As financial interactions increasingly migrate to the digital realm, Pathways Financial Credit Union has observed a worrying surge in sophisticated fraud attempts targeting our members. These scams, often cloaked in the guise of legitimate communications, pose a significant threat to the financial health and personal security of individuals.
To combat this troubling rise, Pathways Financial has curated a suite of recent advisory resources, designed to empower our members with the knowledge to identify and thwart these fraudulent activities that are happening right now and are affecting our members the most.
Our commitment to your financial safety is unwavering, and we are dedicated to providing you with the latest information from law enforcement and regulatory agencies so you can be aware and safe.
CURRENT LIST OF MOST PREVALENT SCAMS AND FRAUD
- Gift Card Scams - ALERT: VERY ACTIVE! - Only scammers will tell you to buy a gift card, like a Google Play or Apple Card, and give them the numbers off the back of the card. No matter what they say, that’s a scam. No real business or government agency will ever tell you to buy a gift card to pay them. Always keep a copy of your gift card and store receipt. Use them to report gift card scams to the gift card company and ask for your money back.
- Imposter Scams - Imposter scammers pretend to be from the IRS or Social Security, a business, or a charity. They want you to trust them so they can steal your personal information and money.
- Investment Scams - Investment scams lure you in with promises of teaching you how to make a lot of money quickly, easily, and with low risk — usually by investing in the financial or real estate markets. Sometimes starting with a free seminar, the scammers later will charge you a hefty fee for their “proven” investment tricks. But the real tricks are the lies they tell you.
- Cryptocurrency Scams - Confused about cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin or Ether (associated with Ethereum)? You’re not alone. Before you use or invest in cryptocurrency, know what makes it different from cash and other payment methods, and how to spot cryptocurrency scams or detect cryptocurrency accounts that may be compromised.
- Tech Support Scams - You get a phone call, pop-up, or email telling you there's a problem with your computer. Often, scammers are behind these calls, pop-up messages, and emails. They want to get your money, personal information, or access to your files. This can harm your network, put your data at risk, and damage your business.
- Text Message Phishing — or “Smishing” — Scams - "Smishing," a term derived from combining "SMS" (short message service) and "phishing," refers to a scam where fraudsters send misleading text messages aiming to trick individuals into divulging personal or financial details. These fraudsters frequently masquerade as reputable entities such as government agencies, financial institutions, or known corporations to make their fraudulent requests appear credible. Such messages usually prompt the recipients to share confidential data like usernames, passwords, credit or debit card information, PINs, and other critical information which the scammers could then use for fraudulent activities.
- 'One-time password' (OTP) bot scam - Experian, the credit reporting agency, cautions that scammers are deploying bots—automated programs—to trick individuals into divulging their two-factor authentication codes that they receive from financial entities or companies like Amazon via text or email. These bots may initiate a robocall or send a message mimicking a bank's communication, prompting you to verify a supposed charge. They then request the authentication code that was just sent to you, claiming it's needed to decline the transaction. In reality, these bots are attempting to access your bank account and are seeking the precautionary code sent by your bank to gain entry.
- Romance Scams - Millions of people use online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the number one way to avoid a romance scam.
- Veteran Scams - Whether you left the service decades ago or you’re planning your transition to civilian life, scammers will try to get you to send money or share personal information. Scammers also want to get their hands on the valuable benefits you earned through military service. What are some ways to know you’re dealing with a scammer?
Want to Learn More?
Want more resources on how to protect yourself from fraud? Check out our Security Page, which provides additional resources on cybersecurity, identity theft, and how Pathways protects your account every day.
Unless you are working with a Member Service Representative on a loan or account-related issue, Pathways will never solicit personal information (including Social Security numbers, online banking passwords/usernames, personal identification numbers, or account numbers) over the phone, by email, or through text messaging. We ask you to please be aware of all types of solicitation inquiring about sensitive information. If you receive a phone call, email, text message, or any other form of solicitation requesting your personal information, please contact us immediately.