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Fraud Watch

Don't get scammed

Our team of fraud-fighters has created this page with real-world tips and tools to help protect you from becoming a victim of fraud. 


If you suspect you're a victim of fraud or identity theft, call us at 503.239.5336 immediately so we can take preventative measures to protect your account. 


» How do I know if the phone call or text message I received was actually from Oregonians CU?


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Prioritize your security by taking these steps

The security of your accounts is a serious priority of ours, but you can help, too. Here are some additional steps you can take to help prevent fraud on your accounts:

Your account numbers, Social Security number, card numbers and card details are confidential. Do not ever offer this information within an email, and be careful not to offer it in a phone call unless the individual is reputable or you initiated the phone call.

It doesn't matter if the caller ID says it's your bank or the IRS calling or emailing you, scammers can spoof phone number and email addresses. Always shred documents that contain your personal information, like billing statements, before throwing them away. 
Do not open emails from unknown or unsolicited sources, and delete an email immediately if it looks to be suspicious. Don't click links directly within emails; instead, go directly to the business' website. Fraudsters are clever, and they've created landing pages that look like legitimate websites - but the actual URL will not represent the business' website. Pay close attention to punctuation errors and misspellings, these are often tell-tale signs of a spoofed email.
Monitor your card accounts frequently and report unauthorized charges immediately. Setup MyAlerts to get notified about large withdrawals to help you detect unauthorized transactions. Avoid swiping your card when making payments and opt to use your card chip. Card chips make it much more difficult for fraudsters to steal your card information so avoid swiping your card, when possible.
Fraudsters place card skimmers on ATMs and gas station card machines that capture and store your card details when entered or swiped through the device. Skimmers are usually placed over the existing ATM card reader. Before using an ATM, check to make sure the reader is not loose, over-sized, and that it does not move around when jiggled. Cover your hand as you type your PIN just in case the fraudster installed a camera nearby.
Control physical access to your computer and other devices to prevent unauthorized use of your online accounts. Always use passwords and lock devices when away. Make sure your devices are up to date with the most recent updates and recommended patches, including web browsers, applications, and office suites.
The most important factor in password strength is length. Passphrases are a string of words, like favorite song lyrics or a quote. You can create a passphrase by taking a short phrase and:
  1. Change the capitalization of some of the letters.
  2. Replace some of the letters with numberical and symbolic substitutions ($ for S, 8 for B, @ for A)
  3. Misspell or abbreviate some words, i.e. the phrase "I love starbucks coffee" becomes "ILuv$t@rbuxC0ff33"


Common types of scams

Tax season is here

And so are tax scams. Get a call, text or email from the IRS? It's probably a scam. 


latest irs scams  irs communication methods


Take these six steps to help you avoid tax scams:


Avoid phone scams

Scammers call claiming to represent the IRS. If they make aggressive threats to scare you into urgently responding with payment or documents, hang up - it's a scam. Protect yourself by knowing what the IRS will or won't do, if they contact you.

how the irs contacts taxpayerS


File with an IRS-verified tax preparer

Scammers pose as tax preparers. Don't want to pay the financial liability for your return being filed with false information? Don't want to hassle the IRS for your refund after a scammer already redirected it to their bank account? Then protect yourself by filing your taxes with an IRS-verified tax preparer.

IRS-verified tax preparerS


Ignore demands for immediate payment

Scammers contact taxpayers with creative reasons for why you need to pay them immediately by debit card, wire transfer, cryptocurrency or with gift cards. Protect yourself by only paying taxes using an official IRS channel.

