Resources to Help Guard Against Fraud

Resources to Help Guard Against Fraud & Scams

If you suspect you are a victim of a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commision by calling (877) FTC-HELP ((877) 382-4357) or visit their website at

If someone contacts you claiming to be associated with SDCCU, hang up and contact us via secure messaging in Internet Branch online banking or by phone to ensure you are talking with a SDCCU representative.
We will never ask you for your username or password.

Our fraud prevention partner may contact you if we detect suspicious activity on your account. Save these numbers in your phone so if we contact you, you know it's from us.
  • 21556 (Fraud Text Alerts)
  • (866) 518-0213 (SDCCU fraud detection partner)
Basic tips to protect yourself and your personal information:
  • Never give your username/password or login security code to anyone.
  • If someone contacts you claiming to be associated with any organization and is asking for information, hang up and call the number on their website to ensure you are speaking to a representative from that organization. Do not call a number the caller gives you to "verify" they are with the organization.
  • Do not open suspicious links, texts, pop up windows or attachments in emails.
  • Stop and talk with someone you trust. If you're unsure, tell a friend or family member about what happened. They could help you realize if it is a scam.
Access to Free Credit Reports extended to 2022
Stay on track to reach your financial goals by taking advantage of free weekly credit reports from Equifax, Experian and Transunion. All three credit bureaus have extended access to your credit report until Tax Day 2022 (April 15, 2022).

Why is it important to check your credit report frequently?
  • Credit reports are an overview of your payment and credit history that lenders use to provide credit or loans and can impact your interest rates.
  • You can weed out fraudulent account activity, dispute collection items and make sure you are in good standing when being considered for auto loans, credit cards, mortgage loans and more.
  • Remember the more you know, the more you grow, at least when it comes to your financial health and information. Report errors to the credit reporting agency where you find the discrepancy. Check your free credit report at

For more information about protecting yourself, click here.

The Government Won’t Call or Text You
The pandemic has rapidly increased our online usage and with that comes online scammers attempting to get your personal information. To protect yourself and avoid being scammed, follow and apply these simple yet effective tips.
  • Government agencies such as the Social Security Administration (SSI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not call, text or email you asking for money.
  • Do not trust CALLER ID. Scammers are good at what they do, including altering caller ID so the number they call from resembles an authentic government number.
  • Do not click on links in emails that you suspect may be fraudulent or are from an email address you don’t recognize. Remember that even if it looks as if it is coming from a legitimate source, confirm before clicking.
  • Do not respond to the number the scammer gives you within a text or email. Look up the correct contact number online.
  • Do not share your personal information with someone who reaches out to you first. If in doubt, always check the government website to verify the information for yourself.
  • Make your passwords complex and lengthy, and consider using a passphrase.
  • If you feel that you may have given out or compromised your password, change it right away and notify the relevant government agency. It is also a good idea to update your computer security software, run, scan and delete any errors/issues it finds.
If you see something that doesn’t seem right, most likely it is not. Keep your eyes open to scam techniques and share these tips with others. Help yourself, your loved ones and your community by reporting fraud to

COVID-19 Scams

COVID-19 Vaccine Scam

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are warning the public about several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more here.

To guard against these scams:

  • Consult your state’s health department website for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution channels and only obtaining a vaccine through such channels.
  • ​Check the FDA’s website ( for current information about vaccine emergency use authorizations.
  • Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination.
  • Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals.
  • Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider.
  • Follow guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Survey Scam - Scammers are sending out surveys claiming to be from various vaccine manufacturers like AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer. In exchange, people are offered a reward, but asked to pay shipping fees. IGNORE IT. It’s a scam. No legitimate surveys ask you for your financial information to pay for a “free” reward.

Federal Stimulus/Economic Impact Payment Related Scams

Beware that there is an increased risk of scammers attempting to exploit individuals expecting stimulus payments. Here are a few tips to spot potential red flags:

  • The IRS will not contact you by phone, email, text or social media to verify your Social Security Number, bank account or credit card information.
  • ​Scammers may suggest that you can get a faster payment by working on your behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Scammers may mail a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

If you receive unsolicited emails, text messages or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS. Notify the IRS at
For more information about potential scams, watch this video from the Federal Trade Commission about COVID-19 related scams.

