The Latest Scams:
Grandparent Scam -- As reported by an ICCU member-owner
Those of grandparent age are being targeted with phone calls saying, "Grandpa, I am in trouble and need you to wire me money so I can get out of jail, get my car out of the mechanics, payoff a debt, etc." The caller directs them to wire money via Western Union immediately. DO NOT FALL FOR IT, just hang up -- and check on your relative directly by calling them.
Craig's List Scam -- Advertisements have been posted on Craig's List as part of a credit union membership recruitment scam. The ad solicits credit union members specifically, and offers $75 or more in "gaining membership for ineligable consumers." Others invite members of credit unions to "help them join a credit union, or get a credit card."
Keep in mind, there is no such thing as "free money," and if someone wants to join a credit union, they can easily do it, although referrals to ICCU are always welcome and appreciated.
The following are samples of the messages -- each of which are a scam:
- If your an ABC Credit Union Member MAKE SOME EXTRA $$
This is NOT a scam! I am willing to call you and discuss extensively! I need a ABC Credit Union Member to sponsor me into the credit union. I am willing to pay $100 USD for this service. Please email me and we can discuss this in detail. This is a 1 day process and I want to become a member for investment account/interest rate purposes.
- Need to find a XYZ Credit Union Member
I was just approved for a visa credit card with XYZ Federal Credit Union and they called me and said that they can not process the application if I do not know any existing member or if I am not employed at one of the list of companies they have. To become a member you have to know a member. So now my app is on hold until I can find someone who is already a member. If you know someone, please tell them to contact me. I am willing to pay $500. And all they ask for is the members name and member number. Thanks.
Fake Emails from Credit Unions -- An ICCU member told us "they were sent an e-mail from Community Driven Credit Union in Detroit, asking for their account information." The email appeared ligitimate, but they aren't a member of that credit union.
Please know that ICCU will never ask for your account information via email (it's unsafe) and we have it! If something doesn't feel "right" trust your gut, hang up or hit delete and call YOUR credit union directly. Do not reply to the email or text messages, or ask them to remove you - just hit delete.
Voice Phising Scam -- Michigan credit union members are being targeted in a voice phising scam. An automated caller asks members to "enter their credit or debit card number to either validate or verify for security reasons." When the number is entered (which you should NEVER do), they are asked to enter their four-digit PIN and/or three digit security code. These appear to be random and in all instances reported, the "caller" has not identified the credit union name, but rather says something like "your card" or "your security/fraud department is calling."
Please know that ICCU does not work with any card vendor that will call you and ask for your account information -- we/they have it. P lease note, that some card vendors may call about suspicious transactions, yet they will NEVER ask for your account or card number. If you have any questions at any time about a call, HANG UP and call your credit union.
.99 cent items -- Not always a great deal: Watch out for companies that lure you in -- offering a super discounted price of .99 cents for an item (teeth whitening products, credit report, weight loss products, etc.). Consumers are getting stuck by not reading the fine print and then clicking "agree," -- which then generates a re-occuring shipment, which is charged to their credit card. If you have to give your credit card for a .99 cent item you may be paying far more than you anticipated -- and for a long time. Before you hit "agree" or "yes," to any purchase be sure to READ THE FINE PRINT!
Funeral & Foreclosure Scams: Click here to learn more.
Debit Repair Organization -- Many are a scam. Here are some things to watch out for:
- Credit repair companies that advertise on telephone poles -- avoid them!
- Claims they can "fix your credit quickly and totally" regardless of how bad it might be.
- Gradious (huge) claims that don't seem realistic. Trust your gut.
- Asking you to PAY UP FRONT for services -- which is illegal.
- Agencies that stop or discourage you from contacting credit bureau's directly.
- Companies that ask you to apply for a "employer ID number" instead of using your Social Security Number.
- Agencies that direct you to "dispute EVERYTHING on your report," even though some of it is real.
If you are in doubt, contact the Better Business Bureau -- or just "google" the company (search for them on the Internet).
Lottery Scam: Beware of secret shopper and/or lottery scams that offer you a check for $6,500. People are asked to deposit the check, and then send a $100 back to the sender. A few weeks later, the check in turn bounces (with overdraft fees) and the thieves have access to the person's account records, etc. If someone offers to GIVE YOU MONEY don't fall for it. It is too good to be true. Just hit delete, or hang up. And, then report it.
Don't Give Out Information: Mellody Hobson of Good Morning America reports that, "Financial institutions will never ask you for personal information via e-mail. They have it. So, if you receive an e-mail or get a pop-up ad on your screen asking for your account information, ignore it. " "The key words to be on the look out for are: validate, update or confirm -- these are red flags that the request may be fraudulent. If you find yourself receiving a number of suspicious messages, the Federal Trade Commission has set up an "in-box" to investigate." You can report the messages to email@example.com. Click here to learn more.
Fakechecks.org: As seen on TV! This website was created by the National Consumers League (NCL), the nation's oldest nonprofit consumer organization, as a central source of information and advice about fake check scams. The NCL created the site in collaboration with the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness, a coalition of consumer and business organizations, and government agencies committed to fighting fake check scams.