IRS Payment options & channels


Don't wait to file

The IRS doesn't alert you when your taxes have been filed, unless you try to file and someone has already filed as you. At this point, they got your refund, too. Protect yourself by setting up an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) with the IRS, that will have to be provided if taxes are filed as you.

setup an irs ip pin

Don't click phony links

The IRS doesn't use email, text or social media to discuss tax debts or refunds with taxpayers. If you're contacted by an "IRS employee" and sent a payment or verification link - it's a scam. Protect yourself by never clicking links in unsolicited emails.

report online scams to the irS


Know how the IRS contacts taxpayers

If you owe a lot of money in back-taxes or your return is being audited, the IRS may contact you by phone or in person. But, they'll mail you via USPS mail first. Protect yourself by knowing how the IRS will contact you, and under what circumstances.

irs contact methods


Know the IRS does not:
  • Send unsolicited texts or emails
  • Initiate messages on social media
  • Call taxpayers without mailing them first
  • Demand immediate tax payment
  • Demand use of a specific payment method
  • Ask for card numbers over the phone
  • Revoke licenses or immigration status
  • Threaten to arrest taxpayers or call police
  • Threaten to deport taxpayers
  • Contact taxpayers about unpaid refunds
  • Request checks made payable to "IRS" or "Internal Revenue Service"
  • Accept payments via gift card, wire transfer, prepaid debit or cryptocurrency


Fraudsters make millions of calls and send just as many emails every day claiming to represent a legitimate business or government agency. They use advanced techniques to spoof the caller ID and phone number to increase their chances of you handing over your confidential information. 


Fraudsters spoof legitimate businesses and federal agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, the IRS, an executive at the company you work for, and even Oregonians CU.


Scammers are posing as Oregonians CU employees using our phone number (it's spoofed) to text and call members. Usually, the context will be debit or credit card fraud. Do not call or click on the phone number or other links in the text, and hang up if you answer their call. Please hang up and call us at 503.239.5336. 


How do you know it's a fraudster?

We will never ask you for your full card number, your PIN number, your Social Security Number, your online banking login information, or request you to move funds due to a compromised card. Scammers will ask you for this confidential information.



You receive a text message asking you to confirm a $389.26 charge at Walmart. After indicating the transaction was unauthorized, you start receiving phone calls that look like they're from us (it might even be our phone number). The caller says they work for Oregonians CU, then asks you for personal information (card number, PIN number, etc.) in order to block your card and refund the transaction. We will never ask you to verify yourself in order to confirm fraud. This is a scam; hang up and call us at 503.239.5336.

Guard your sensitive information.

Do not provide your confidential information to anyone over the phone unless you are 101% positive the individual is reputable and they've explained satisfactorily why they need this information.


When in doubt, make a phone call. 

If you're unsure about the authenticity of a caller, give the organization or agency a call using the phone number listed on their official website (not the one they called you from or the one in their email).


Think of Phishing as fraudsters "fishing for your confidential information".  They use emails, phone calls, text messages, and even social media to present clever ways to trick you into entering your confidential information. They often present an urgent situation: "Your account has been compromised", "Your warranty has expired", "Your Social Security number has been suspended"; or tell you you've won a prize, like a free vacation.


What's the catch? They'll need your confidential information and possibly a payment to remove suspension, extend a warranty, pay for shipping and handling, cover a fee, etc. Don't fall for the bait!


One of the most common forms of Phishing takes place in a fake email with malicious links and attachments. Fruadsters use official logos and header images to falsely represent themselves as representatives of banks, well-known organizations, and government agencies. The link(s) within the email will take you to a fake website (and it may look very real!) to enter your confidential information, and email attachments likely contains malware that will collect information from your device. 


Don't click email links. 

Instead, go to the organization's official website. Give them a phone call using the phone number listed on the official site, or login from this page to retrieve the information. Avoid downloading attachments from unsolicited emails.


Look for errors and misspellings. 

One of the most telling signs of a scam is when there are punctuation errors, misspellings, poorly-worded phrases, or an incorrect logo within the email.


Never provide your confidential information in an email, ever. 

And don't provide it within a website that appears after clicking a link within an email. Bookmark websites and login pages you make payments on for quick access, like utility bill sites.


It's like Phishing, but it happens in a text message. Smishing, or "SMS Phishing" is a way for fraudsters to lure you into downloading malicious documents or clicking malicious links sent in a text. Ever receive an unsolicited text from Chipotle or Ticket Master? There have been real instances of fake texts being sent with a Chipotle coupon for 20% off your next burrito and free tickets via Ticket Master to an upcoming show. 


