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fraud prevention center



Each year scam artists and identity thieves steal billions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. These criminals use the phone, email, text messaging, postal mail, and the internet to steal your information or trick you into handing over your money.

Promoting financial literacy is a core credit union mission. On this page you can learn how to recognize common scams and take action if you think you are a victim of fraud.  You can also learn what you can do to protect your finances from fraud.



Knowledge is power when it comes to fraud prevention. Arm yourself with the tools to identify a fraud or scam and what to do if you become a victim of fraud. 


 Learn what steps you can take to prevent and report identity theft.


Get tips for being safe and making the most of your time online.

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Frauds and Scams

Each year, scam artists and identity thieves steal billions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. They use the telephone, email, text messaging, postal mail, and the internet to steal information or trick consumers into handing over money.

  • Common Scams and Frauds
  • Cyber Crime
  • Phishing
  • Scams Targeting Older Adults
  • Fraud Resources

Common Scams and Frauds

Here are a few common scams:

Telemarketing Scams/Phone Number Spoofing - Telemarketing scams try to get you to provide personal or financial information over the phone. They may even come from a number that is close to or exactly like a business you use like the credit union.  

How to Avoid

To avoid unwanted telemarketer and potential scam calls register for the National Do Not Call Registry. Your phone number will be put on the list with only a few, simple steps. You can register here. If you don't recognize the number, simply do not answer the call.  The credit union will never ask you to provide or verify your:

  • Full Social Security Number
  • The last 8 digits of card number
  • Card Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Digital Banking Secure Access Code (SAC)
  • Digital Banking Username
  • Digital Banking Password

If you ever have any concerns about a communication you receive from Boulder Dam Credit Union, hang up, do not click any links, and contact the Credit Union directly to confirm that the call or text is valid.

Job Scams - Fraudsters prey on people who are looking for a job.  They create fake job listings to take advantage of inexperienced job seekers. They gain access to your personal information and use it to drain your bank account.

Red Flags

  • Remote work with high pay.
  • Request advanced payment for training.
  • Ask for personal information during “application process.”

How to Avoid

Only use legitimate job search sites and be careful responding to job offers that are sent over social media.  If it sound too good to be is.

Romance Scams - Also known as - catfishing is fraud that begins when a scammer sets up a fake account, often on a dating website. The fraudsters then wait for an unsuspecting victim to connect with the fake account and they then lead the person along until they feel like they can defraud them in some way.

Red Flags:

  • You’ve never seen them in person or over video chat.
  • The person asks for money.
  • The person tries to guilt you or threaten you if you refuse to pay.

How Avoid

  • Do not send money or personal or financial information to someone you haven't met in person.

Cyber Crime

Cyber crime includes more than fraudulent e-mail messages and fake websites that allow criminals to take your money. A cyber crime may involve tactics using ransomware, where criminals lock you out of your files until they receive a ransom, or phony phone calls, such as criminals pretending to represent a tech support company so they can get your information.

Protect yourself from a range of cyber crimes by taking these precautions:

  • Use a firewall to protect your computer.
  • Encrypt your home Wi-Fi network.
  • Back up your files regularly.
  • Create strong passwords and share them only when necessary.
  • Don’t respond to spam e-mails.
  • Download with caution.
  • Monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent activity.
  • Don’t visit suspicious websites or follow links to sources you don’t trust.
  • Keep your computer current by updating antivirus software, antispyware, operating system, and system patches.
  • Don’t share your personal information with sources you don’t trust, especially pop-ups.
  • Have different passwords for work related and non-work related accounts.
  • When you’re not using your computer, turn it off.
  • Don’t give control of your computer to an unauthorized third party.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation maintains a list of Cyber Crime Stories. Be aware of the latest cyber scams by checking this list and searching the Internet for the most recent cyber scams.

If you are a target of cyber crime, contact your financial institution immediately. Then, report the crime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a joint government collaboration. The IC3 links complaints together to refer them for case consideration. It also uses data to identify emerging trends and patterns.


Phishing is when Internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving them your personal information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details. Legitimate businesses don’t ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels.

