Safeguard yourself against fraud…

Fraud is on the rise and wreaking havoc on the lives of many Americans. While everyone is at
risk and there’s no foolproof way to eliminate it, learning how to safeguard yourself against fraud
can go a long way in lowering your risk. According to the Identity Theft Research Center (ITRC) Annual Data Breach Report, 2022 at least 422 million individuals had their data compromised in the U.S. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported Ohio cybercrime victims totaled nearly 14,000 in 2022, making the Buckeye State seventh in the nation for personal fraud.

According to recent reports from the Internal Revenue Service, thousands of fraudulent domains
tied to multiple texting scams have been reported in 2022. Known as “smishing,” these
fraudulent text messages appear to be from a consumer’s financial institution and try to trick
them into revealing their account number or other personally identifiable information.
Some smishing scams may ask users to click a link to access their accounts. The sense of
urgency, misspelling and need for specific financial information should all be red flags. The
scammers pretend that they already know sensitive information about you, and the text may
even be spoofed to display the website or phone number of the organization the scammer
claims to represent.

Credit unions exist to improve their members’ lives, which includes educating and protecting
members from fraud. All Ohioans are eligible to join and enjoy the benefits of credit union
membership. You can find a credit union near you at
Tips to protect yourself from fraud…

  • Stay alert – Even under the most watchful eye, identity theft can still happen. Stay
    vigilant with your personal data and report anything that feels off. Early detection is
    essential for correcting a problem.
  • Immediately report abuse – Regularly monitor your account for suspicious activity.
    Promptly contact local law enforcement and your credit union if you suspect that you
    have been a victim of fraud.
  • Empower a close friend or family member – Allow someone you trust to monitor your
    account for things that don’t look right without giving that person access to your funds.
  • Ask about “convenience” or “agency” accounts – These accounts are set up so that
    your money is used for your benefit, but they allow a relative or friend to assist with
    writing checks, paying bills and other account business. Make sure you select someone
    trustworthy to be your helper.
  • Create a power of attorney or other advance plan – Plan ahead by giving a trusted
    person the legal authority to make financial decisions for you if you cannot. Make sure
    you have a record of who can manage your money if you become unable to do so.
  • Reach out to a credit union – Many credit unions have resources on how you can
    protect yourself and your loved ones from financial scams and exploitation.