Beware of social media scammers

One of the latest forms of fraud is happening now on social media. Scammers are monitoring the social media sites of retail stores and financial institutions looking for complaints posted online. They know that most stores, banks and credit unions will reach out via private message to begin the process of resolving such complaints, usually by asking the person to call or come into the business.

Scammers use fake accounts that look like they may have come from the real business, and they adopt an appropriately concerned tone. But once they have your confidence, they will try to trick you into handing over your account numbers, PINs, passwords and any other confidential information they can get from you. Don’t fall for it.

Check your sources

No reputable financial institution – including Oregon State Credit Union – will ask you to surrender your sensitive information over a social media connection. We will never ask for your login, password, account number or social security number.

Instead, we may ask you to call our customer service number so we can verify your identity and conduct your confidential business in a safe manner. Sophisticated scammers know this, and they may try to lure you into calling a number they have set up to mimic a legitimate call center. Don’t fall for that, either.

A reputable financial institution will list its call center number on their web site, social media sites, advertising and on the paperwork you received when you opened your account. If the person on the other end of that online conversation gives you another number to call, be suspicious.

Oregon State Credit Union’s Member Service line is 800-732-0173. It can be found on our social media pages, our website and our advertising. If someone contacts you on social media and asks you to call a phone number, be cautious. Confirm the credit union’s contact information here or visit our Facebook page and confirm the number they have given you matches the published number. If it doesn’t match, don’t call.

We will never ask for confidential information via email, private message on a social media site, phone-based text chat or other non-secured channel. On occasion, during the course of business which is ALREADY IN PROGRESS, we may communicate with you by email to clarify non-confidential details. In addition, we may use secure messaging within our Online Account Access system to communicate with you but only if YOU initiated the conversation. Because that system is secure, you can feel confident about transacting confidential information.

The bottom line

Here’s the bottom line: If someone claiming to be a representative of Oregon State Credit Union has contacted you in any manner and you are concerned, get their name and call us at 800-732-0173 during business hours to confirm that person is legitimate. It’s an extra step, but it could protect you from becoming the victim of a sophisticated type of fraud.

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