For example, a fraudulent e-mail may state that NCUA will add money to the member's account for taking part in a survey. The link embedded in the message directs members to a counterfeit version of NCUA's website with an illicit survey that solicits credit card account numbers and confidential personal information. NCUA will never ask credit union members or the general public for personal account or personally identifiable information as part of a survey.


  • Don’t select links in e-mails that ask for personal information.
  • Never open unexpected attachments.
  • Delete suspicious messages, even if you know the source.

Scams Targeting Older Adults

The elderly are the fastest growing segment of our society and they are also an important part of our country's economy. America's growing older adult population is uniquely vulnerable to a broad range of exploitation and abuse. Financial crimes in particular are targeted at older adults with alarming frequency, and are all too often successful.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Common Fraud Schemes webpage provides tips on how you can protect you and your family from fraud.

Older adults especially should be aware of fraud schemes for the following reasons:

  1. Older citizens are most likely to have a “nest egg,” to own their home, and/or to have excellent credit—all of which make them attractive to con artists.
  2. People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say “no” or just hang up the telephone.
  3. Older adults are less likely to report a fraud because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or don’t know they have been scammed. Elderly victims may not report crimes, for example, because they are concerned that relatives may think the victims no longer have the mental capacity to take care of their own financial affairs.
  4. When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. Con artists know the effects of age on memory, and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to investigators. In addition, the victims’ realization that they have been swindled may take weeks—or more likely, months—after contact with the fraudster. This extended time frame makes it even more difficult to remember details from the events.

Common Fraud Against Seniors

  • Health Care Fraud or Health Insurance Fraud
  • Funeral and Cemetary Fraud
  • Telemarketing Fraud
  • Internet Fraud
  • Investment Schemes
  • Reverse Mortgage Scams

Fraud Resources

AARP Fraud Watch Network​ 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Trade Commission

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

National Association of Attorney Generals (NAAG) ​

U.S. Secret S​ervice


Identity Theft

Learn what steps you can take to prevent and report identity theft.

  • How Thieves Get Your Information
  • Preventing Identity Theft
  • If You Think You are a Victim
  • Identity Theft Resources

Identity (ID) theft is a crime where a thief steals your personal information, such as your full name or Social Security number, to commit fraud. Identity theft affects millions of people each year. The identity thief can use your information to fraudulently apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status, and cost you time and money to restore your good name.

You may not know that you are the victim of ID theft until you experience a financial consequence (mystery bills, credit collections and denied loans) down the road from actions that the thief has taken with your stolen identity.

How Thieves Get Your Information

Identity theft affects people of all ages, races, and nationalities. Anyone can be a victim. Thieves use many tactics to get your information. Some of the most common are:

  • Stealing wallets that contain personal identification information and credit cards.
  • Stealing credit union statements from the mail.
  • Diverting mail from its intended recipients by submitting a change of address form.
  • Rummaging through trash for personal data.
  • Stealing personal identification information from workplace records.
  • Intercepting or otherwise obtaining information transmitted electronically.

Preventing Identity Theft

The items listed below will help you to prevent identity theft:

  • Do not share personal information. Whether over the telephone, through the mail, or on the Internet, do not share your financial account information or Social Security numbers unless you know the person requesting the information is who he or she claims to be.
  • Control access to your financial information. Store your personal information in a safe place, and tear up or shred old credit card and ATM receipts, old account statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
  • Protect your PINs and other passwords. Avoid using easily available information such as your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number, or your phone number, as identity thieves can use this information to access your accounts.
  • Carry only the minimum amount of identifying information and number of credit cards that you need.
    Monitor billing cycles and statements. Contact the credit union if you do not receive a monthly bill. It may mean that an identity theft diverted the bill.
  • Check account statements carefully. Ensure that you authorized all charges, share drafts, or withdrawals on the statement.
  • Guard your mail from theft. If you have the type of mailbox with a flag to signal that the box contains mail, do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox with the flag raised. Instead, deposit them in a post office collection box or at the local post office. Remove incoming mail promptly.
  • Monitor your credit report. Consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each credit reporting agency annually. 
  • Opt out of pre-approved credit cards, direct mail lists and telephone solicitation.

To stop receiving pre-approved credit card offers, request to opt out online or call 888-5-OPT-OUT (567-8688).

To reduce the number of phone solicitations you receive from national marketers, register for the National Do Not Call Registry.

