USC Credit Union Blog

USC Credit Union Blog

Prevent Scams & Fraud: 5 Pinch-Proof Tips

Fraud Email (1)

Don't let scams and fraud catch you off guard. Protect your identity and money with these 5 pinch-proof tips!


Scammers can obtain your card information by placing an electronic device over an existing card reader at gas pumps, ATMs, and point-of-sale terminals. Before swiping your card, inspect the terminal to ensure it hasn't been tampered with. Be wary of privately-owned ATMs, always block your PIN, and consider using your mobile wallet for purchases since your information is encrypted and tokenized.

#2 ☘️ Avoid Texting "STOP" to Unknown Numbers and Replying to Suspicious Emails

If you respond, scammers may take it as confirmation that your phone number or email address is active, leading to more unsolicited texts and emails. In addition, your contact information can be exploited to access other people's data, otherwise known as phishing.

#3 ☘️ Never Perform Banking through Public Wi-Fi 

Wi-Fi provided at public locations may not be secure and exposes you to potential cybersecurity attacks and malware. Online banking or accessing sensitive personal data should only be conducted over a secure network or VPN. You can take these steps from the FTC* to protect your home Wi-Fi network.

#4 ☘️ Recognize Tax Scams

Tax season is an opportune time for scammers to steal your personal information or capitalize on the data they already have. Common scenarios include demands or threats from fake IRS representatives and false tax returns to obtain your refund. To prevent tax-related identity theft, file your tax return as early as possible, use a trusted tax preparer, and regularly monitor your credit report and accounts.

#5 ☘️ Beware of Digital Payment Scams

When using Zelle®, only send money to those you trust**. Once you authorize a payment to be sent, you can't cancel it if the recipient is already enrolled. To learn about other scams and ways to protect yourself, visit*.

Luck won't protect you against scams and fraud.

It's important to remain vigilant to safeguard your identity and accounts.

USC Credit Union is committed to keeping your information safe and secure. Please feel free to activate account alerts through Online Banking and contact us anytime to report suspicious activity. 

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