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Keep your money safe: how to outsmart the scammers

At OE Federal, we know that staying union strong means doing everything we can to keep our members’ money safe. But maximum security requires multiple lines of defense. Staying informed about scams is one of the best ways to protect yourself. Here’s the least you should know about the latest schemes. If you think you’ve fallen victim to one of them, contact the authorities right away.

Mystery Shopper Scam: It may not sound like it, but “mystery shopper” is a legitimate job title. However, it’s not one you should have to pay for. If someone offers you this job and asks you to pay them first, say no. Find out more information here.

Craigslist Scam: Craigslist is a con-artist’s dream come true, and many of them use the classifieds website to trick people out of money. Never wire funds or give your personal information to someone you meet on Craigslist. Learn more of the website’s best practices here.

Phishing: A phishing scam is an email that looks legitimate, but contains a link that lets scammers steal your personal information. Always be careful opening links within your emails and make sure the sender address is correct. Find more information here.

Missed Delivery Notice: This one’s an up-and-comer that sends you a “missed delivery” email appearing to be from USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc. The email asks you to enter personal information or download a from that infects your device with a malware virus. If a shipping company asks for your personal information after you’ve placed an order, you should be suspicious.

Gift Card Fraud: Many fraudsters steal the 16-digit codes from gift cards you can purchase in kiosks and wait until the card is activated so they can drain the funds. To avoid this scam, only purchase gift cards at the check stand and inspect the card to see if the ‘scratch-off’ area is still intact. If it’s gone, move along.

Fake Charities: The holidays are a busy time for donation solicitations. You may get a flyer or phone call from a charity that sounds familiar, but isn’t actually real. To avoid being scammed, only donate to charities with whom you initiated the contact. Then, before you donate, do your research to make sure the charity is reputable.