MYSTERY SHOPPING & MYSTERY CHECKS
A very common type of fraud involves using Craig's List to find consumers who are trying to earn more money. The Craig's List ad is used to find individuals who are selling a product or looking for a job.
Those individuals are then sent a counterfit check (usually for several hundred dollars), and asked to keep a small portion of the check for themselves and wire the rest to another party. Usually that 3rd party is outside of the United States.
Henrico FCU never participates in schemes like this. If you receive an unexpected check in the mail drawn off of Henrico FCU, ALWAYS BE SKEPTICAL. Take these steps to avoid fraud.
- Contact Henrico FCU to verify that the check is not counterfit.
- If the check is counterfit, contact your local law enforcement to report the fraud and all the details. Local law enforcement can include your local police department, the FBI and/or the Postal Inspection Service.
- If the check is counterfit, do not attempt to cash or deposit the check.
- If the party that sent you the check begins to harass you, it is ok to say, "We are aware that this is a fraudulent check. Please do not contact me again."
Criminals are getting more and more clever. If a deal feels too good to be true, it probably is. Stay safe and smart by being alert to new criminal schemes and tactics.
PHISHING...BY EMAIL AND TELEPHONE
During a phishing scam the "bad guys" acquire a wide variety of email addresses (or telephone numbers) and contact the entire group, asking for account information for a particular financial institution. You may be contacted even if you don't have an account at the financial institution named. The "bad guys" are just taking a chance that you might.
In many cases, these emails and calls appear to be legitimate. The "bad guys" do a pretty good job of stealing the financial institution's logo and artwork.
HENRICO FCU WILL NEVER CONTACT YOU (BY TELEPHONE OR EMAIL) ASKING YOU FOR ACCOUNT INFORMATION.
YOU SHOULD NEVER RESPOND TO A PHISHING EMAIL. Additionally, you can file formal complaints concerning any suspected fraudulent e-mail with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) at www.ic3.gov. The IFCC is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National White Collar Crime Center. You can also feel free to contact Henrico FCU with specific questions.
For more details about phishing, visit the National Credit Union Administration website.
YOU'RE A LOTTERY WINNER! OR NOT.
Many lottery scams originate from foreign countries, but more and more are popping up in the US. If you ever receive a notice about a lottery that you do not remember entering, you should suspect fraud.
The Federal Trade Commission has great information about lottery scams. Here's an link to their site.
Congratulations! You may receive a certified check for up to $400,000,000 U.S. CASH! One Lump sum! Tax free! Your odds to WIN are 1-6. Hundreds of U.S. citizens win every week using our secret system! You can win as much as you want!
Sound great? It's a fraud. Scam operators often based in Canada are using the telephone and direct mail to entice U.S. consumers to buy chances in high-stakes foreign lotteries from as far away as Australia and Europe. These lottery solicitations violate U.S. law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail.
Still, federal law enforcement authorities are intercepting and destroying millions of foreign lottery mailings sent or delivered by the truckload into the U.S. And consumers, lured by prospects of instant wealth, are responding to the solicitations that do get through to the tune of $120 million a year, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, says most promotions for foreign lotteries are likely to be phony. Many scam operators don't even buy the promised lottery tickets. Others buy some tickets, but keep the winnings for themselves. In addition, lottery hustlers use victims bank account numbers to make unauthorized withdrawals or their credit card numbers to run up additional charges.
The bottom line, according to the FTC: Ignore all mail and phone solicitations for foreign lottery promotions. If you receive what looks like lottery material from a foreign country, give it to your local postmaster.