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Common Fiscal Scams

woman looking upset working through paperwork

Data breaches, identity theft, fraud, scamming are all words that are used to identify ways that fraudsters are capturing your personal information and using it to hack into your personal accounts.

Criminals take advantage of the many types of financial scams and are always searching for new ones. Keeping your accounts safe by being cautious with your personal information and consistently monitoring your accounts through Educators Online or Mobile Banking is your first line of defense.

Financial Scams

Lottery, “work” from home, loan or medical bill overpayment, online dating, shipping, and secret shopper are all recent examples of different forms of common scams. Be cautious at all times of financial gain that you are not familiar with.

If you can answer “YES” to any of the questions below — verify they are not one of the common scams mentioned.

  • Do you have a check to cash or deposit that came to you in the mail that you received from a new work from home job, a lottery payout, something you sold online, someone you’re “dating” and haven’t met yet, or a secret shopper payout?
  • Did the check arrive by a courier or overnight delivery service?
  • Is the check from a business or personal account that is different from the person you were working or speaking with?
  • Is the amount of the check for more than what it was supposed to be?
  • Have you been asked to wire or send money back to someone?
  • Do you have to use money out of your pocket in order to get money back?
  • Have you been asked to give out your personal information or your online account user names and passwords?
  • Does the amount of money you were told you were getting seem to be a reasonable amount?

Check Cashing Scams

If a stranger who doesn’t have an account at your financial institution approaches you to cash a check and rewards you a few dollars for doing so. It’s going to be a scam. The action of cashing the check does not mean that it has actually cleared. The fraudster will get away with the large amount of money you withdrew from your account and give you $5 or $10 for your trouble.

What should you do?

Do not cash a check for anyone who is not reputable and you’re not familiar with

Take these measures to keep your accounts safe:

  • If you’re registered on an employment site, dating site or
    site where you can sell items be suspicious of anyone asking for money.
  • Check for typos and discrepancies within the check.
  • Do not share any personal identifying information with anyone unless you know they are a reputable source.
  • If any payment comes through an overnight delivery or courier service verify that it is from a reputable source.
  • Check your accounts often through Educators Online or Mobile Banking.

“Award” Scams

Did you receive a winning lottery, foreign lottery or sweepstakes payment that you didn’t even enter into? There’s a very good chance that it is a scam. Fraudsters will send this payment in the form of a check hoping that you will deposit it into your account. They will immediately ask for part of the funds to be wired back for fees or taxes on your winnings.

What should you do?

Contact us right away if you receive a suspicious payment from a lottery payout or sweepstakes.

Check Overpayment Scams
Have you recently sold something online and received an amount greater than what you asked for? This could be a counterfeit scam. Fraudulent buyers or false companies will send a payment to you and ask for the difference to be returned as a wire transfer. The check will more than likely be counterfeit and will not clear, you will be responsible for the amount of the fraudulent check and the amount that was wired to the buyer.

What should you do?

Be suspicious of any overpayment you receive before you make a deposit.

Verify that the check you received is legitimate — the financial institution where the check was issued can check on the legitimacy of the check for you.

Work-at-Home Scams
Have you been offered a job to work from home for minimal work with a high payout? It’s probably a scam. Work-from-home “opportunities” involve sending a wire transfer as an advanced investment to a third party where they capture your account number and other personal information.

What should you do?

Be suspicious of work-at-home offers, make sure it is a reputable company that doesn’t ask for any funds up front

Contact us if you gave out any personal identifying information to a non-reputable source

Charity Scams

Have you ever been asked to make a charitable donation over the phone right from your personal account? There’s a good chance it might be a scam. Charities obtain your account or credit card information by you making a “donation” and in turn have full access to your checking account.

What should you do?

Contact us if you gave out any personal identifying information to a non-reputable source who has contacted you by phone or email

What we’re doing to keep you and your accounts safe:

  • Educators will not make unsolicited requests for your personal information.
  • Educators may occasionally ask for pieces of your identity or security questions to verify access to your account.
  • We will never reveal your sensitive information or PIN to anyone.