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          4 min read

          Scams to Watch Out For During the Pandemic

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          In trying times like these, many scams have been reported in the Oklahoma City metro and WEOKIE is here to help you understand what to look for when it comes to scammers. Identity theft can happen to anyone and it’s important to know what to look for or how to prevent it. Whether you are a member at WEOKIE and received a suspicious call or email or you are concerned that you are being targeted by scammers in light of the pandemic, here are some helpful tips.

          Identity Theft

          Identity theft, in its simplest form, occurs when someone obtains and misuses your personal information without your permission, and often times without any knowledge of the activity by you. You should know about identity theft and what steps you can take to minimize your risk of potential identity theft or fraud. We recommend that you remain vigilant by reviewing account statements and monitoring free credit reports for the next 12 to 24 months and notify the credit union if identity theft is suspected. A fraud alert instructs creditors to watch for unusual or suspicious activity on your accounts and provides creditors with notice to contact you before approving an extension of credit. To place a free fraud alert, contact one of the three national credit reporting agencies listed below. (You do not need to contact all three agencies, the agency you contact will forward the fraud alert to the other two agencies on your behalf.) An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for 90 days. If you determine that you are a fraud victim you may place a 7-year victim statement on your credit report.

          Equifax Office of Fraud Assistance
          P.O. Box 105069
          Atlanta, GA 30348
          (888) 766-0008

          Experian Credit Fraud Center
          P.O. Box 9532
          Allen, TX 75013
          (888) 397-3742

          TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance
          P.O. Box 6790
          Fullerton, CA 92834
          (800) 680-7289

          Coronavirus Stimulus Check Scams

          Scammers are using these stimulus payments to try to rip people off. Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission that can help you if you encounter a scam.

          • Hang up on robot calls
          • Fact check information
          • Know who you are buying from
          • Don’t respond to calls, texts, or emails about money from the government.
          • Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC. They do NOT email people directly.
          • Only use irs.gov/coronavirus to submit information to the IRS and never in response to a call, text, or email.
          • The IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment or to ask for your Social Security Number, banking account number or any other information. Anyone who does this is a scammer looking for your information.

          Unemployment Scams in OKC

          In a report by Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, (OESC), there have been more than 51,000 claims for unemployment since March of 2020 in Oklahoma alone. In the rise of unemployment, there have been at least 3,800 fraudulent claims filed at the start of March 2020 as well.

          If you have filed for unemployment and haven’t received your checks/payments, it could be that someone may have stolen your identity and claimed your checks.

          For those who find themselves a victim of a fraudulent unemployment claim, you should:

          1. Contact the personnel department at the place of employment so they can file a fraud claim.
          2. Call the OESC fraud department at 405.557.7157 or email at fraud@oesc.state.ok.us
          3. File a fraud report with the local police department.
          4. Contact major credit bureaus, including Experian, Transunion, and Equifax, since the breach involves social security numbers, birth dates, and other personal information.
          5. Contact your banking institution to make them aware of the situation.

          “Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter encourages these fraud victims to email his office and fill out a claim form to help his office investigate these claims.”

          If you are someone who never filed for unemployment but have received a letter in the mail claiming you have filed, you should:

          1. Alert your employer
          2. Alert the police
          3. Report the incident to the state in which the imposter claim was filed. Affected Oklahoma employees should report any fraudulent unemployment filing to fraud@oesc.state.ok.us
          4. Report the incident to the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Protection at https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/report-identity-theft

          Here is a full list of Coronavirus Fraud Resources to help keep you informed and protected.

          Reported WEOKIE Suspicious Call

          There have been an increased number of phone and email scams reported where individuals are posing as credit union employees in an attempt to obtain personal and financial information from its members.

          WEOKIE will never ask for debit or credit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN), social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, passwords or other electronic banking credentials via email, text message or phone unless the member initiated the contact with the credit union.

          If you do receive a suspicious call or email from an individual posing as a WEOKIE employee, please contact us immediately at 405.235.3030.

          If you spot a scam, please report it.

                                                                                                                                                          Federally Insured by NCUA

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