Watch Out for These 6 IRS Tax Scams

IRS Scam

Tax season is stressful enough without adding vulnerability to identity theft to your list of things to worry about. To keep your sensitive personal information safe, however, you should be a little worried, though – or at least alert and informed enough to know a tax scam when you see one.
Tax scammers have several common tricks they use to lure taxpayers into handing over personal information that can be used for identity theft. Knowing what to look for is key to avoiding tax scams this tax season.

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9 Tips for ATM Safety

ATM Blog

With the sun setting by 6 pm since we fell back for Daylight Saving Time, it’s more important than ever to brush up on ATM safety. Using a compromised ATM can mean risking identity theft and/or having cash stolen.

Here are tips to help you keep your ATM transactions secure. 

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Holiday Scams to be Aware of this Season

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Produced by Ann Davidson, VP of Risk Consulting at Allied Solutions

As the holidays approach, credit union employees and members must become increasingly aware of scams and identity theft and other forms of fraud. Combating fraud is easy when the credit union and member are fully aware of the types of scams and how to avoid them.

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Love Should Not Be Blind

How to Avoid Romance Scams

In the “good old days,” one would meet a spouse/or significant other, the old fashioned way, face-to face, at a party, church, blind date, et cetera. Today, these in-person rituals have gone the way of the dinosaur, replaced by dating apps and sites. And whereas these types of interactions may provide access to more potential partners, they also present more danger. The current pandemic has worsened the situation because it has caused more isolation and loneliness. With people looking for love, more heartless opportunists have pounced on the vulnerable. General online fraud has increased and so has what is known as romance scams. 

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How to Avoid Imposter Scams

How to Avoid Imposter Scams

July is National Military Consumer Month. It’s a month where the Federal Trade Commission focuses on helping military Service Members, Veterans and their families learn about key consumer protections they need to be successful. For the second year, the FTC is focusing Military Consumer Month on imposter scams. The goal is to help military personnel understand imposter scams and the steps they can take to avoid them. But in reality, everyone can use this advice to avoid getting scammed.

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Recognizing Smishing Scams

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Did you know: Text messaging has come under attack as one of the most vulnerable media for identity theft and more. Here’s what you need to know about an SMS message-based scam called “smishing.”

How it works

Smishing scams use text messages to establish contact with the intended victim to later access their personal information.

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What you need to know about weight-loss scams and how to avoid them

January is prime time to get into shape.

This year, in particular, many Americans are struggling to shed the “quarantine 15,” or the pounds packed on during all those months when life happened over Zoom and nobody saw what you were wearing below the waist. In fact, the snack company that brings us Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers reports that sales have increased by more than 16% since 2019. And hard as it may be to believe, at some point in the future, it will no longer be socially acceptable to attend a business meeting, a friend’s formal dinner party, or your sister’s wedding while wearing sweatpants.

Unfortunately, scammers know this as well as anyone, and they are out in full force, trying to scam consumers with bogus weight-loss products, miracle drugs, and more. Gyms aren’t far behind, with many of them offering misleading contracts that are impossible to get out of once they’re signed.

Don’t get scammed! Lose the pounds you’re looking to shed this winter — not your money.

Here’s what you need to know about weight-loss scams and how to avoid them.

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6 Tips for a Scam-Free Summer

6 Tips for Scams

Don’t get scammed this summer! Follow these 6 tips to stay safe. 

1. Never pay for a “prize” vacation

If you’re asked to pay a small fee to claim a free vacation prize, you’re looking at a scam. A legitimate company will never ask winners to do that.

2. Use a credit card when traveling

A credit card offers you the most protection in case something goes wrong. You’ll be able to dispute unauthorized charges, and in most cases, reclaim your lost funds. Some cards even offer certain travel perks that help your trip go off without a hitch.

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Report Scams to the National Elder Fraud Hotline

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With more of our elders becoming targets of scammers, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime instituted the National Elder Abuse Fraud Hotline for people to report fraud against anyone age 60 or older.

A 2020 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report says the most money lost in scams by older adults in 2019 were romance scams. Older adults reported aggregate losses of nearly $84 million on romance scams in 2019.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime website, many are too embarrassed or afraid to report the crimes, so many go unreported and victims suffer alone.

The toll-free number of the National Elder Fraud Hotline is 833–FRAUD–11 or 833–372–8311.

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Social Media: Five Scams that Work

Social Media Scams Blog

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and many others can help us connect on a personal and professional level with friends, family, business associates, and causes that allow us to make new connections with others with shared interests. And participation is free to everyone, which has led to an unprecedented use of social media. 

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Six Reasons to Switch to E-Statements

eStatements Blog

Quick, convenient and clutter-free, E-Statements are the way to secure your account info.

Your E-Statements work similarly to paper statements, except for the fact that they’re delivered electronically. At the end of each statement period, you’ll get an email from your credit union informing you that your E-Statement is ready to view through the online app or another secure means. Once you access the E-Statement, you’ll find it has all the information you’re used to getting with your paper statements. You can also access your E-Statement by logging into your online banking site or app at any time throughout the month.

Here are six reasons to consider switching to E-Statements.

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How Debit Card Fraud Happens — and How to Avoid It

For many people, debit cards are the perfect plastic. They offer most of the conveniences of credit cards with no risk of accumulating debt.

But like credit cards, debit cards are vulnerable to rip-off artists. And debit card fraud is particularly scary because thieves can withdraw money directly from your checking account.

Here's how debit fraud happens and how to protect yourself.

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It’s Open Season on Tax Fraud. Stay Safe!

Protect yourself from Tax Fraud.

Tax time is here! As you prepare your returns this year it is important to remember that it’s peak season for tax fraud schemes. Tax fraud happens when someone uses your Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for your refund or to intimidate you into paying money that you do not owe. Criminals can also use your SSN to get around employment verification requirements or avoid being found out if they are on a list such as a sex offender registry.

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Money Myths You Need To Stop Believing

Money Myths

We all grow up hearing the same financial advice: Spend less, save more and invest early. While most of these words of wisdom ring true, there are lots of widespread money management tips that are actually false.

Outlined here are 6 money myths that might be causing you more financial stress than benefit.

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