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How to Spot a Scam



Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to scam you out of your money.

Scammers rely on your unfamiliarity with the issue at hand and prey on your trust to convince you that actions need to be taken. This may involve giving up personal information like your social security number, or asking you to deposit a check and send some of the proceeds back to them, or even telling you that a serious issue was found with your computer that only they can help repair.

If you feel pressured, nervous, or uneasy by a phone call, email, or text message you have received, STOP and talk to someone. Tell a spouse or partner, close friend, or other trusted resource such as your financial institution to seek advice. At BFSFCU we are always ready to listen and assist you!

Scammers thrive on the unknown and will pressure you into making hasty decisions without allowing you the time to think. Your trusted network can be the sounding board you need to sort through what is occurring.

Common Scams

If anyone has pressured you into doing any of the following, stop, it is a scam! Some of the most common scammer requests include the following:

  • Someone tells you that there is an issue with your computer and you need to provide remote access in order to fix it.
  • Someone asks you to purchase gift cards and provide them with the codes on the back.
  • Someone tells you to lie to the bank teller or bank employee.
  • Someone tells you to send a Zelle® payment to a person you do not know.
  • Someone convinces you that your computer is at risk, and you need to pay a fee in order to resolve it.
  • Someone advises you not to share any information with your family or friends about what has happened.
  • Someone asks you to withdraw cash and to call them back when you return home.
  • Someone asks for the automated verification code sent from your bank.
  • Someone tells you to send a wire transfer to a person you don’t know.
  • Someone tells you there is an immediate deadline or that funds must be received within 24 hours.
  • Someone has sent you an email with a charge that you didn’t authorize or recognize and provided a phone number to call.

What to do in case you fall victim to a scam?

If you see yourself in one of the situations listed above, call your financial institution IMMEDIATELY. Contact BFSFCU at +1 (202) 212-6400. We will guide you through the next steps. If you are still in touch with the scammers, stop and cut off all communication. If you have fallen victim to a scam, you can file a report of scam with the Federal Trade Commission

More Information

Keeping up with all the types of Scams isn’t easy but is essential to prevent scammers from succeeding. For additional information on the types of scams and updates surrounding them, the FTC sends consumer alerts by email. To be notified, please visit the FTC Website and select ‘Get Consumer Alerts’. The FTC provides videos, resources, and additional information on how these scams function so that you can be informed.

For information on specific types of scams and how they are carried out, visit our Scams page.