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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.

By: Steve Timmons

December 29th, 2020

How to Avoid Common Types of Fraud: Spoofing

Identity and Fraud Protection

Between information stolen from data breaches and personal details we share on social media, fraudsters can be equipped with a lot of information about who we are. However, they may need to gather additional information not readily available in order to access our personal and financial accounts and perpetrate their schemes. So that we can better protect ourselves, it is important that we understand some of the typical methods fraudsters use to collect this information. This is the first in a series of blog posts on common fraud tactics. In it, we’ll examine a method known as spoofing.

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By: Oliver Ames

December 16th, 2020

How to Protect Your Credit and Prevent Identity Theft this Holiday Season

Credit and Debt | Identity and Fraud Protection

The modern world is filled with convenience that would have been nearly unimaginable twenty years ago. From where I sit in Montpelier, I can have food delivered from five different grocery stores within two hours. I can place an order online at a local store, have my items gift wrapped, and sent to my family on the other side of the country in only two clicks. Unfortunately, our modern world can also have its drawbacks. Much of the convenience we experience every day relies on putting our personal information on countless websites, order forms, phone trees, social networks, and mobile apps. The more places our information is stored, the more we open ourselves up to fraudulent activity. Luckily, there are some simple ways to reduce risk and keep your information private without sacrificing convenience. 

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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: Daniel Herlihy

November 19th, 2020

Holiday Shopping Online? Here’s How to Protect Against Cybercrime

Identity and Fraud Protection

It’s that time of year again when we try to find the perfect gifts for our friends and loved ones. We’ll probably be doing most of our holiday shopping online this year to avoid crowded stores. In addition to taking care of your physical health and safety, it is important to be careful with your personal information so that you do not become a victim of cybercrime. Cyber criminals are working overtime during the holiday season when consumers are making more purchases and providing their personal information more frequently. Your information can be stolen from your computer or from the company that you are buying goods from through viruses, malware, and ransomware. Be street smart on the web and use the tools at your disposal to protect yourself from cybercrime. Here are a few tips to help you shop online safely.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

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By: Steve Timmons

September 21st, 2020

Online Financial Fraud: How to Keep Your Bank Accounts Safe

Identity and Fraud Protection

Two of the most lucrative scams for fraudsters involve online banking and wire fraud. In most cases, the two methods provide quick access to victims’ funds. However, there are several signs you can look for that indicate you might be the target of online financial fraud. For both online banking and wire fraud, we’ll cover what fraudsters typically do when they are trying to gain access to your money and how you can protect yourself.

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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: Steve Timmons

July 23rd, 2020

Is that a Fake Check? How to Avoid Check Fraud

Identity and Fraud Protection

Check fraud is a criminal act in which one person convinces another to exchange real money or property for a bogus check. In many cases, the fraudster creates a sense of excitement and urgency, giving their victims very little time to think rationally. By the time the victim realizes what has happened, they may have lost thousands of dollars (maybe even more), with no way to recoup their losses.

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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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