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.
- Work from home scams - As COVID-19 continues to spread, millions of people have been affected by the crisis and are facing economic hardships. With unemployment rates hitting record highs, the Federal Trade Commission has seen scams involving fake work-at-home jobs increasing. These scams promise lucrative money, but the reality is the jobs are fake. How does it work? The scammers send you paperwork after they “hire” you, but the information being requested may in fact be stealing your personal information which leaves victims vulnerable to identity theft and monetary scams. When looking for a job online or if you are seeking employment that will allow you to work from home, be sure to do your homework by investigating the company offering you employment. One way to do this, is to get their employer number and then check their authenticity online prior to applying for the job. For more information, click here.
- Fake money offering scams - For many the loss of a job means less income and depleted savings. Struggling to pay bills and make ends meet, can result in needing to look for alternative ways to make money. This can lead an unsuspecting person to consider a “get money email” or a “too good to be true” deal that unfortunately doesn't give you money, but it can potentially be stealing your personal information. These are trying times for a lot of people, and the best course of action if you are struggling financially is to contact your credit union to request financial assistance through a debt management program, loan, or other financial assistance programs. Astera Credit Union has multiple services and programs available to help members affected from the current COVID-19 crisis, as well as other potential financial hardships members may encounter. To learn more about fake money scams click here. To see what services Astera CU offers to help you during a financial hardship, click here.
- Voting season scams - We are approaching voting season and with more states looking to mail-in ballots, scammers are hard at work. Voting scams work similarly to other email scams that request your personal information to sign-up for something. Unfortunately, providing that information can result in your information being compromised. Another popular scam during this time is fake donation scams. Simply put, these scams involve someone claiming to represent a political candidate and looking for a donation for that campaign. It’s just another spin on the classic fraud of someone claiming to be someone they aren't to acquire money. Always do your due diligence when making donations and never be rushed into a financial decision. For more information on voter related scams, click here.
- Sign up for credit monitoring services - There are multiple companies and services that monitor for fraud on your account(s) regularly. Some of these services may cost a little money, but ensuring your information is secure and that your data hasn't been compromised is well worth the extra expense.
Astera also offers credit monitoring with Kasasa Protect. Receive credit reporting, monthly credit score, dark web monitoring and more, with our comprehensive identity fraud protection and restoration solution service. To learn more about Kasasa Protect, click here.
- If uncertain, do research on the source contacting you - With so many different businesses and charities in the world, it's impossible for anyone to be 100% certain on the legitimacy of all of them. Never commit to donating money or giving out your personal information to any person, business, or organization you are not definite is legitimate. Go online and do your research.
- Use strong passwords and change them quarterly - Sometimes you don't even know when your information has been stolen. Changing your password regularly can help keep your information private in case someone has managed to access any of your emails, files, or personal information. Try using pass-phrases instead of common words when creating a password. For example "My son likes to play basketball," could be used as a password of "My$0nlIkE$2PlAyBBa11."
- 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, and alerting you 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.