Fraud Prevention

Common Scams and Fraud Prevention

Tech Support

Tech support scams occur when a fraudster calls and pretends to be from a well-known technology company. They will often tell the recipient of the call that their computer is infected or malfunctioning in some way and that they need to be allowed to remote in to “fix” the issue. Often, once they remote in, they install malicious software on the computer and then charge the victim a large amount of money to remove the software.

Technology companies will never initiate an unsolicited call to a consumer in order to provide tech support of any kind.

Romance or “Sweetheart” Scams

As online dating has become more prevalent, so too have romance or “sweetheart” scams. These often begin with a well-meaning individual making a connection with a scammer on a dating site. The scammer usually spends a lot of time gaining the confidence of the well-meaning individual and once this is achieved, they will use the relationship to trick the well-meaning person into sending them money, divulging personal information, or even moving money for them as a mule in a money laundering scheme.

Work from Home

Work from Home scams are too-good-to-be-true jobs often offered through online classifieds. They usually offer huge salaries in return for doing very little work and they often involve moving money around. The “employee” is actually a money mule that is (usually) unknowingly taking part in an illegal money laundering scheme.


Overpayment scams occur when someone is selling something through a classified ad and a scammer overpays for the item; usually with a check. Once the payment has been received, the scammer will make an excuse for why they over paid and ask the seller to refund the overage. In some cases they may ask to cancel the sale and request the entire amount be sent back to them. They typically request the refund via online banking transfer, Western Union, or pre-loaded Gift Card. Once the funds have been returned, the check (or other payment method) the scammer paid with will bounce. At this point, the victim is out the amount of the fraudulent payment and often responsible to pay their financial institution back for the associated losses.


Sweepstakes/Lottery scams occur when someone “wins” a lottery they didn’t enter. The “winner” is asked to send money to cover the cost of taxes and sometimes shipping in order to have their “winnings” sent to them.

If you ever receive a message saying that you’ve won a lottery that you didn’t enter, it’s a scam. Additionally, a legitimate lottery will not ask you to remit payment before you receive your winnings.

Card Cracking

There are many scams lurking on social media, one such scam is Card Cracking. Card Cracking scams are often disguised as giveaways, but there are numerous scenarios. The characteristics of the scam, regardless of the ruse, are usually very similar. A scammer asks for your card or bank account information in order to deposit checks into your account, typically through mobile deposit. They will then move the money out, usually electronically. This is all done very quickly because the scammer knows that the checks they deposited will bounce. Once the checks bounce, the victim is out the amount of the fraudulent checks and often responsible to pay their financial institution back for the associated losses.

Protect Your Account Information

  • Your account information is listed on your checks so use caution when writing checks to other individuals or businesses.
  • Mail theft is a common way for fraudsters to obtain your account and personal information. Protect yourself from identity theft and account fraud by limiting the information you send or receive in your physical mail.
  • Place checks directly in a secure USPS mailbox instead of storing them in your mailbox.
  • Use Bill Pay to reduce the number of checks you send by mail.
  • Sign up for online statements to reduce the amount of account information in your mailbox.
  • If your account information is needed for direct deposit, only provide it to verified businesses or individuals with whom you are familiar or have done business with in-person.
Contact Us

If you suspect someone has gained unauthorized access to your account, contact WECU immediately at 800-525-8703.

To report a card lost or stolen after hours, call 866-767-0814 (credit) or 844-909-1628 (debit).

If you are traveling outside the U.S. call collect at any time 415-805-4639 (credit) or 415-805-4713 (debit).

Report Fraud

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