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Fraud Alert! Be on High Alert for Calls Like These

Scams are frighteningly prevalent right now. Avadian is constantly working behind the scenes to protect you from fraudulent use of your accounts, and we are also constantly watching to see what we should be sharing with you.

This trend involves a call spoofing a phone number (faking it so that it shows up on your caller ID as legitimate looking) from a government agency or at least from Washington, D.C. The caller then tells you that something has happened with your Social Security number.ALERT

An article from Forbes last November discussed in detail how they work, and we’ve summarized the highlights here.

Here’s a glimpse at a few of them:


1. Fraudsters attempt to convince you that your “Social Security number has been suspended.” 

What they tell you. Your number has been suspended, usually due to fraudulent or criminal activity, and you must call them back to resolve the matter.

What you should know. The Social Security Administration doesn’t suspend, block, revoke, or freeze Social Security numbers.


2. Fraudsters attempt to convince you that your “Social Security number has been compromised.”

What they tell you. Trying to leverage the threat of data breaches and identity theft, the scammers tell you your SSN has been compromised. They may ask you to press 1 for more information, ultimately getting you to give them your Social Security number or even your Avadian account numbers.

What you should know. The Social Security Administration doesn’t make these types of calls. They’ll also never call you and ask you to confirm your SSN over the phone.


3. Fraudsters attempt to convince you that “a federal case has been brought about your Social Security number.”

What they tell you. If you don’t call back, you’ll be arrested. Or that a legal procedure will be started against if you don’t return the call. We get it. That’s scary stuff.

What you should know. The government says it will “never” threaten anyone with arrest for crimes associated with your SSN, so any call telling you otherwise is a scam.


4. Fraudsters attempt to convince you that you “must send money to discuss the case against you.”

What they tell you. Similar to the one above, this one asks you to send money or a gift card to the Social Security Administration to clear your name.

What you should know. The Social Security Administration doesn’t ask taxpayers to wire funds or send money via gift cards. If you really owe the government money, you’ll receive an official notice from the Internal Revenue Service, not the Social Security Administration.


Things to Watch For

To avoid these and other Social Security scams, look for these red flags:

  • Don’t trust your caller ID. It may say the caller is from a government agency or at least have a D.C. phone number, but these can be manipulated. It could even say “Avadian Credit Union.”
  • Remember that governments may send automated phone messages to remind people to pay their taxes. But they won’t include personal information or ask for your information.
  • Does it seem too good – or too bad – to be true? If you’ve randomly won a big prize like a vacation or some other big prize, or if the IRS, Medicare, or Social Security Administration suddenly needs to contact you, pause and ask yourself if this seems legit. If it seems too good – or too bad – to be true, it probably is.
  • Aggressive language or threats of arrest or police involvement. Government calls won’t use unprofessional or threatening tones to coerce you to wire money or send cash or gift cards. They will also never request your passport, health card, or driver’s license.
  • Scammers don’t want you to take time to check it out or to think it through, so pay attention to someone pressuring you to act now to send a gift card or give them their personal information.

Be careful with your personal information. And like Avadian’s IT experts tell us, when in doubt, don’t.

The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA. Additional insurance of up to $250,000 on your savings accounts is provided by Excess Share Insurance Corporation, a licensed insurance company.
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