As we begin the new year, your friends at Sonoma Federal Credit Union would like to help you avoid some of the most common internet scams. We want you to stay safe this year with your on-line activity:
E-cards with mismatched links
If the link in the e-mail isn’t from the e-card company’s site (look at the domain name), it’s probably not something you should open.
Surveys that offer gift cards
Thieves are counting on the fact that you’d like to buy more gifts or give gift cards this time of year. Filling out surveys is an easy way to get your personal information in general.
These are similar to e-mails that say you’ve won a gift certificate, only these appear to be from someone you know. Check with the sender before clicking a link.
Links to deals and coupons
Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals from major retailers that aren’t from the retailer’s site.
Package not derivable
If you get a message saying you’ve got a package waiting, call the shipping company directly (USPS, FedEx, UPS) don’t try to “print out the postage label” or click any link that asks for account, payment, or password information.
If you talk about the charity on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat). Make sure to confirm the campaign with the organization directly before contributing.
Direct Deposit Cancellations
Never click on links provided in the e-mail, but call your credit union (or bank) directly using the number you already have or know to be a valid contact number for your institution.
If you are being targeted, the bad actors will look up your friends on social media (generally Facebook or Myspace) that are usually traveling or have recently traveled; and attempt to masquerade as your friend being stranded in a place he or she is known to be visiting. The bad actor will usually ask you to wire money, because they had their money stolen and are stranded overseas.