Our Security Spotlight features information about current scams, provides tips to protect yourself from fraud attacks, and offers steps you should take should you fall victim to fraud.
- COVID-19 Scams Continue - With COVID cases on the rise, so are scams related to the ongoing pandemic. From fake vaccines, to imposter health organizations asking for personal information, we want to remind you to be wary of any email or phone call related to COVID-19 that requests you provide information or payment. As with many scams, fraudsters behind these schemes are banking on the fear caused from the pandemic to push rash decisions. Some of these scams aren't directly related to COVID-19, but are an offshoot due to things like high unemployment rates. A common COVID-19 related unemployment scam is fake job postings that prey on people by offering ways to make money during these trying times. For all information related to COVID-19 scams, click here.
- The Holidays Are Here, and So Are More Scams - The holidays are one of the worst times of the year when it comes to scams. Many of them are via emails offering Black Friday sales or Christmas discounts. The best way to avoid these scams is to make sure to NOT click any links in your email. Even if the email seems like it's from a known retailer, your safest action is to close the email, and go directly to their site through your browser. In addition to online scams, theft and robberies are prominent during the holidays. Using your Astera credit card is the safest method for making purchases during the holidays. Credit cards offer fraud protection, and cannot be used to access money directly from your bank account. For more information, click here.
- Warranty Scams Are Still Around - The warranty scam may be an old scam, but it's still going strong, and remains one of the most common. Usually received via email or by phone, the warranty scam is a simple communication that your house or car warranty is expiring and asking you to renew your warranty "before it's too late". The emphasis of acting fast out of fear of missing out is the common theme in most of these scams, and also the biggest giveaway. You may even say to yourself, "I don't remember even having a warranty on my car," or the most obvious tell is it's for a vehicle you don't own. It's possible you never did, but the scammers will try to sell you on their warranty anyway. In reality they are simply stealing your personal information and your money. For more information, click here.
- Yes, Scammers Will Pose as a Charity - Unfortunately if someone is scamming you for money, they will use any method they can think of to try and get it. This includes posing as a fake charity that supports a legitimate cause. Most of the time these scams pop up when a disaster happens. Unfortunately, these fake charities wind up just keeping the donated money for themselves. If you want to donate money to a cause you care about, first look up charities using Charity Navigator. The site will run the name through their database of charities and tell you if it is legitimate or not. For more information or to verify a charity, click here.
- Astera CU will never call and ask for your personal information - There have been cases reported of phone calls to members claiming to be Astera Credit Union and asking for personal information. Astera Credit Union will never call you and ask for information such as your social security number or account information.
- Legitimate businesses will not request payment via gift cards - A common giveaway for a fake company or scammer, is demanding payment be made via gift cards. Why? Gift cards are easily transferrable and almost impossible to track. If someone is refusing payment in any other method, this is a scam.
- Cash and credit are the safest form of payments during the holidays - During the busy shopping season, it's best to use a credit card or cash for your purchases. Cash can't be used against you to try and steal your personal information, and credit cards have built-in security features to not only protect you from fraud, but many offer insurance if you fall victim to a scam.
- Call immediately if you suspect you're a victim of fraud - Should you fall victim to a scam or fraud, one of the first steps to take is contacting the proper authorities along with your financial institution(s) to make them aware. Your accounts will be shut down and precautionary steps will be taken to prevent against future loss.
CardNav gives you real-time control over your debit cards through your smartphone or tablet. It also adds another level of security to your cards by letting you decide how and when they can be used, sending alerts when any types of transactions you specify take place. You can even use CardNav to set personal spending limits that help you stay within your budget goals.
- Turn cards on or off in seconds
- Use GPS to restrict transactions to businesses within a designated area
- Limit card use to specific merchants or purchases
- Receive real-time, in-app alerts that let you stop unauthorized purchases before they're complete
- Receive alerts when you're getting close to any personal spending limit you've set
Download the CardNav app and gain a new level of security and control over your money today!
If you'd like more information about Astera's security services, call us at 800.323.0048, stop into any branch to speak with a member service representative, or visit us at www.AsteraCU.com.