Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Emails and Text Messages
It's unfortunately quite common these days to receive e-mails or text messages claiming to be from legitimate financial institutions requesting personal information for fraudulent purposes. These scams, typically referred to as “phishing” scams, use phoney e-mails, text messages and websites to lure unsuspecting victims into handing over critical personal information, such as social insurance numbers, credit card information, bank account details, and passport numbers.
Some of these emails may claim to be about a problem with your account or a billing error, or they may simply entice you to enter a contest. You may be asked to click a link that will take you to a website that looks real in every way. You'll then be asked to fill out an online form with personal information. They may even tell you that you will lose your privileges if you do not supply this information.
Look for the following signs to detect a fraudulent email or text message:
- An urgent or threatening tone in the language of the email or text message may contain threats to close or freeze your account if you do not comply with the email's requests.
- Unusual wordings or misspellings.
- Requests for personal information such as account numbers, card numbers, user names, and passwords.
- False links to non-secure websites. An urgent or threatening tone in the language of the email or text message.
What can you do?
send your personal, sensitive information by unencrypted email. Should you
choose to communicate with SCU by email, an SCU representative will help you
get started with our secure web portal. Learn more.
- If there is an actual link provided in the message, DO NOT CLICK IT. This may take you to a fake website. Instead, do a search for the company's name to help you locate the legitimate site. When you're there, search for anything that has the same message you received in the email.
- If you think you're a victim of identity theft, contact the police immediately. File a report with them and get a copy to share with the various companies and organizations you'll have to contact. Get in touch with all the financial institutions you may deal with to ensure credit cards and accounts remain secure.
If you receive a questionable e-mail or text message, the best advice is always to contact us directly to inquire about the validity of the request.