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Fraud Alert: Beware of unexpected text messages claiming to be from CFCU. Protect yourself.

Anonymous hacker programmer uses a laptop to hack the system in the dark.

Is it You, CFCU? Stopping scams before they start

The Growing Problem of Impersonation

Unfortunately, all too many consumers are being tricked by the increased sophistication of today’s criminals, who often pose as an employee of their credit union. The criminal may ask for passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information. These types of scams can be devastating to the individual, but there’s a solution to the problem – trust your instincts and educate yourself.

According to the FTC, scams that impersonate businesses and government agencies are consistently among the top reported fraud cases. In 2023, more than 330,000 reports of business impersonation scams and nearly 160,000 reports of government impersonation scams were reported. Combined losses topped $1.1 billion in 2023, more than three times what consumers reported in 2020.

“Spoofed call scams are becoming more sophisticated, and once they have you on the line, the caller will try to use fear and false urgency to pressure you to act immediately, putting you at risk of losing substantial amounts of money and disclosing your personal information,” said Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox.

The Solution – Trust your Gut and Educate Yourself

Despite these trends, credit union members can take steps to protect themselves from these types of scams. Here are a few quick tips to ensure you’re protected.

  • Do not share information. Never give out personal or account information to anyone who calls you, even for “verification purposes.” Only share such details with organizations you have contacted directly.
  • Verify caller identity. If contacted about an urgent account issue, immediately hang up and call CFCU on our main line at 586.772.6330. You can confirm the number on the back of your issued credit or debit cards, account statements, or from our official website. Avoid using numbers provided in unsolicited texts or voicemails.
  • Use Multifactor Authentication. Optimize your account security by using multifactor authentication (MFA), which requires a second step after entering your password, such as security codes sent via text or email, in order to access your account. It is crucial that you never share these codes with anyone. MFA can also include biometric verification like fingerprints, retina scans, facial recognition, or passcodes from an authentication app.

“Remember that your financial institution will never reach out to you requesting your password or other personal information to access your account,” said Fox. “When in doubt, hang up with the caller and check with your bank or credit union directly using the phone number from your statement or card.”

Remember to trust your gut. If you receive a call and it seems fishy, more than likely it probably is. Hang up right away and don’t give out any information.

Perhaps it’s too late – maybe you fell for it. It’s easy to feel embarrassed or ashamed after falling for a scam, but don’t let that stop you from asking for help. The faster you can notify CFCU, the more quickly we can react and stop the criminal from doing more damage. We’ll do everything possible to protect your accounts, but acting quickly is crucial.

Our Fraud & Security Center is a great place to go to learn more about everything you need to know about protecting your identity and your finances from criminal attacks. The fraudsters are getting more sophisticated, and you are too – by reading this article. Read more about hot topics in fraud and security, and how CFCU has your back.