Fake Unemployment Benefits Scams

Due to the pandemic, many people are facing economic hardship and job loss. Scammers are using websites that mimic government unemployment insurance (UI) benefits websites to trick people into divulging their personal information. The Department of Justice has reported that scammers lure people to their fake websites by sending spam text messages and emails that look like legitimate communication from a state workforce agency.
A state workforce agency will not contact you out of the blue via text message or email inviting you to apply for UI benefits. If you receive an unsolicited text or email message that looks like it’s from a state workforce agency:

  • Never click links in an unexpected message claiming to be from a state workforce agency.
  • If you have applied for UI benefits and get a text or email about your application, contact your state workforce agency directly using contact information from its official website.
  • If you need to apply for UI benefits, visit
  • If you gave someone your information, visit to learn what you need to do next.
If you receive a suspicious text message or email, report it to the FTC at Share this information with friends and family to help protect them from scams like this.

Common & Recent Scams

Tech Support Scams

Currently, scammers are pretending to be technical support for well known tech giants, or a representative from an internet service provider. They do this to gain access to your personal computer to install malware, or tell you to install bogus software to get your payment information. Generally, they try to gain access through pop ups on your computer.

Here's what to do:

  1. Don't click. Don't click on any pop up links or enter personal information. You don't want to give a scammer access to your computer or financial information.
  2. Report it. If you spot a scam, even if you fall victim to a scam, report it to the FTC. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP or online at
  3. Tell your friends and family. Help your loved ones protect themselves by sharing this information, it’s the best way for all of us to stay safe online.
For more information about this type of scam, visit

Romance Scams

Online dating has become increasingly popular among singles searching for love. But unfortunately, this popularity has also piqued the interest of scam artists. Scammers use fake profiles to strike up conversations with others on dating and social media web sites. They try to build trust with their targets and will eventually make up a story and ask for money. They will often say they are working outside of the United States and will ask for money, such as to purchase a return airplane ticket, to pay off debts, to pay for surgery or other medical expenses, etc.

How to Avoid Falling for a Romance Scammer
The most important thing to remember is: Never send money or gifts to a sweetheart you haven’t met in person.
If you suspect a romance scam:

  • Stop communicating with the person.
  • ​Talk with trusted family and friends about your situation. Pay attention when they are concerned with your new love interest.
  • Search online about others who may have been scammed by people with similar stories.

If you think it’s a scam, report it to the FTC at Share this information with friends and family to help protect them from scams like this. For more information about Romance Scams, click here.

Money Mule Scams

A money mule scam is when someone sends money to you and asks you to send a portion of it to someone else. They often ask you to use gift cards or wire transfers. The money they are providing you is likely stolen, drug and human trafficking are also common sources of the money, and they’re lying about the reason they need you to send it. The relationship, job, prize or other reason they state is not real and they are trying to use you to launder money.
To protect yourself from these scams:

  • Do not be a middle man. Do not let someone funnel money into your account in order for you to send it to others.
  • Avoid jobs that ask you to transfer money. Don’t send money to a “client” or “supplier” on behalf of a company. It is never wise to use your own bank account for work related things.
  • Never send money to collect a prize. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. No legitimate contest will ever ask you to send money for a prize. Also, if you did not enter to win the prize, be skeptical of anyone claiming to have a prize for you.
  • Don’t send or accept money from an online love interest. Never send money to someone you have never met. It is a bad sign when they start asking you for money.
  • Criminals are experts at making up reasons to get people to help them with their scams. Don’t do it. If you have any concerns, ask a financial professional. And remember to NEVER give out your account information to anyone.

If you think you might be involved in a money mule or money transfer scam, stop transferring money. Notify your financial institution, the wire transfer service and/or any gift card companies involved. Then, report it to the FTC at Share this information with friends and family to help protect them from scams like this.