your financial institution to confirm if the letter is real or not.

In general, when you are contacted by anyone attempting to pose as your financial institution or ask you for your personal banking information, don’t ever feel like you must act on anything immediately – even if they say it’s urgent. Take the time to find out if you are being solicited by a scammer first. Remember, there are many tactics that scammers will use to get your financial information.

Stay updated about new risks here, so that you can be vigilant in the fight against fraud. You can also reach out to our member representative team by sending a secure message through your digital banking portal anytime. We’re here to help.


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