This page has been created to educate members on a few of the most common scams to watch out for.
If you have any concerns regarding possible fraudulent call, text, or email, please contact the Credit Union during our regular business hours at (786) 257-2300. If you received a check or direct deposit that you suspect may be fraudulent, please call the Credit Union or speak with a branch representative before withdrawing the funds.
CORONAVIRUS SCAMS: Fraudsters have taken advantage of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to exploit the global thirst for knowledge on the virus. Malicious actors have launched Coronavirus-themed phishing attacks to spread malware, typically looking to steal banking credentials. Fraudsters have also created fake websites to deliver misinformation.
Some of these attacks are in the form of emails, which contain infected attachments or links to malicious websites. The emails are made to appear like they come from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO posted an article on its website warming users of this scam.
There are also several fake Coronavirus interactive maps that infect user devices with credential-stealing malware. Fraudsters are circulating links to these malicious websites containing Coronavirus maps through social media and phishing emails.
Please be very cautious. Think twice before opening an attachment or clicking on a link that you do not recognize. Be extra mindful when providing personal information, always consider why someone would want or need your information and if it is appropriate to give it out.
TEXT MESSAGE SCAMS: Members have received text messages from parties claiming to be their Credit Union or Bank. In these texts, they are asked to call a telephone number that then prompts them to provide personal or financial information. This includes account numbers, card numbers, social security numbers, etc. While the Credit Union may occasionally send text messages asking you to contact a specific person or a department, the Credit Union will never...
- Ask you to provide your account or card information to an automated system.
- Ask you to leave confidential information on a recording.
- Ask you to visit a website, other than www.bhsffcu.org.
TAX RETURN SCAMS: The taxpayer receives an erroneous refund and gets a call from someone claiming that he or she is from the IRS and threatens the taxpayer with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a "blacklisting" of their Social Security Number. The scammer gives the taxpayer a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.
TAX COLLECTOR SCAMS: Scammers posing as debt collection agency officials acting on behalf of the IRS contacted the taxpayers to say a refund was deposited in error, and they asked the taxpayers to forward the money to their collection agency.
Note that the IRS does not:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Additional information on these and other related scams can be found on the IRS Tax Fraud Alerts page.
MYSTERY SHOPPER SCAMS: The shopper receives a check in the mail and is told that their first assignment is to evaluate a money transfer service, like Western Union or MoneyGram. The shopper also receives instructions to deposit the check in their personal bank account, withdraw the amount in cash, and wire it to a third party, usually under a mandatory 24 deadline to complete the assignment. The check is fake. The check is then returned a few days later as a fraudulent check and the victim is heald responsible for the loss of the funds due to the return of the check. It is never a good idea to deposit a check from someone you don't know and then wire money back.
OVERPAYMENT SCAMS: The scammer "accidentally" pays the victim too much for something, then asks the victim to send the difference back to them in cash, money order, or wire transfer. The scammers often entice victims by offering them a portion of the overpayment "for the trouble". The check is then returned a few days later as a fraudulent check and the victim is held responsible for the loss of the funds due to the return of the check.
PRIZE WINNERS SCAMS: The scammer sends the victim a check as part of a lottery or raffle prize. The victim is asked to send a portion back in money order or wire transfer to pay for processing and taxes. The check is then returned a few days later as a fraudulent check and the victim is held responsible for the loss of the funds due to the return of the check.
SWEETHEART SCAMS: The victim is approached by a scammer through an online dating website or social media site. The scammer, often located elsewhere, builds a romantic relationship with the victim over time. After the relationship has developed enough, the scammer ask for help. This "help" can come in the form of cashing a check for them, taking out a loan for them, or purchasing something for them. The scammer may even send the victim a check with instructions to cash the funds and only send a portion back. They usually ask the victim to send money back in the form of cash, checks, wires, money orders, and/or gift cards. The stories are often very elaborate and very convincing. By the time that the victim realizes something is wrong, it is too late and he or she is responsible for any losses
For additional information on these and other scam alerts, please visit the Federal Trade Commission's Scam Alerts page at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts.
You can also learn about scams that are active in your area by visiting the Better Business Bureau's ScamTracker site at https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker.