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As we begin to prepare for the summer months, most of us have big plans in mind: vacation, enjoying quality time with family and friends, and making the most out of the long summer days. What we don’t ever dream of taking place is banking fraud or scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, over $8.8 billion were lost to scams and fraud in 2022. Here are three banking scams to be mindful of this summer season: 

Fake Phone Calls

At ORNL FCU, our Fraud team has seen an increase in members reporting phone calls that claimed to be from the Credit Union. If we do call you, we will do the following: 

  • State a name and reason for the call.
  • Confirm and verify with you any suspicious purchase activity.
  • You might even receive a text asking to verify the suspicious purchase activity, simply by replying YES or NO.

We will NOT do the following: 

  • Ask for your personal information such as social security numbers, debit/credit card information, account numbers, or pin numbers.
  • Ask you to purchase gift cards.
  • Send you an email/text with a link to click for verification purposes. 
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with ORNL FCU and you’re not sure—please hang up. Give us a call at 800.676.5328 and one of our team members will be happy to assist you. 

Checks in the Mail 

We want you to have all the things you wish for! While the lottery or a new car would be nice to win—you would not receive a check in the mail for these items. Since 2015, reports of check fraud have risen 65%. Our Fraud team has seen a rise in check scams covering lottery prizes, cars, loans, and even employment opportunities. The check schemes vary, but the main red flag to look out for is: 

The check might look real, but if someone is asking you to send a portion of the money back via wire transfer, through gift card purchases, or depositing into a separate bank account—it is a scam. 

Scammers like for victims to do this because it is almost untraceable. Once you have deposited that check into your account—you are responsible for it. 

Being Mindful with Peer to Peer Payment Apps

With the digital age, we completely understand convenience. While traveling this summer, you might find yourself using Peer to Peer payment apps more frequently. These are apps such as Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App. Please be cautious and mindful when using these platforms for payments in regards to sporting events or concert tickets. An example of this would be sending money through Venmo to pay for tickets to Taylor Swift’s critically-acclaimed Eras Tour—only to find out the tickets never existed. Once you have made the payment through the payment app, you are held responsible.

We want your summer to be an unforgettable experience for all the right reasons. If you have any questions or concerns about scams or fraud—please never hesitate to contact us!
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