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Common Scams

Text Message Scams from wisegeek.com

Avoiding getting trapped by a text message scam is possible by following some simple advice. First, people should always remember that financial institutions do not ask for personal information in emails or text messages.

Second, they should always check the apparent sender identity — many times, the false text messages are directed at a wide range of people who live in the region of a financial institution, and many consumers receive a notice of account closing from a bank at which the receiver has never had an account.

Third, individuals should never contact a financial institution using a link or phone number in an SMS message or email; instead, they should find the contact information published on the bankcard or in the phone book.

Fourth, news sources and cell phone carriers are often quick to publish reports of scams when they hit, so keeping an eye out can help people recognize scams and ignore such messages.

IRS Scam Alert

The crooks pretend to be an IRS agent or someone from the U.S. Treasury Department calling about a problem with your tax return. They also threaten potential victims with arrest or deportation and demand payment immediately.

Debit Card Scam Alert

A current scam in our area consists of members receiving an automatic phone call telling them that their Debit Card has been "De-activated". It then asks that they call a phone number and give their debit card number and other personal financial information.

If you received one of these calls and did nothing you are fine.

If you received one of these calls and returned it leaving your personal information please contact us immediately!

NC State Employees Credit Union Debit Card Scam

Officials with the NC State Employees Credit Union released an alert warning their members about a scam involving the use of their ATM cards at Raleigh area gas pumps. Nova CU has NOT had any reports of this impacting any of our members but we wanted to make you aware of the security risk.

How to avoid the ATM 'skimming' scam:

  • Use credit, instead of debit at gas pumps to avoid typing in your PIN.
  • Use gas pumps that are closest to the station attendant. Skimmers typically put the devices on an outside pump, away from the building.
  • When using an ATM, closely examine the card reader area of the machine. Look for devices that appear to be mounted on the exterior of the area, or if there is glue or tape residue around the card reader. If you notice any devices or if the ATM has been tampered with, call your local police.
  • Check your financial information, accounts with credit unions and banks; credit and debit card transactions, daily.

Fake Postal Money Orders

There has been an increase lately in fake Postal Money Orders — especially when purchasing or selling items through the internet. To verify a postal money order, call the Money Order Verification System at 866-459-7822. If you suspect fraud, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 (select option 4).

Mystery Shopper Scam

It's a new twist on the "fake check" scam: People across the country are receiving letters in the mail-accompanied by fat checks-inviting them to earn extra money as mystery shoppers.

The letter invites you to become a paid mystery shopper in your area, and the letterhead and check appear to come from a legitimate U.S. company. The listed phone numbers, however, originate in a foreign country.

Here's how it works:

The letter instructs you to deposit the check- for, say, $3,750-into your checking account, wire $3,150 using a company like Western Union or Money Gram, keep $300 as pay, take out $200 for wiring fees, and use $100 to purchase merchandise.

Then you're told to contact the person named in the letter for further instructions. Sounds like an easy way to make money, right? But if you deposit the check, you'll get a notice from the bank that it bounced. And you're left holding the bag for the $3,750.00!

Postal Inspectors advise that if you receive this offer, do NOT respond. Instead, report the incident to Postal Inspectors online or call US Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455.

Jury Scam Alert

The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he'll need some information for "verification purposes"—your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number.

This is when you should hang up the phone. It's a scam.

Visit the FBI for more information.