It is a reality that daily we read news related to fraud, identity theft, scams, among others. These people, who take advantage, through technology do their misdeeds.

We at Caribe Federal use technology to monitor these robbery attempts and ensure the safety of your investment. At the same time, we guide you so that you know how to prevent being a victim of fraud. Here are the most popular scams, practices that will help you avoid being a victim of fraud, and what to do if you have been a victim of fraud:

Types of fraud

Fraudulent messages that arrive by email.

Internet scams (“phishing”) have already affected one million victims. Imposters send deceptive emails containing authentic logos and graphics asking for financial information. The latest cheats are triggered simply by opening an email – no click or no click. Once your computer is infected, the crooks change the IP address and force the browser to go to the addresses of bogus financial institutions.

Phone Call scams

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/taxonomy/term/874

https://www.consumidor.ftc.gov/articulos/s0076-estafas-por-telefono

Fraudulent checks

Email is still one of the most widely used means of carrying out thefts, the most common being known as “Nigerian Fraud”. You receive an email telling you that they are going to send you a check for an extra sum of money and ask you to send back the excess money. The thief pretends to be from another country and claims that you can win a lottery or that he pays you to work from home. Checks that appear to be valid are actually fake, but the victim is responsible for the money withdrawn against the fraudulent check.

Fraud at automated teller machines (ATMs)

Skimming is the latest ATM fraud. The criminals use a device that reads the information contained in the plastic card and with it falsifies cards. The password is captured by a small camera mounted on the machine. You do not realize that you are being stolen since the card is still in your possession and works at other ATMs.

How to avoid being a victim of Fraud?

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) recommends the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:

  1. If you receive an email requesting that you provide personal or financial information, do not send any response information. Legitimate companies do not ask for this type of information through electronic messages.
  2. Be cautious about opening documents attached to the message or when transferring documents via email.
  3. Never send personal information through email, always verify that the page you visit through the Internet is secure. This can be verified if the address begins with “https” the “s” is identifying that the address is secure.
  4. Verify your statements once you receive them, if they are delayed, call the company to confirm if your postal address is correct and verify the account balance.
  5. Use an antivirus program and keep it up to date.
  6. Report any suspicious activity to the FTC at www.ftc.gov or send a copy of the suspicious message to spam@uce.gov.

How can you protect yourself?

  1. Change passwords for banking and shopping websites every three to six months. To avoid being taken to fake websites, type the addresses of the pages in your search engine instead of clicking on email links.
  2. Be careful and notice anything out of the ordinary at the ATM. Check for weird gear or wires. Check your account balance for any unusual activity.
  3. Please do not send refunds or deliver merchandise in the time it takes to process the check.
  4. Destroy all pre-approved credit card offers, credit and debit card receipts, insurance forms, financial statements and other documents that contain your personal financial information.
  5. Review the monthly statements of the cooperative and other financial entities to make sure there are no discrepancies and request a credit report once a year to make sure that no one else is using your personal information to obtain credit cards or services.
  6. Don’t write your Social Security number on your checks and don’t keep the Social Security card in your wallet.
  7. Be careful when giving personal or financial information over the phone, make sure you know who is calling you and that you know how that information will be used.

What to do if you are a victim of fraud?

Anyone can be a victim of fraud. Even if you have been polite and cautious, you can still be tricked into giving out personal information. It is important to notify various agencies and banks about what happened. Below is a list of the most important procedures and notifications that you must do as soon as possible:

  • Credit and debit card – Automatically cancel cards by calling 24-hour service numbers. Constantly check your statuses after the fraud incident.
  • Financial Institution Accounts – Call your financial institution immediately to report the loss. Cancel the financial account and open another one with a new number.
  • Contact your financial institution to be notified of any suspicious activity.
  • File a complaint at the police station in your area.
  • Report the crime to the Social Security Administration’s fraud line.
  • Alert the passport office.
  • Contact Caribe Federal Credit Union at 787-474-5151 and the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
  • Personally Identifiable Information – Contact the three credit reporting agencies for guidance on the process and to place a fraud alert on your credit report.

Contact information:

Trans Union1-800-680-7289PO BOX 6790 Fullerton, CA 92634
Experian1-888-397-3742PO Box 1017 Allen, TX 75013
Equifax1-800-525-6285PO Box 740250 Atlanta, GA 30374
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