DANGER: Beware of Scammers Who Want Your Money
October 27, 2023
Con artists and scammers are nothing new, but with today’s online tools, they are more prolific and clever.
We've learned that there's been a recent uptick in scamming efforts, and as the holidays approach, it will probably get even worse.
It's up to every one of us to be vigilant:
- NEVER give your account number, PIN or any log-in information to a stranger. Protect your passwords and personal information -- the safety of your accounts, your money, depends on it!
- Aloha Pacific FCU and other reputable financial institutions will NEVER call, text or email and ask for your personal or account information. If you have any concerns, please call our Contact Center at 808-531-3711.
- Scammers have managed to spoof phone numbers that look legitimate on Caller ID, as though a financial institution is trying to contact you. And just because a number has the 808 prefix, that doesn't mean the call is generated in Hawaii.
- Hang up the phone when you receive a suspicious call pressuring you to take immediate action.
- Delete stray emails – do NOT click on any link in the email.
- Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Please be aware of these scams floating out there:
- If you receive a random phone call from someone who says you’ve won money in a grant, lottery or contest but you must pay a fee first to collect it, it’s a scam.
- Fraudsters may pose as IRS agents, calling to collect taxes through prepaid debit cards or wire transfers.
- Advertisements about “guaranteed” job placements are likely to be scams. Often the promise requires an up-front payment, and no job to show for it.
- The phantom debt scam involves a caller who claims to be in law enforcement or with a law firm trying to collect on debts, especially payday loans, that don’t exist.
- Fake computer technicians claim they’ve detected a problem with your computer and offer to fix it remotely for a fee. This is a scam.
The ‘Grandparent Scam’
Here’s how the “grandparent scam” works: A senior receives a phone call from a young person purporting to be a grandchild in trouble with the law, stranded in a foreign country, heavily in debt and threatened with jail or in other distress. The caller might swear the senior to secrecy, perhaps claiming embarrassment. The worried senior wires money or loads a prepaid card and gives the PIN to the caller or his or her “attorney.” The money is now lost to the scammer.
How can consumers avoid becoming victims? The Federal Trade Commission suggestions include:
- Never rush to act, no matter how convincing the story might be.
- Ask the caller questions that can be answered only by the person purportedly in distress.
- Independently confirm the story with family and/or friends (be sure to have a current list of phone numbers on hand). Ignore the caller’s desire to keep the matter confidential.
- Never wire money or send checks or money orders.