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How to Prevent Wire Fraud

According to the United States Department of Justice, wire frauds are the types of scams that generally take place through the use of interstate lines or electronic communications such as phone calls, emails, and videos. Wire frauds are similar to mail frauds except that they occur strictly through communications transmitted by wire. 

A scenario of a wire fraud would be an instance in which a member receives an email with wiring instructions that appear to come from a credible source such as a business, former colleague, boss or employee. Within the email received, the fraudster would make a request for personal information to process a transaction or in exchange for funds to be deposited in the member’s account. The member would then provide his or her account information without verifying the legitimacy of the request since it appears to come from a reliable source. By the time the scam is discovered, it’s too late, and often results into major losses or identity theft. 
Another common scam that many fall victim to is the online dating scam, which happens when a love interest make a request for funds through a wire transfer, and then lures the sender off the dating site. According to the Federal Trade Commission signs of online dating scams include claims of needing money for emergencies, to be from the U.S., but are serving overseas on business or military duties. 
You can prevent yourself from falling victim to an online dating scam by opting to put money on a gift card or cash reload card, and to never wire funds to anyone living in or outside the U.S. that you do not know. Also, contact SCCU immediately if you believe that you have made a wire transfer to a potential fraudster. 
Protect yourself from wire fraud by following these tips:
  • Be suspicious of fraudulent signs such as unsolicited phone calls, emails and text messages. 
  • Check up on the legitimacy of the sender from whom the wire instructions are received (business, former colleague, boss or employee, and etc.) by placing a phone call, browsing through credible web directories, or visiting the company’s official website.
  • Keep personal records of receipts, checks, and other documentation with account and payment information.
  • Monitor your accounts through SCCU’s free services like Online and Mobile Banking, e-Statements and e-alerts to better detect suspicious activity. 
Here at SCCU, we stand behind our Watchdog promise to protect our members and stay at their forefront of their financial interests. We advise our members to never respond to any unsolicited requests, and to only contact our main published numbers for concerns regarding their accounts: Brevard: 321-752-2222; Broward:  954-701-5000; Miami-Dade: 305-882-5000; and all other areas: 800-447-7228.
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