Tips for Avoiding Financial Scams Related to the Pandemic

Tips for Avoiding Financial Scams Related to the Pandemic

While the COVID-19 crisis has brought out the best in many, communities are not immune to scammers taking advantage of the situation by attempting to defraud consumers. Luckily, financial institutions like Sioux Falls Fed are taking extra safety precautions to keep members’ funds safe.

Here are a few ways you can do your part to prevent financial fraud in your own household.

The State of Things

Some of the most common types of scams being attempted in the past couple months are via email and phone. The pandemic has unfortunately given fraudsters unique new opportunities to find inroads to your accounts. Phishing is rampant, and gaining personal information is one of the most common ultimate goals of scammers looking to capitalize on COVID-19 vulnerabilities.

What to Look For

The narrative of current events gives fraudsters new types of scams to attempt—such as claiming to be a representative of the U.S. Treasury Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. Emails designed to look plausibly from one of these trusted sources are a key method by which a cyber-criminal might attempt to steal your information. This goes for phone calls, as well—be wary of auto-dialed robo-calls from individuals claiming to be from these organizations. Any attempt to get personally identifiable information from you over the phone should be treated with caution.

Who Should Be Aware

While a common target of scammers, seniors should continue to be aware of what suspicious calls or emails sound and look like. But with widespread changes in how we communicate, scammers are making phishing attempts across virtually every demographic.

How to Spot a Scam

Be mindful of details such as the incorrect web domains in email addresses, typos or fractured sentence structure. These can be indications of less-than-authentic communications. In addition, any phone call in which the person on the line asks for information such as social security numbers, maiden names, addresses or even something as simple as family members’ names should be treated as a potential scam. No reputable financial institution or organization will request these over the phone.

A good rule of thumb is to simply hang up and make the call back yourself to the entity’s verifiable phone number on their website. That puts you in the driver’s seat and helps confirm the identity of the caller.

How Sioux Falls Fed Helps

We don’t mess around when it comes to our members’ financial security. So we’ve employed multi-factor authentication on our online and mobile platforms, including requests for more than simply a password to access an account. And we handle claims of fraud quickly and efficiently—contact us at the first sign that your account may have been breached, and we can take necessary measures to block account access and compromised cards to reduce the potential damage. We’ll do the research to help you recover.

Do you think you may have been phished or scammed? Get on top of the situation by contacting our team today..