How to Identify and Avoid Fraud Attacks

what is fraud

Fraud attacks are unfortunately always a threat, and are more common right before and during the holiday season. Criminal fraudsters will attempt to collect information to capture an identity and ultimately access to a consumer’s bank account.

Citadel monitors and stays aware of fraudulent activity threatening our member base. Our goal is to be transparent with members and inform them of any suspicious activity as soon as possible. In addition, we want to ensure our members are educated about these threats and know what to watch out for when it comes to fraudulent activity. Personal financial safety and member privacy is a priority.

Caller ID Spoofing

One issue that is common today is caller ID spoofing. Criminals can “spoof” an institution’s phone number and try to impersonate its employees. Spoofing uses computer systems to falsify the Caller ID information, so the ID displayed is not the caller’s true identity. Through spoofing, fraudsters will try to gather sensitive information about you and they may be disguised as a Citadel employee. Please note: several Citadel members have reported this happening lately. Usually, these calls are automated and will ask people to enter credit and debit card information.

How to protect yourself:

  • Do not provide personal information to a caller: Citadel will never call you and ask for personal information. Hang up immediately if someone says they are from Citadel and asks for any information such as your account numbers, social security number, or address.

  • Maintain a heightened level of suspicion if you weren’t expecting the call: If you were not expecting a call from Citadel, be extra cautious. If you feel uncomfortable with the conversation, end the call immediately and call the Citadel Call Center or visit a local branch.
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fraud on credit cards

Payroll Employment Schemes

Over the past few months, several Citadel members have applied for “work from home” online jobs to manage accounting and payroll services on behalf of a new employer, and those jobs end up being fraud scams. In these cases, our members were told to open an account (or use their current Citadel account) to accept payments from various persons for the new employer.

The person who has been “employed” is prompted to transfer funds to a different bank or use Western Union to send the funds overseas. Victims of this type of fraud are essentially employed by criminal organizations without knowing, and are partaking in the crime.

How to protect yourself:

  • Be wary of this type of job offer: Citadel strongly advises caution when it comes to these types of jobs. Criminal organizations of this type will make the job seem appealing because everything is online.

  • Do not use your account to transfer money for any employer: Unfortunately, once the criminal organization has your information and the funds are transferred, it is nearly impossible to get the money back.

Craigslist Schemes

This scheme involves the sale of personal belongings on websites such as Craigslist, EBay, Facebook Marketplace, or similar sites. If an individual sends a check to a seller, that payment is unprotected and the buyer can be scammed.

How to protect yourself:

  • Use an electronic transfer or wire: It is best practice to use a protected electronic transfer system or wire transfer to make your payment for purchases made on websites such as Craigslist. This is especially important when the seller is mailing the item and wants payment beforehand.

Facebook Account Schemes

There are also recent instances of fraudulent advertising on Facebook. A fraudulent person will indicate they are seeking account holders at specific financial institutions such as Citadel. The fraudulent person offers funds to the account holder, advertising the offer as easy and risk-free. Once the victim responds, the fraudster asks for sensitive account information and robs the victim.

How to protect yourself:

  • Do not share sensitive account information with strangers: Be very careful with your account information and who or what organization has access. It is unlikely that someone on Facebook would have a legitimate reason for needing your account information or any sensitive personal information.

Unfortunately, you are financially responsible if you or a joint account holder shares sensitive account information with a fraudulent party. Citadel will continue to provide updates on fraud attack trends to help our members avoid being in these situations.

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