Don't engage with unsolicited text messages.

If you didn't signup for text notifications or recently interact with the business, rely on this simple childhood life lesson: don't talk to strangers.

Elder abuse

Many fraudsters perpetrate the elderly because they tend to have more money and are more vulnerable targets. You can protect yourself or your loved ones from financial abuse by becoming familiar some common scams that occur:


Grandparent scam. 

In this situation, the fraudster calls the elderly person and pretends to be their grandchild. The "grandchild" will them ask for money for some unexpected financial problem, like paying for rent, medical bills, car repairs, or a jail bond.

Conversely, the scammer may claim to be holding the grandchild hostage in order to legitimize requesting a very large sum. They'll convince the elderly person not to make any external contacts out of fear of hurting their grandchild.


Catfishing scam.

Fraudsters will create online dating and social media profiles and prey on lonely seniors who have turned to these mediums to make romantic connections. After eventually professing their undying love, they will ask for money to help with random expenses.


Telemarketing fraud. 

Fraudsters will call and offer senior care, medical equipment, products or services that the victim will pay for and the scammer will never be provide.


Fraudulent or legal documents.

Fraudsters hide their fraud behind legal authority, procuring a power of attorney or will, or another legal document giving them access to the senior's confidential information or property. They get seniors to sign these fake documents by lying to, threatening, or intimidating them.


Home repair scam. 

Scammers will scour neighborhoods with a high concentration of elderly residents, then appear on their doorstep offering to fix some problem they noticed - like a clogged drainpipe or hole in the roof. They'll demand payment upfront and often never deliver services.


Alternatively, they may result to phone calls over physical visits, hoping the senior will fall for the bait and make a payment for an investigation or repair services they'll never provide.

Sweetheart scams

Many people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, they find a fraudster trying to trick them into sending them money. Romance scammers create fake profiles and strike up a relationship with their targets to build trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Eventually, they make up a story and ask you to send them money.


They often say they're living or traveling abroad for work:
  • On an oil rig
  • In the military
  • As a doctor with an international organization
Common items they'll ask you to buy:
  • Plane tickets or travel expenses
  • Surgery or medical expenses
  • Customs fees to retrieve something
  • Gambling debts
  • Visa or other official travel documents
How they ask you to pay them:

Scammers ask you to pay by wiring money, with reload cards, or with gift cards because they can get cash quickly and remain anonymous. They also know the transactions are almost impossible to reverse. Very rarely will they ask you to purchase the actual item they're "in need of".


If we call or text you and you weren't expecting our call, know that we'll never ask you for your confidential information. If you'd like to make sure it's us calling you, please hang up and call us back at 503.239.5336.


Oregonians will never call, text, or email you and request any sensitive information, including your Social Security number, member or account numbers, debit or credit card numbers, PIN numbers, 3-digit security codes, or your Online Banking login information. 

If we call or text you and you weren't expecting our call, know that we'll never ask you for your confidential information. If you'd like to make sure it's us calling you, please hang up and call us back at 503.239.5336.


Oregonians will never call, text, or email you and request any sensitive information, including your Social Security number, member or account numbers, debit or credit card numbers, PIN numbers, 3-digit security codes, or your Online Banking login information. 

 Here are some quick and easy steps you can take to help prevent fraud on your accounts:

  • Create unique usernames, and passphrases instead of passwords. 
  • Setup MyAlerts to receive account, card or security alert notifications
  • Monitor your accounts regularly to check for unauthorized activity.
  • Report your debit or credit card immediately if lost or stolen.
  • Make sure Oregonians has your up-to-date contact information.
Oregonians uses automated fraud alerts and will text or call you if our system detects suspicious activity on your account.
(800) 525-6285 (Fraud Hotline) 
(800) 685-1111 (Order a Report)
(888) 397-3742 (Fraud Hotline)
(888) 397-3742 (Order a Report)
(800) 680-7289 (Fraud Hotline)
(800) 916-8800 (Order a Report)
Free Annual Credit Report
Adult Protective Services
Oregon Consumer Fraud
National Center on Elder Abuse
Aging & Disability Services