Here are some tools from the Social Security Administration to recognize Social Security-related scams and stop scammers from stealing your money and personal information. Slam the scam!
Recognize the four basic signs of a scam:
- 1. Scammers pretend to be from a familiar organization or agency, like the Social Security Administration. They may email attachments with official-looking logos, seals, signatures, or pictures of employee credentials.
- 2. Scammers mention a problem or a prize. They may say your Social Security number was involved in a crime or ask for personal information to process a benefit increase.
- 3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately. They may threaten you with arrest or legal action.
- 4. Scammers tell you to pay using a gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire or money transfer, or by mailing cash. They may also tell you to transfer your money to a “safe” account.
Ignore scammers and report criminal behavior. Report Social Security-related scams to the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Scam Alerts – Read about the Latest Scams; Report & Prevent Fraud with the FTC
General Tips to Help Protect Yourself
Remember to monitor your credit reports to help determine any unauthorized creditors. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each major credit bureau, visit annualcreditreport.com for more information.
There is an option through the credit bureaus to lock, sometimes referred to as a freeze, your credit report. This should prevent loans being taken out in your name, without your direct involvement. Please keep in mind there could be a fee to unlock your report. Please check with the credit bureaus for more information.
There is also an option to add a fraud alert through the credit bureaus. These are generally good for 90 days. Please check with the credit bureaus to ensure there is no cost to add the alert, or remove it.
Be extra cautious with all emails. It could appear to be a valid email, from a valid source. If there is any doubt, protect yourself and throw it out!
If you haven’t already, setup a code word on your PrimeSource CU membership, please contact us to do so, as we are always taking extra verification measures to protect you. And consider making that call to any other financial institutions you may have a relationship with.
As a member of PrimeSource Credit Union, if you suspect you may be a victim of a fraudulent or suspicious occurrence or activity, please contact us right away at (509) 838-6157 or toll-free at (800) 660-0444.
Helpful Hints for Safe Passwords
Make each new password completely unique; do not use a previous password.
Passwords should not be similar to your account number.
Do not create a password using personal information that is not secret, such as a child’s name, birthdate or pet’s name.
Passwords should not read the same backward and forward. For example, don’t use “123321” or “MADAM” because it reads the same backward and forward.