In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
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.
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.
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.
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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If you receive a debit card in the mail claiming to be your COVID-19 stimulus payment, don’t throw it out! While over 140 million Americans have received their Economic Impact Payment from the federal government by direct deposit or as a check in the mail, a third form of payment may be arriving for those of you still waiting. On May 18, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS announced that roughly four million Economic Impact Payments will be sent in the mail as a prepaid debit card, often referred to as an EIP card.
COVID-19 has brought financial uncertainty to many, and even as we edge closer to recovery, the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt by many Vermonters for months to come. I sat down with Yvonne Garand, our senior vice president of marketing and business development, to talk about personal finance in the age of COVID-19.
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.
Most of the fraudulent acts we see today are common schemes that have been around for years, but they are more effective now than ever before. Why? Our lifestyle, which keeps us constantly “connected,” has made it easier for fraudsters to perpetrate their schemes. Our smart devices: phones, watches, personal computers, autos, televisions, appliances, security cameras, printers, baby monitors, dog treat dispensers, and smart doorbells (just to name a few) help us feel connected but also make us vulnerable to cybercrime. Anything that is connected to and shares data with the internet is part of what is commonly referred to as the internet of things (IOT). Unfortunately, the IOT is also the future of fraud.