Scammers never take a day off and can be quite crafty. They may impersonate people you trust, including your financial institution. Recently, we learned of a disturbing case where scammers were impersonating Solarity Credit Union to defraud a member. Even if a call, email or text message seems like it is legitimate, it is important to always be over-cautious. When we reach out to our members, as a trusted financial partner, we already have key information about them. We will verify your account information with pre-determined security questions that were set up when you opened your account.
Solarity or any other legitimate financial institution will never:
- Ask for your account number
- Ask for your password or ask you to reset your password
- Ask for your credit or debit card numbers
- Ask you to initiate a transaction, including withdrawing funds from your account, or use alternate payment methods like gift cards or cryptocurrency
What to do if you’re unsure
The most cunning of scammers will pull out all the stops to convince you that the call is legit, including making the number on your caller ID appear to be from a trusted source. This is known as “spoofing.” So, trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right, hang up with the caller, find the legitimate phone number of the financial institution and call them back.
How to protect yourself
Scammers work full time at defrauding you. Here are some key ways to avoid becoming a victim:
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Even if you’re emotionally invested in what’s happening, take the time to stop and think before you act.
- Use caution when clicking links or opening email attachments – unless you know the person, you should avoid it.
- Verify the person’s legitimacy by hanging up or not responding. On your own, locate and contact them through their official email address or phone number.
- Be suspicious of anyone asking for money, particularly a method that can’t be reversed or cancelled like gift cards or wire transfers
- Watch out for the "fear" factor. Urgency is a favorite tactic of fraudsters. If someone is pressuring or threatening you, there's a good chance they are trying to scam you.
- Use unique, complex passwords to help keep your online accounts secure, and never share them with anyone.
- Block unwanted calls and text messages