Fraud Prevention Series: COVID-19 Scams Continue to Happen. Here's How to Protect Yourself

February 9, 2021

As the pandemic continues to change everyday life, scammers remain hard at work trying to access personal information and gain access to financial accounts. Here are some ways to protect yourself from ongoing COVID-19 fraud.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were nearly 327,000 reports of coronavirus- and stimulus-related fraud between January 2020 and January 21, 2021. These resulted in a loss of more than $309 million. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of fraud, and protection you can add in case it happens to you.
Set up eAlerts
One way to protect your accounts is to use your financial institution’s mobile app to set up eAlerts on deposits and balance information. This transaction monitoring will help you know right away if something is out of the ordinary with your account.
Watch out for scams 
Be mindful of unsolicited calls, texts, or emails. Common scams include online offers for coronavirus cures or faster access to vaccines. Remaining cautious of unexpected emails, and not clicking on links or downloading files (even if the email address looks like a company or person you recognize) is important to protecting yourself against fraud. Same for text messages and unfamiliar websites.
Whether it is through phishing emails or texts, social media scams or robocalls, fraudsters are using many tools to try and trick consumers. They also closely follow headlines so they can adapt messaging and tactics to appear legitimate.
Utilize security tools
MSUFCU offers members several ways to help keep their accounts secure, including:
  • eAlerts to receive account alerts to your phone or email
  • eStatements to avoid paper statements being lost in the mail
  • And fraud protection in the event fraud occurs.
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Tags: Fraud Prevention Series, Tips and Tricks, Money Management