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Fraud and Scams

Learn how to detect fraudulent checks and prevent scams.

Unfortunately, fraud and scams are unavoidable in today’s world (not unpreventable, though). There are varying types of serious fraud and varying types of scams. Sometimes it can feel like someone is always trying to scam you. Scam text messages are as common as scammers calling you, and scam emails are still prevalent. A friendly reminder is to ALWAYS verify you know the sender, and NEVER give personal information about yourself or others out via email, text, or even over the phone unless you called a verified phone number.    

If you are concerned about possible fraud on your NorthRidge account, please contact our fraud department as soon as possible: 1-833-285-1749

Preventing Scams

The best way to prevent scams is by being alert and aware. Scams that are becoming more popular involve dating apps and online dating. Scammers get victims to chat with them after “matching” on an app. They will send photos and other anecdotes to convince the victim they are who they say they are. Then they eventually convince the victim to send them money. Sometimes this happens repeatedly with the same scammer and victim, and the victim sends money regularly, sometimes over several months, before finding out they’ve been scammed. Be alert, be vigilant, and never send money or personal information to anyone you’ve never met in person.

online dating scams

Scam text messages are becoming more popular, and sometimes they are very convincing. If you receive a text from a phone number that you do not recognize, claiming to be someone you know, contact that person via the contact information you already have for them. Do not reply to the unknown number.

Email scams are also getting more convincing. Do not click links in emails you were not expecting, and do not reply. Confirm the legitimacy by doing your own quick web search on the supposed sender. Also, think about where you may have recently left your email address (maybe on a new website you found and wanted to get a discount code, etc.).

Detecting Fraudulent Checks

Fraudulent checks are one of the most common frauds committed. They are so widespread with so many different types that it’s impossible to determine just how many people are affected. Protect yourself by learning how to detect fraudulent checks. Follow these steps to detect some of the most common signs of fraudulent checks:

  1. Research the financial institution on the check. Do a quick web search to find out if the issuing bank or credit union exists. This may seem silly, but there are many, many scammers that send checks from a financial institution that sounds like it is legitimate.
  2. Contact the issuing financial institution. During your web search, if you find the bank or credit union does exist, contact them by a number you find on their actual website (not with contact information you may find on the check). When you are speaking with someone at that financial institution, inform them that you want to confirm the check was issued by them and give them as much information as you can about the check.
  3. Study the check. Many fraudulent checks are done so well that it can be very difficult to tell that it is fake. A closer look can expose flaws, though. Watermarks are typically of poor quality on fake checks. Examine the edges of a check, if there are no perforations on any of the sides, it likely came from a printer. Also look for any missing information like a logo from the bank or credit union, a check number, or the financial institution’s contact information. If any of that pertinent information is not present, the check is likely to be fraudulent.

By being suspicious of things that just “feel” a little off, you can protect yourself from falling victim to frauds and scams. You cannot be over-cautious when it comes to YOUR money and YOUR financial wellness!

fake check scams