Avoiding Fraud

Here at Maine Savings, we exist for our members­ – making sure you keep as much of your hard-earned money as possible. Here are some of the fraud trends we are seeing that continue to impact the financial well-being of our members­:

Shopping and Lottery Scams Fraudsters will convince you to accept a check and send a portion back to them, saying that those funds are for taxes or fees. They might even overpay you for an online purchase, requesting that the overpayment be sent to them. They will even try to recruit you to be a “Secret Shopper” and ask you to take money from the counterfeit check to purchase gift cards.

Romance Scams Fraudsters will work hard to gain your trust and loyalty. Once they have, they will manipulate you into deceptive acts such as asking for your Digital Banking or Mobile Banking credentials. They may even ask you to wire money to them to help them with certain “unexpected” expenses. It also isn’t uncommon for them to send you a counterfeit check, again asking you to send a portion back to them.

Computer takeovers Fraudsters will contact you and insist they are from a reputable company like Microsoft® or Norton™, stating that you have a virus on your computer and that they want to remove it by requesting access to your computer. Once they have access, they will actually install malware or ransomware and will demand funds to restore it.

Payday Loans Fraudsters will approve a Payday Loan and then will ask you to send a portion of that loan back to them.

IRS or Medicare Fraud Fraudsters will attempt to convince you they are a government employee and demand funds to avoid “prosecution” for IRS or Medicare related situations.

Here are some important tips to avoid being a victim of fraud:

  1. Always consult with a representative of Maine Savings if you have received a check or funds that you were not expecting.
  2. Never send “overpayments”, “taxes”, or gift card information to anyone that is asking, or even demanding it. More times than not, once these funds or information is sent, there is no way to recover it.
  3. When purchasing items on online, take extra steps to ensure that these funds will actually be for a purchase. Be leery of generous offers like free shipping for a car or a camper. Again, please contact Maine Savings to discuss the specifics and we will be happy to review the wiring instructions, correspondence with the seller, etc.
  4. Never give out your Digital Banking credentials, debit or credit card information, or your personal information such as Date of Birth, Social Security Number, or account numbers.
  5. If you receive a call saying that your computer has a virus on it, take it to a professional for review. Often, the cost to have a professional review your computer is less than paying for the ransomware demand. Another proactive step that can be taken is to disconnect it from the internet, including the wi-fi.
  6. Last but definitely not least, hang the phone up when you receive these calls and even go one step further to block the number. This step alone could save you losing money that you work so hard to earn. We often hear from our members that the fraudsters are very demanding and convincing in their tactics. This is a huge red flag and the best course of action is to stop any and all communications.