Scammers continue to evolve to the latest technology trends and current events and aim to steal your personal information. Here are five trending online scams to watch out for.
Smishing is a type of fraud that takes place through text messages (SMS messages give the name of Smishing). To gain your personal information, scammers can impersonate banks, charities, and organizations. Often, people trust these text messages and will click the links given through the text message, especially when they believe their banking and credit card information has been hacked. Be sure to never click on links through a text message. Instead, go to the source. If you believe the link is coming from a trusted organization, go directly to the website or call customer service to confirm. It’s recommended to NOT call the number that is listed in the text message, if applicable. Instead, call through the website’s provided phone number. Eastex Credit Union will never text you and ask for personal information such as your banking login info, social security numbers, or other important personal information.
Often, IRS imposter scams occur when someone contacts you pretending to work for the IRS. Two types of common IRS scams include tax collection, claims that you owe money to the federal government, and verification, an attempt to get you to “verify” your personal information. Email, text messages, and social media channels are two ways that scammers attempt to get your personal information and banking information. Scammers often prey on the complicated process of filing taxes and the stressed nature of consumers. Remember, the IRS will never contact you via email, text message, or social media and will never threaten or bully you for payment.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scams
As many people begin to apply for student loan forgiveness, scammers are using this momentum to gain personal account information from consumers. Beware of these common scam tactics regarding student loans scams:
- You’re asked to make a payment upfront or monthly installment for “processing fees.”
- You’re promised immediate loan forgiveness.
- You’re asked to provide a password to your login credentials.
In a post-COVID world, working remotely is on the rise, and scammers are taking advantage of this market. Work-from-home scams are another trending scam as scammers can pose as companies or independent contractors try to offer you fake remote jobs. Scammers can use this tactic to steal your personal information. Follow these steps to see if a job offer is legitimate:
- If the job is too good to be true, it usually is. Use your best judgment to decipher if the job is legitimate.
- There is little to no information on the job.
- The description is vague and requires payment or private information from you.
- “Employer” is communicating poorly or is overly eager to hire.
This scam specifically targets senior citizens and preys on their vulnerability and emotion. In a trending grandparent scam, a scammer will contact an elderly citizen impersonating their grandchildren online. The scammer, posing as their grandchild online or via text message, will immediately ask for financial assistance. Scammers can “spoof” the caller ID on the grandparent’s phone, where it looks like the grandchild is the one sending them text messages. When in doubt, hang up and dial your grandchild’s phone number. Never click on suspicious links or give password and log in credentials over the phone.
Remember, Eastex Credit Union will never text you and ask for personal information such as your banking log in info, social security numbers, or other important personal information. We will never reach out through social media channels or a text message. If you believe you’ve become a victim of a scam and have given out your Eastex Credit Union credentials and information, contact us right away to stop scammers from stealing your money and information. You can visit us online or call us at (409) 276-2525.