Common Types of Fraud & How to Prevent Them

2018-10-12T10:50:14-05:00Security & Fraud|

2016 was a great year for fraudsters. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, more than 15 million consumers were hit with some kind of ID theft last year. The year before? 13.1 million.

With the widespread use of EMV chip card, you’d think the number of fraud cases would go down, right? While EMV cards have helped, thieves have shifted their attention to other schemes.

We’re going to help you stay safe.

Identity Theft

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, this is what identity thieves are after:

  • Card and Account Numbers: Do your research before online shopping. If the site is unsecure, don’t provide your account, credit card, or debit card numbers. To be safe, keep track of your accounts for any odd transactions.
  • Social Security Number: Don’t give this number out unless you absolutely have to. And it’s best to avoid carrying this card with you so it’s not physically stolen.
  • Driver’s License Number: Treat this number like the other numbers above. Don’t provide it unless you have to and make sure you don’t lose your license. It could be used to apply for credit or board a flight.


Thieves install skimming devices on ATMs or card machines at gas pumps to steal card information. Some even add tiny cameras or button overlays to record your PIN. Here’s how to prevent it:

  • Check for Tampering: Before using an ATM or gas pump, wiggle the card slot and keypad. If either seem loose, don’t use it. You should also notify the police if you suspect any tampering.
  • Protect Your PIN: No matter where you are, you should always cover the PIN pad with your hand when entering your PIN. Make sure to wiggle the PIN pad first to make sure it doesn’t have an overlay on it.
  • Avoid Remote Locations: ATMs and gas pumps that are in unlit, low-traffic areas are more likely to have been tampered with.

Internet Fraud

Here are some of the most common types of internet fraud, according to the FBI:

  • Malware: If you receive emails from unknown sources, they should be deleted immediately. If you open one of these emails, don’t click on any links or open any attachments.
  • Phishing: Beware of any emails that ask for your personal information (address, Social Security number, bank account, etc.). These kinds of emails should be deleted immediately.

Phone Scams

Speaking on the phone requires quick decision making, which means you could be more vulnerable to fraud. Here are some tips:

  • Let phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize go to voicemail. If it’s important they will leave a message.
  • If you answer the phone and the person on the other end asks if you can hear them, hang up immediately. Scammers could record your voice and use it to make purchases with voice recognition programs.
  • Avoid giving out any personal information over the phone to people you don’t personally know.
  • Add your landline and/or mobile phone number to the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry. If you receive any possible scam calls, report them as soon as possible.

Fraud is a real threat that affects a lot of people in the world. If you know what to look for, you can stay safe. If you have any questions, reach out to us over Facebook, email info@connexuscu.org, or call us 800.845.5025.