Avoid Scams: Protect Your Massachusetts Credit Union Accounts

Massachusetts credit union accountOne of the best ways to protect your hard-earned money is to deposit it into a reputable credit union in New Bedford where you can monitor it and watch it grow. At St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford, there are a lot of opportunities available to our members, including traditional savings and checking accounts, money market accounts, and even credit union auto loan and home mortgage options. It is crucial for consumers to stay on top of the latest scams and frauds that have the potential to impact their financial goals. While there are many different types of fraud protection that can safeguard your money, there are things you can do to thwart cybercriminals and scammers before they strike.

Debt Collection Scams

This is by far one of the biggest fraud attempts made across the United States today. Individuals contact consumers and tell them that they are collecting on an old debt. They will even have some basic information about you and a lender or creditor that you have worked with in the past. They often try to get you to send them money to pay for debts that you don’t owe or that you might have already paid. They increase their abilities by getting information from you over the phone or via email and use it against you, such as your mailing address, job information, or even the account number for a credit card or your credit union in New Bedford.

Things to watch out for include:

  • refusal to send you written proof of the debt that you allegedly owe
  • threatening or rude language in an attempt to scare you into paying
  • no legitimate record of the “collection agency” online or through the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • a negative or bad rating along with complaints from other consumers at the BBB

Never provide any personal information until you can verify that you owe the debt that the caller is discussing. Contact the creditor directly and ask if they are working with this collection agency. Get information from the caller, such as their name, the company name, a street address, and, if possible, a debt collection license number so you can verify their information. Never provide account information for payment, such as your Massachusetts credit union checking or savings. If you have made a payment to a company that you suspect might be a scam, visit St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford and speak with one of our representatives about your concerns to stop future payments.

Phishing Scams

This type of scam is completely conducted online via emails or mobile texts by individuals who create communications designed to look like your credit union, credit card company, utility company, or other providers. They will try to get you to provide your credit union auto loan or home loan account number, as well as other login credentials and personal information for your Massachusetts credit union accounts. You need to know that St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford will never contact you via text or email and ask you for your account information or other personal identifying details. If you ever receive contact from our branch that you have a question about, call us direct over the phone or use our website to reach out to a representative. Do not reply to a text or email that is suspicious.

Things you should never do in email or text include:

  • provide social security number, date of birth, driver’s license number or account information for any reason
  • click on links or open attachments for unsolicited communications
  • enter personal details, including passwords, addresses, or other verification responses outside of the credit union website

Lottery or Prize Scams

Never trust anyone who starts a communication with congratulations regarding a lottery, prize, vacation, or sweepstakes that you have won. Even if you have entered a contest, be careful and verify all information regarding the company, person, or group that has contacted you independently of the phone call, text, email, or letter that you receive. Many of these scams will ask people to pay fees and taxes upfront or require personal information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other essential data. Never give your information to someone you don’t know – even if it sounds legitimate.

Don’t just use the information provided by the individual to verify the legitimacy of the organization; do your own research. Search online or contact the Better Business Bureau. If it is from a well-known company or agency, you should be able to call them from their direct contact phone number on a verified website to find out if you have won a prize from their organization. Never send money to someone that you don’t know even if it is just a small fee. Having your credit card information or Massachusetts credit union account number is likely the goal of the call in the first place. Verify everything before you engage with anyone who says you are a winner.

Manage Your Money at St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford

If you are interested in working with a credit union in New Bedford to manage and grow your money, consider joining St Anne Credit Union. We are the oldest credit union in all of Southeastern Massachusetts and have a solid reputation for helping our customers to maximize their savings and investment opportunities. Whether you are interested in obtaining a credit union auto loan or want to boost your interest rate for savings, our Massachusetts credit union can help you to achieve your goals. Give us a call at 508-993-0011 and speak with one of our agents or stop by our branch on Union Street to learn more about our credit union.