Preventing Fraud is a Team Effort

Preventing Fraud is a Team Effort

Anyone can become a victim of fraud, but there are steps you can take to help protect yourself, your account information, and your finances. The first step is understanding how to recognize the most common scams. The next is knowing what you can do to avoid them.

Learn more below about some popular scams, how to spot them, and how to keep yourself in the clear.

Trending Scams

Scammers often get creative when stealing another person’s money. These are some of the most common scams you may come across.

  • Gift card scams. During a gift card scam, a fraudster will tell you that the only way to pay for a purchase or claim a prize is to use gift cards. You purchase gift cards from retailers, then give the card number and PIN to the fraudster. They can quickly spend the money on the card, and there’s no way to get it back.
  • Unemployment scams. During an unemployment scam, a person will use your name and contact information to file for unemployment benefits.
  • Mortgage wire transfer scams. Mortgage scams can give fraudsters access to all the money you’ve saved for a down payment and closing costs on a home. During a wire transfer scam, the fraudster poses as your lender, directing you to wire the money to a fraudulent account.
  • Phishing scams. Phishers try to get you to share your personal information, such as your bank account PIN or password, by impersonating a legitimate company. Another form is a verification code scam, during which a person who already has your account information contacts you to “verify” the code sent to your phone or email in order to enable a digital payment option with your account
  • Tech support scams. During a tech support scam, a fraudster contacts you claiming to be from a tech support company. They might tell you that there’s a virus or another issue on your device in an attempt to get access to your computer.

Know the Red Flags

In some cases, you can spot a scam from a mile away. Others are more deceptive, though. While the exact details of a scam can vary, they usually share some common features.

Here are some red flags to look out for.

  • A sense of urgency. Scammers know that time is of the essence. The quicker you give them your information, the quicker they can get your money and move on to their next victim. Emails, phone calls, or texts that demand you “act now” can all be signs of a scam.
  • Legal threats. Scammers also play on fear. They might threaten you with legal action or imply that you’ll need to pay penalties and fees if you don’t do what they say.
  • Typos or other mistakes. A misspelled name, whether it’s your own or the name of the financial institution, is often a clear sign of a scam. Other small mistakes, such as typos in the message, can also point to fraud.

Don’t Become a Victim

Once you know how to spot a scam, you can take steps to avoid becoming a victim. Here’s what to do to help keep your financial information safe.

  • Don’t share your details. Never share your PINs, account numbers, and other forms of financial or account information with anyone.
  • Be cautious with emails, texts, and phone calls. If you get a text message, email, or phone call from a financial institution and the person asks you for a password or PIN, don’t give it to them. Instead, hang up the phone and don’t reply to any text or email. Contact your financial institution directly through the phone number on your card or account statement.
  • Pause before clicking on links. If an email or text message includes a link or asks you to provide personal information, stop and think before you do anything. If you aren’t sure about the legitimacy of the message, you can also contact the company directly.

Remember: PSECU will never ask you for your account number or PIN in communications we initiate with you.

We’ve Got Your Back

We’re a member-owned financial cooperative that’s dedicated to keeping your money secure. Here are a few ways we keep your money safe.

  • We employ specially trained professionals.
  • Our account alerts notify you of account activity.
  • We provide a free credit score* monitoring service.

Want to learn more about keeping your money safe? Check out the security section of our blog at


*PSECU is not a credit reporting agency. Members must have PSECU checking or a PSECU loan to be eligible for this service. Joint owners are not eligible.

The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.