Recent & Common Financial Scams
Protect your financial and personal information by staying aware and informed. Below is information about a number of recent and common financial scams.
Below are a few examples of known Payment or Money Transfer Scams and Mail Fraud. If you believe you have been a victim of these types of fraud, please contact MSUFCU immediately so that we can take the appropriate measures to protect your account.
Visit the FTC website for additional informaton on these types of scams and more.
Internet Payment Scams
From time to time, you may encounter payment or money transfer scams. In some instances, a buyer may be interested in purchasing an item you are selling and offers to overpay you with a cashier's check or wire. The buyer then requests that you return the remaining funds to them via wire transfer, MoneyGram, or Western Union. The payment sent to you via check or wire is fraudulent; no funds exist to cover the payment or the money you returned to the payee via your personal check.
In other instances, you may receive a check for a large amount via US mail, FedEx, or UPS that accompanies a survey. Often, the letter with the survey information instructs you to deposit the check to your account, and to later return a portion of the check via MoneyGram, Western Union, or wire transfer. Being asked to return a portion of a check to a third-party is a red-flag that the check you received is fraudulent.
Thieves can steal your mail from your mailbox, including checks you have issued to pay bills. The thief then uses a chemical to wash the ink off your check and make it out to themselves for a much larger dollar amount. If you live in community-based housing, such as an apartment complex, you may be especially vulnerable to this type of fraud.
Avoid this scam by dropping your mail off directly at the post office or in a secure mailbox, or use MSUFCU's Bill Payment service to eliminate paper payments.
In this tough economic climate, there have been more and more scammers eager to take advantage of those seeking work.
When applying for jobs online, use reputable websites and remember that the old adage "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is" still applies. A recent scam has phony "employers" offering job candidates work but requires these applicants provide money upfront that the "employers" claim will later be refunded, or the "employers" provide a check for the applicants and request that they cash the check, forward a portion of the money to the "employer," and then keep the rest of the money for themselves as a signing bonus.
Don't fall for this updated version of what's commonly called the "Nigerian Payment Scam." The check provided to you by this scammer will wind up being fraudulent, and you will be out the money you forwarded along to the phony "employer" or the money you sent as an upfront payment for reasons such as credit report processing or equipment fees for a work-at-home opportunity.