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Fraud Watch

Don't get scammed
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Let's get this straight: if someone asks you for your password, it's a scam

If you make a rule of never giving your confidential information to people you weren't expecting to hear from, you'll save yourself from lots of scams.

 

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

 

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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. 

Prioritize your security by taking these steps

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 and 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 numbers 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 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 be the IRS and they make all kinds of scary, aggressive threats.

how the irs contacts taxpayerS

 

File with an IRS-verified tax preparer

Scammers pose as tax phony preparers who file your return for you, only to steal your refund.

IRS-verified tax preparerS

 

Ignore demands for immediate payment

Scammers present creative reasons for why you need to pay them ASAP, usually via gift cards. 

IRS Payment options & channels

  

 Know how the IRS contacts taxpayers

Generally, the IRS doesn't contact anyone about late taxes. If they do, you'll get an official letter first.

IRS CONTACT METHODS

Don't click phony links

The IRS doesn't use email, text or social media to discuss tax debts or refunds with taxpayers. So don't click links if the "IRS" asks you to pay this way.

report online scams to the irS

 

Don't wait to file

Scammers can file your return pretending to be you, and take your refund. Setup an IP PIN with the IRS so you can be notified if someone files on your behalf.

setup an irs ip pin

 


Spoofing

Spoofing =making a phone number look like it's from a legitimate organization

Get a call or text from "Oregon Department of Revenue" or "Oregonians Credit Union"? This could be a spoofed call or text.

 

How do I for-sure know it's a scam?
  • They ask for your password
  • They ask for your PIN number
  • They ask for your login information
  • They demand immediate resolution
  • You weren't expecting them to call
What do I do?

Hang up and call the entity's public phone number.


Phishing

Phishing = fraudsters "fishing for your confidential information"

They lie about who they are and they present clever reasons to get you to tell them your passwords, logins, SSN, card numbers, etc. Here are some classic examples:

  • "Your account has been blocked... click this link..."
  • "Your warranty has expired... give me your card number..."
  • "Your SSN has been suspended... call this number..."
  • "You've won a prize... pay this fee..." 

In phishing scenarios, the fraudster pretends to be an individual representing a legitimate company or agency, and they trick you into giving them your information.

 

If you weren't expecting to hear from the caller, then...
Don't do this: And instead, do this:
Click links they send you Go to the organization's public website
Give information when they call you Hang up, and call the organization's public phone number
Download or open attachments they send you Call the organization's public phone number to confirm they are valid

Smishing

Smishing = phishing via text message

Smishing is primarily used to get you to download malicious links sent to you in a text. Sometimes it's a fake coupon link to click on that appears to be broken, but it installs a virus on your phone. Other times it's a link to a login page that looks legitimate, but the fraudster is capturing your login info. 

 

Don't engage with unsolicited text messages

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


Elder abuse

Fraudsters love preying on the elderly: they typically have more money and they're more vulnerable. You can protect yourself or your loved ones from financial abuse by becoming familiar with some of their common tactics.

 

Grandparent scam

The fraudster calls the victim 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.

 

Catfishing scam

Fraudsters create fake online dating and social media profiles to forge phony romances with lonely victims. After professing their undying love, they ask for money to help with random expenses.

 

Telemarketing fraud

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

 

Fraudulent "legal" documents

Fraudsters forge fake documents that will grant them access to the victim's confidential information or property. They present threatening situations to get the victim to sign them (without reading what the document actually says, of course).

 

Home repair scam

Fraudsters scour neighborhoods and appear on the victim's doorstep to fix a problem they noticed - like a clogged drainpipe or hole in the roof. They demand payment upfront and never deliver services.


Sweetheart scams

Many people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, the victim meets a fraudster who forges a fake romance.

 

After they profess their undying love, they ask the victim for money to cover expenses. Usually, they are large ticket expenses like plane tickets, debts, medical expenses, etc.

 

Sweetheart scam red flags
  • They live or work far away
  • They'll video chat, but not visit
  • They send blurry or unrealistic photos
  • They profess their love very quickly into the relationship
  • They promise to meet in person but always cancel
  • Their request for money is urgent
  • They ask for payment in gift card or wire transfer

FAQs

When we call you, we don't ask 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.

Here are some signs it's a scam:

  • They call you out of the blue
  • They ask for your password or login info
  • They ask for you PIN number
  • They demand immediate payment
  • They don't want you to hang up
  • They say it's an emergency
  • They want payment via gift card
  • They tell you to keep it a secret
  • They text you a link to log in or verify your account

 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.
Equifax
(800) 525-6285 (Fraud Hotline) 
www.equifax.com
(800) 685-1111 (Order a Report)
Experian
(888) 397-3742 (Fraud Hotline)
www.experian.com
(888) 397-3742 (Order a Report)
TransUnion
(800) 680-7289 (Fraud Hotline)
www.transunion.com
(800) 916-8800 (Order a Report)
 
Free Annual Credit Report
Adult Protective Services
Oregon Consumer Fraud
National Center on Elder Abuse
Aging & Disability Services