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Phone scammers want your money­ . . . Don’t help them get it!

 

The call starts out innocently enough. The caller ID is for your credit union or a toll-free number, and “Jennifer” tells you in an earnest voice that there have been some suspicious transactions on your account.

She wants to make sure you made them, so if you can just confirm your account number and your identity by giving her your PIN number, she can resolve the issue and keep your money safe. But you must act quickly before another withdrawal is made!

This common type of call is just one of the ways today’s savvy criminals can get ahold of your money. But they can only do it if you cooperate. The call might be from a live person, an automated message system, or a voice-response system programmed to act like a live person. They are all designed to deceive you into giving them the private information they need to steal from you.

Keep these tips in mind to help avoid being a phone fraud victim:

The first and best way: never provide any financial or personal details to any caller. If you are asked, just hang up. Sunmark will never call you and ask you to provide or verify:

  •  Your full social security number

  •  A numeric security code for a one-time password

  •  Your username

  •  Your password

  •  Your full account number

  •  Answers to security questions over the phone

If you’re threatened by the caller with police, FBI, or other penalties if you don’t cooperate, don’t believe them. Again, just hang up.

The caller may already have some illegally obtained personal information, such as your name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. The want to gain your trust and induce you to tell them more. Don’t be fooled.

If the caller asks “Can you hear me?” or another question that requires you to say yes, don’t do it. The scammer may be recording your voice, then using your answer in a voice-activated system to agree to fraudulent transactions or purchases.

If you get a text instead of a call, don’t answer, and don’t click on any link in the text. It could result in malicious software-malware-being installed on your phone.

Call Sunmark at (866) SUNMARK (786-6275) to verify the call or text, but never call any number the original caller gives you. It’s most likely fake. Use the number on your credit card, Sunmark monthly statement, or our website.

Don’t trust caller ID. The number may look legitimate, but Caller ID is an insecure system and scammers can easily “spoof” any number they want to make it appear on your phone.

Keep in mind that at Sunmark we keep up to date on the latest in security and safety for your benefit as credit union members. But you are the first and best line of defense in safeguarding your private information!