Fraud Prevention

Scams to watch out for!

Text message scams

Some area credit union members are receiving unsolicited text messages. The message urges the recipient to call a provided number regarding a compromise on their credit/debit account. If you receive requests to contact Premier Credit Union, be sure to use our main phone number 515-282-1611 or toll-free, 1-866-273-9938. If you feel that you may be a victim of this scam, please contact Card Services immediately. For declined or potential fraud on credit cards call 1-800-234-5354 and for debit cards call 866-508-2693. To report your card number as lost or stolen on debit cards call 800-383-8000.

Vishing Fraud Attacks

Please be aware that some members are being targeted for fraud by phone – also called Vishing.  If you recently received a call stating, “your card has been compromised” AND called the 800 number provided, please call the credit union at 1-866-273-9938 immediately. These phone calls are fraudulent in nature and no information should be released.

Premier Credit Union will NEVER contact you via phone, letter, e-mail or text message asking for your account numbers, user names, passwords, or Social Security number. If you are suspicious of a notification from the credit union, please don’t hesitate to verify by calling us toll free at 1-866-273-9938.

Romance Scams

Online romance scams are being seen more frequently. Scammers are using emotion and even “love” to cost people large amounts of money. Please use caution and always be vigilant when corresponding with someone online that you have never met in person. Here are some good habits to practice, along with some facts and figures:

Safeguarding your emotions

Romance Scams – (FTC)

Online Dating and Romance Scams – (AARP)

10 red flags that your online date could actually be a romance scammer 

Tax Scams

Tax scams/Consumer alerts | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

Grandparent Scam

An elderly individual gets a call, text or email from a scammer saying that one of their family members has been injured, in a car accident or is in jail. In order to avoid a lawsuit or to help them get out of jail, the scammer suggests that money must be sent right away. Funds are usually requested in the form of a wire, cash app or a large cash withdrawal. The scammer then meets the grandparent at their home or in the parking lot to pick the money up.

Facebook investment Scam

A member is contacted via Facebook messenger, and are lured in by a scammer talking about children or vacations or interests that they have posted on Facebook. They proceed to tell the member about a side job they are doing that involves helping people to invest money in Cryptocurrency. They have the member create an account with Crypto and then ask the member to send them a screen shot of the account creation (which has all the Cryptocurrency information including routing and account numbers). After that they tell the member to wire money to the Crypto account and then the scammer will invest it for the member. Often what happens is the money is moved or transferred out, never to be seen again!

Prize and Sweepstakes Scam

Scammers contact you claiming you won a prize, sweepstake, or lottery and then ask for money or your account information to cover taxes and other fees upfront. They might pretend to be from government agencies or claim you’ve won a foreign lottery, which is almost certainly a scam. Tip – Government agencies do not call to demand money or your financial information to collect a prize. Also, real sweepstakes are free and by chance.

Facebook Marketplace Scams and Red Flags

There have been recent reports of scams within Facebook Marketplace. While it is a common place for consumers to buy and sell goods, members should be cautious when exchanging items with someone online. Knowing certain red flags can help members and consumers avoid these scams in the future.

Some Marketplace red flags include:

  • An overpayment. If you receive an overpayment, decline the charge or check and ask the buyer to send you the correct amount.
  • Moving the dialogue off Facebook to your phone. Often in these instances, the other party will ask for your phone number and say that they want to text you a code to “prove you are real.”
  • The Zelle “Business Account” scam. This is a scam the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned consumers about in the past. If you are asked to upgrade your Zelle account or another digital wallet app to accept money from a buyer, it’s likely a scam.
  • Shipping mishaps. Always track the item to ensure it arrives at its destination. Some buyers will demand refunds claiming they never received their item. Keep the proof that your package arrived at its destination.
  • Fake vacation homes or apartment listings. Google the address to make sure the location exists and if it looks representative of what is being shown online. Verify the validity of the rental by contacting the property listing manager directly.

Protection Services

Falcon Fraud Protection

  • Free on all Premier Credit Union credit and debit cards.
  • Monitors and calls or texts you when a transaction is outside your usual purchasing trend.
  • It does not affect the way your card transactions are processed.

Brella

Brella logo with concentric hexagon-shaped mark on the left and "Brella" to the right.

Brella is a fraud transaction alerting, balance monitoring and ATM locator application. You can use this free app to block and unblock your card with our transaction control feature! Download Brella from the Apple App Store or Google Play to get started!


What to do if your account numbers or personal information is compromised

Contact Credit Bureaus

Immediately call the three national credit reporting organizations listed below to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security Number.

Equifax/CSC
(800) 272-9281
www.equifax.com

Experian
(888) 397-3742
www.experian.com

Trans Union
(800) 680-7289
www.transunion.com

It is also important to notify the Social Security Administration on their Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271.

Credit Bureau facts and information

Follow up items

  • Report the loss or theft of your credit or debit cards to the card issuer as quickly as possible.
  • Keep a list of all your account numbers and each account’s toll-free number to call to report a theft or loss.
  • Use caution when disclosing your account numbers, social security number, etc. to others. Employees or agents of your card issuer will have access to this information and would not need to ask for it.
  • Memorize your PIN (Personal Identification Number).
  • Don’t tell anyone your PIN or account number, or loan anyone your card.
  • Monitor account activity and report any suspicious transactions immediately.
  • Do not engage in financial transactions with strangers through the mail or online.

Best Practices – Don’t Be a Victim

  • Get your mail on time. If you are on vacation, ask for a friend or neighbor to pick it up for you. You can also have it held at your local post office.
  • Read refund and return policies prior to making an online purchase.
  • Continually monitor your credit /debit card transactions to increase the chance of spotting unauthorized purchases or withdrawals.
  • If you receive a text or email that looks suspicious, do not click on links or respond to it in any way. If you are concerned your account is compromised, check with your credit union using the contact information found on your financial institution’s website.
  • Watch what you share on your social media profiles to avoid potential romance scams.
  • Secure your personal information. Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.
  • Do not open emails from people you don’t know. If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means.
  • Resist pressure. Legitimate companies and charities will be happy to give you time to make a decision. It’s probably a scam if they demand that you act immediately or won’t take “no” for an answer.

ATM Safety

  • Examine ATM and gas pumps for tampering of the card reader.
  • Block the view of others while entering your PIN.
  • Remove your cash immediately when you make a withdrawal.
  • Make sure you have your card and receipt before you leave the ATM.

Cybersecurity

Keeping your information safe and secure online is important now more than ever. Here are some resources and tips to keep you protected:

Cybersecurity Starts With You

Why is Cybersecurity Important

Multi-Factor Authentication

Phishing Tip Sheet

Cyber Careers


News Articles

Stay in the know with helpful, up to date information!

AI is Uncle Sam’s new secret weapon to fight fraud | CNN Business


Events

See events near you to help keep you informed and safe!

Stop the Scammers Event – Iowa Fraud Fighters


Open A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)

Again, no matter how convincing the email, text or phone call may be, Premier will never contact you and ask to verify sensitive, private or online banking information!

Deepfakes Are Coming for the Financial Sector – WSJ


Reporting Fraud

If you think you’ve been targeted by a fake check scam, report it to: