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Scam Safety

Don’t Let Fraudsters Fool You

Scams are constantly evolving and getting more sophisticated, in keeping with current trends and technology. Don’t fall victim to fraudsters; learn about popular scams and how to prevent them from happening to you.

Text Scams
Text message scams are so common that the Federal Trade Commission reported $330 million in losses reported in 2021 alone, doubling the amount reported in 2021. One of the most popular text scams is a fraudster posing as a bank and sending a security-related issue to cause panic. They act like they are helping you solve a fraud problem when, in reality, they are trying to steal your money.

Other popular text scams:

  • Fraudsters posing as Amazon (or other popular online stores) and stating an expensive item was purchased on your account and then instructing you to call, respond to the text, or click on a link if you didn’t make the purchase.
  • Fake job offers with a link to an application in hopes you provide personal information.
  • A text claiming to be a delivery service saying they couldn't deliver your package and asks for a redelivery fee.
  • Texts with a link to log in to your account or a password reset request you didn't make.

TIP: We will never contact you and ask for confidential information. If you think you’ve been a victim or ever want to validate a text message about your Arrowhead account, call us at (800) 743-7228 during our operating hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.).

QR Code Scams
QR codes have gained popularity in restaurants, on business cards, promotional flyers, etc., and for good reason, they make it quick and easy to access a site. However, some scammers create codes that send you to a malicious site that looks like the site they are impersonating to get your login info, personal information, and more. Some fraudsters also place stickers with their QR code on top of a legit QR code to send you to a fraudulent site instead of the site you think you are scanning for.

TIP: It's always best to type the website into a browser and find the information you want on their site, but if you do scan a QR code, check the URL before continuing to use the site..

Romance Scams
The most successful scams are those that tie into someone's emotions, which is why fraudsters attempt to gain your trust through social media and dating sites by sharing stories of financial hardship. The fraudster then requests their victims to pay them through money wiring, and prepaid reload cards, or requests access to bank accounts, credit cards, or national identification numbers to get help with the supposed financial hardship.

TIP: Be wary of online relationships, and if you believe you are a victim of such a scam, immediately pause all communication and contact authorities to report the suspicious activity.

"Pay Yourself" Scam with Zelle®
The "Pay Yourself" Scam starts with a fraud alert text message from a scammer pretending to be your bank. If you respond, the scammer will call you from a number that looks like your bank or credit union. They will pretend to help you stop the fraud by convincing you to send yourself money through Zelle. When you sign up for Zelle, your bank will send a one-time code to verify your identity since Zelle will then be connected to your bank account. The scammer will ask you what the code is to authorize the payment to yourself. In reality, they are using the code to set up their bank account, so while you think you paid yourself, you really paid them.

TIP: Your bank or credit union will never ask you to send money to yourself. If you believe a call is suspicious, hang up and contact your financial institution directly at the number listed on their official website.

Student Loan Scams
With student loan payments picking back up again and the uncertainty surrounding student debt relief, scammers are betting on people being confused. Scammers call people offering to get their loans forgiven or canceled for a fee. You can usually spot the scam if they create a sense of urgency, pressure you to pay an up-front fee for them to help, or ask for your Federal Student Aid login information.

TIP: Visit the Federal Student Aid resources page to stay vigilant about popular scams, see a list of trusted debt relief companies, a list of banned companies, and more tips on what to look out for. Free assistance is available through your federal loan servicer and can assist you with tasks and information related to your student loan.

Protect Yourself Against Fraud:

  • If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • If you are ever unsure, validate the company by calling the number listed on an official website.
  • Check for misspellings, bad grammar, URLs that are slightly off (example: www.arrowheaduc.com), and websites that are not encrypted (secure sites will have a lock symbol next to the URL and use HTTPS:// in the link).
  • Do not click links or open attachments in suspicious emails or texts.
  • Do not share your login information via texts, emails, or over the phone.
  • Set up fraud text alerts with your financial institution or merchants with access to your account information. If you get a fraud text, email, or phone call alert from any other number, you will know it is a scam.
  • If someone is pressuring you and making the situation urgent, they are most likely trying to convince you to take action without thinking; slow down and check the information they give you.
  • Avoid making payments or entering login information on a site accessed by scanning a QR code.
  • Set up alerts in digital banking so you will be notified immediately if your account has unusual activity.
  • Anyone asking for personal information is likely a fraudster.
  • If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from a business outside their normal business hours, it is likely a fraudster.

If you are contacted unprompted by someone claiming to be us, please call us at (800) 743-7228 as soon as possible, so we can help protect your account.

 

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