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Financial and Lifestyle Resources for Vermont

VSECU Blog

In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.

Thomas White

Thomas White is the senior fraud specialist at VSECU.

By: Thomas White

July 15th, 2021

Elder Financial Abuse: How to Prevent Two Common Financial Scams

Identity and Fraud Protection

Elder financial abuse is a problem in Vermont and across the country. Vulnerable adults can fall prey to the scams of strangers and exploitation by family members. According to federal law enforcement data, there have been 200 complaints filed by Vermont seniors in the last 18 months. These complaints represent over $1.9 million dollars in losses. With this type of abuse often being underreported and Vermont having the second-fastest aging population in the country, the true impact is suspected to be much higher. 

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By: Thomas White

June 10th, 2021

Is That a Charity Scam? How to Do Good and Avoid Losing Money

Identity and Fraud Protection

For the past ten years, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has been publishing an annual report on giving behavior around the world, with the goal of helping donors and charities make a greater impact. They have surveyed 1.3 million people in 125 countries over the past decade to quantify people’s generosity of both time and money towards people and causes, with the United States topping the list each year. This is no small feat and should remind us of the kindness in the world. We all choose different ways to give: helping strangers, volunteering, and donating money, to name a few. When you’re ready and looking to give, keep in mind that all this financial generosity translates into hundreds of billions of dollars in philanthropy every year. Unfortunately, with so much money involved, some less-than-honorable people look to exploit this good will for personal financial gain.

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By: Thomas White

December 4th, 2020

Elder Fraud: How to Identify and Stop a Grandparent Scam

Identity and Fraud Protection

What is a grandparent scam? No, it is not when a child receives a “No” from their parents and then goes and asks their grandparents because they’re more likely to get the answer that they want. It is far more manipulative than that.

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By: Thomas White

September 9th, 2020

How to Protect Yourself Against Romance Scams

Identity and Fraud Protection

WHAT IS A ROMANCE SCAM? A romance scam is a specific type of confidence scam, in which a person is defrauded after another person has gained their trust. In this scenario, the fraudster creates a fake identity to gain the victim’s affection and trust, then exploits this relationship for their financial gain.

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By: Thomas White

July 20th, 2020

How to Avoid Social Security Scams

Identity and Fraud Protection

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), Americans have lost more than $50 million over the last two years to Social Security scams—and that’s just from telephone scams. Unfortunately, the telephone isn’t the only method used. Between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019, more than 450,000 Americans reported being contacted by Social Security scammers by phone, email, or even physical mail. To help you avoid becoming a victim, consider this your guide to what tactics are commonly used, what to look for if you’re being targeted, and what to do to avoid the growing number of Social Security scams.

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By: Thomas White

April 6th, 2020

Protect Your Finances from Fraud during COVID-19

Identity and Fraud Protection

Fraudsters will never let a good crisis go to waste. During this coronavirus outbreak, people’s attention is focused on the health and social impacts of COVID-19, which creates fear and confusion that thieves can use as a tool to steal information and, ultimately, money.  So, in addition to social distancing and washing your hands, you should keep an eye out for this other type of germ—the online scammer. 

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By: Thomas White

December 11th, 2018

How to Keep Your Payment Cards Safe over the Holidays

Identity and Fraud Protection

Criminals love the holiday season. Why? Because it gives them more opportunities to steal payment card information. They do this at the register, online, by phone, and even at the gas station. Fraudsters have many techniques for committing card fraud. This article will outline some of their techniques and give you some tips for how to keep your payment card safe over the holidays.  

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By: Thomas White

November 23rd, 2018

What the Facebook Breach Has to Do with Online Holiday Shopping

Identity and Fraud Protection

As the holiday season approaches remember to protect yourself against fraud, which increases during this time of year. Every year, more and more people gravitate towards online shopping, making fraudulent activity harder to identify. Therefore, it’s important to pay more attention to your online practices and how they could potentially make you a victim.  

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