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Three Common Scams to watch out for in 2024

Man reading text message that contains a scam

In the ever-evolving landscape of online interactions, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and informed about the latest scams targeting unsuspecting individuals. As your trusted financial partner, Utah Community Credit Union is committed to keeping you aware and empowered. Here are three common scams to watch out for in 2024:

Social Media Art Model Scams

In this era of social connectivity, fraudsters exploit the openness of platforms to deceive individuals through enticing art model scams. Unsuspecting victims receive messages showing interest in using their pictures for artistic endeavors. The scammer sends a check to pay for the rights to use the photos and requests the victim to forward part of the funds for art production.

It’s important to remember never to accept checks from strangers on social media, as they are not guaranteed funds. If you engage in business with unfamiliar contacts, insist on guaranteed funds. Additionally, avoid sharing online credentials for deposit purposes. Protect yourself by showing a healthy skepticism and checking the legitimacy of any financial transaction.

Imposter and Device Takeover Scams

Individuals with limited knowledge are often targeted in imposter and device takeover scams. The scam sometimes unfold with a contact initiated either by the scammer or through a pop-up on the the computer, text, or email asking them to call. The fraudster then gains access to the victim’s device under the guise of offering technical assistance.

Once access is there, the scam progresses to setting up a transaction, often involving payment for services or assistance in disputing a transaction. The scammer may request access to online banking or credit card information. Victims are manipulated into returning funds in a discreet manner, usually through gift cards or wire transfers.

To protect yourself, refrain from giving access to your devices to unknown parties. Verify the legitimacy of any support requests and be careful when sharing sensitive information. If you see any suspicious activity, report it immediately to local authorities.

Online Marketplace Scams

Online market places have become breeding grounds for scams, with fraudulent buyers exploiting sellers by over paying for items and requesting the excess funds to be sent elsewhere. They often use checks for payment, creating a situation where the victim sends money in guaranteed funds, only to later discover that the check was fraudulent.

Checks, including cashier’s checks, are not guaranteed funds and can take about a week to bounce when invalid. Protect yourself by verifying checks directly with the issuing financial credit union. For added security, also consider using cash or instant transfer systems for online transactions.

As your financial partner, we urge you to stay informed while also vigilant against these changing scams. By staying alert and also adopting safe online practices, you can help protect yourself and others from falling victim to financial fraud. If you ever encounter suspicious activity or have concerns, don’t wait to reach out to our dedicated fraud prevention team for assistance. Together, we can create a safer online community.