Uh-Oh: Is This a Scam?
“Hello, we think you are the victim of fraud.”
Panic, shock and fear surge through you. Has your account been compromised? If someone has access to your money, how will you pay your expenses? As your thoughts derail, you listen to the caller’s requests, anxious to fix the situation.
“Just give us your account number and we’ll sort it out.”
This should be your first red flag that something may be off about this call. Always pause and evaluate the situation when the caller is requesting private or sensitive information. It is natural to feel worried if you fear you are the victim of fraud. However, the caller may be a scammer trying to take advantage of you by getting personal information. They can then use this information to compromise your account by pretending to be you. If in doubt whether or not a call is legitimately from Earthmover Credit Union (ECU), hang up the phone and directly call our number, 630.844.4950, or go into a branch.
Fraud is a serious issue. Scammers call people, pretending to be from a financial institution or legitimate organization, and request sensitive information from you like your account number or full Social Security number. They will likely frame their request as a way to solve a problem, such as suspected fraud or an issue with your account. The scammer will then use this sensitive information they have collected from you to access your accounts—and money.
Always exercise caution when receiving a call claiming to be from ECU. Listen carefully and pay close attention. Do not give out your account number or Social Security number to anyone calling you. Be especially suspicious of calls regarding relatives’ finances. ECU will always call the phone number of the person associated with the account. We will not call a relative, spouse or friend that is not on the account. Hang up if the caller is claiming to have or need information about a relative’s account.
How do I know if a call is legit?
Pay close attention to anyone claiming to be from a financial institution. If in any doubt, hang up and call their direct line.
- Is the call about me? Scammers may try to call about family members to get their information.
- Is the caller trying to pressure, bribe, shout at or threaten you to give them information? Scammers prey on your emotions by highlighting a potential problem.
- Are they threatening access to your money if you don’t give them the information they are asking for?
- Does it feel safe? Does the overall message make sense?
Understand the role of emotion
It is natural to feel alarmed if you think there is fraud happening involving your financial accounts. However, it is vital that you slow down and think things through. Understand the role that emotion plays in these situations. Scammers play on your desire to keep your money, your assets and your family safe and protected. By opening up the possibility that your account has been compromised and promising to remedy the situation in exchange for information, they exploit your emotions.
Know what to do
If you get a call claiming to be from ECU and are unsure or uncomfortable, hang up and directly call our main line. We can either connect you with the right person if there is an issue with your account, or we can confirm that the call you received was fraudulent. You can also go directly into any of our physical branches. This advice also applies outside of ECU. If in doubt about the legitimacy of a call regarding your business or finances, hang up and call their main number or go to a physical branch location.
Scammers are always trying to find new, unique ways to pry sensitive information from you in order to access your accounts. Stay ahead of them by recognizing the signs of a scam call and staying alert. Don’t give out your account number to someone who calls you. If a caller is pressuring or threatening you for personal information, hang up; this is likely a scammer. When in doubt, call us directly or stop by a branch.