If You Think You are a Victim

If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, use the Identity Theft Checklist.

  • Place a fraud alert with the credit reporting agencies.
  • Order credit reports from the credit reporting agencies to review and identify inaccuracies.
  • Create an identity theft report, which involves obtaining an Identity Theft Affidavit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and filing a police report.

Additionally, order new credit or debit cards for any accounts involved in the theft. Or, you may want to close the accounts altogether.

For more information about what to do next, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft center, or call the identity theft hotline at 877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).

Identity Theft Resources

The Federal Trade Commission has launched, a resource that makes it easier for identity theft victims to report and recover from identity theft. A Spanish version of the site is also available at

The website provides an interactive checklist that walks people through the recovery process and helps them understand which recovery steps should be taken upon learning their identity has been stolen. It also provides sample letters and other helpful resources.

In addition, the site offers specialized tips for specific forms of identity theft, including tax-related and medical identity theft. The site also has advice for people who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach.

Online Security

Be Smart Online. The internet makes many everyday tasks faster and more convenient, like shopping, researching products, banking, searching for health information, and communicating on the go. Get tips for being safe and making the most of your time online.

  • Website Legitimacy
  • Tips for Keeping Your Personal Information Safe and Secure
  • Protect Kids Online

Website Legitimacy

Before you do anything on a website, ensure the URL is correct. Many scammers use URLs that deliberately look very similar to a real business, but link to a copycat website. Scammers hope to lure you into the “evil twin” website to trick you into giving them personal information such as your account number and password.

If you have doubts that you’re on the right page you can retype the URL into your browser, conduct an internet search for the business name, and see if the same website is in the top listing. You can also read the website’s “About Us” section to look for information about the business.

Tips for Keeping Your Personal Information Safe and Secure

Always be cautious! Keep your personal information personal and protect yourself from cyber criminals by following these ABCs:


  • Protect your phone from hackers. Your cell phone holds some of your most sensitive personal information, such as your passwords and account numbers, emails, text messages, photos, and videos. If your phone ends up in the wrong hands, someone could steal your identity, buy things with your money, or hack into your email or social media accounts. To protect your phone, keep it locked when not in use. Keep your software updated and keep your data backed up.
  • Secure your computer. Never leave it unlocked or unattended in public areas. Scammers can easily capture your data or hack into your system while you aren’t looking.
  • Keep your software up to date. Maintain your security settings to keep your information safe by turning on automatic updates, so you don’t have to think about it and set your security software to run regular scans. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense against viruses and malware is to update to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with anti-virus software. 


  • Be aware of scams and phishing attempts. Think before you click! If the promise looks too good to be true, it probably is. Hackers and scammers may be luring you to a website with a virus designed to steal your information. Cybercriminals also use phishing tactics using a familiar site to get you to click on links and attachments. Be vigilant about protecting your information from cyber criminals. When available. Use the “junk” or “block” option to no longer receive messages from a particular sender.
  • Be diligent about password protocols. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each account.
  • Be a hard target by layering your security whenever possible. This means enabling and using two-factor or multi-factor authentication on your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token.


  • Don’t log into your sensitive accounts on public networks that offer free WiFi.
  • Don’t put all your information on social media sites. Never click and tell. Limit what information you post on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to grab a coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all those criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings—online and in the real world. Keep Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday, and even vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are—and where you aren’t—at any given time.
  • Don’t assume that apps aren’t collecting your information in the background. Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized that you approved. These apps gather your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
  • For more information, check out the FTC’s Online Privacy and Security guidance.

Protect Kids Online

Kids have lots of opportunities for socializing online, but they come with certain risks. Parents can help reduce these risks by talking to kids about making safe, responsible decisions.

  • The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) helps you protect your children's privacy. Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), COPPA requires websites to get parental consent before collecting or sharing information from children who are under 13 years old.
  • Take advantage of your COPPA rights. Your child's personal information is valuable, and you can do a lot to protect it.
  • The FTC offers an online toolkit of free resources to help you teach people in your community about kids’ online safety.

We appreciate your help in fighting fraud! 

Your security will always be our top priority. That’s why our Fraud Prevention resources are continually updated to keep you informed on how to spot the latest scams. Remember, if it seems too good to be true... it probably is. 


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