4 Scams to Watch Out for this Black Friday

Black Friday ScamsBlack Friday has traditionally been the day that ignites the holiday shopping season, sending masses of crowds through retailers across the nation. Unfortunately, it’s also a day that spawns a season of shopping scams.

Here are four scams to watch out for on Black Friday and throughout the holiday shopping season:

  1. The Amazon Prime service fraud scam

In this ruse, a scammer posing as an Amazon representative, will call to notify a target about an alleged problem with their Prime account. The victim is prompted to download a tool onto their computer or mobile device so the caller can gain remote access for “helping them resolve the problem” at hand. They’ll then be instructed to log onto their banking account so the caller can be compensated for their time. Unfortunately, this will give the scammer free reign over the victim’s accounts.

  1. Phishing emails

In these scams, the victim receives an email allegedly sent by Amazon or another large retailer, asking them to verify or update their account. Or, it might be to supposedly confirm an order. By using the link dropped into the email, the user will give their personal information directly to the scammer.

  1. Delivery issues

Delivery scams generally take the form of a message appearing to be from UPS or another delivery service, informing the victim of a “delivery issue” with an order. They’ll be asked to confirm or update their info using a provided link. Doing so gives the scammer access to their financial information and opens the door to identity theft and more.

  1. Non-delivery scam

This scam involves a purchased gift that never arrives. Unfortunately, the seller disappears after payment, leaving the victim with no way of notifying them about the no-show or for requesting a refund.

Avoid Black Friday scams

  • Never grant a stranger access to your device and/or accounts.
  • Don’t open links sent in emails from unverified contacts.
  • Never share sensitive information with an unknown contact.
  • Keep the privacy and spam settings on your devices at their strongest settings.
  • If you have an issue with an ordered item, contact the retailer directly through their site.
  • When shopping on a new site, look for a physical address, a customer service number and copy that’s free of spelling errors.

Stay safe!

If you receive something suspicious via text, email, or mail, related to your financial accounts please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are unsure.  

Your Turn: Have you encountered a scam like this before? Tell us about it on Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter, or Instagram @FreedomFedCU.

 

Mortgage Payment Scams

Scam AlertThe Mortgage Payment Scam has been around a long time. Mortgages are recorded in the local county courthouse and are therefore public information.  It is just as easy for a criminal to get a hold of this information as anyone else, so be mindful of any solicitations you get in the mail regarding your property.

How does it work?

A member may receive a letter from a company other than their known mortgage company indicating that they purchased their Freedom mortgage and future payments are to be make to them, not us.  This is the entire SCAM.  Freedom does not sell the servicing of our mortgages to anyone.  If you receive such a letter, please disregard and report it back to us.

How can I protect myself from this type of scam?

Do:

  • Be wary of any solicitations demanding immediate payment or warning that you are late on a payment that is not from your known mortgage provider.
  • Call your mortgage provider to confirm that there have been no changes to your loan servicing agreement.
  • Report the letter to your credit union.
  • Use the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s online portal to file a mortgage-related complaint
  • Report any suspected scams to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Don’t let those crooks walk free!

 Don’t:

  • Make a payment to anyone who is not your known mortgage lender without verified proof from your original lender.
  • Share any personal information with an unverified contact. If it’s personal info, make sure to keep it that way!
  • Click on links or download files from an unfamiliar email address.

Stay safe!

Freedom keeps all loans, including mortgages, in house for the duration of the loan term.  Your loans will not be sold to any other management company.  If you receive something suspicious via text, email, or mail, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are unsure.  

Your Turn: Have you encountered a scam like this before? Tell us about it on Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter, or Instagram @FreedomFedCU.

 

Important Information Regarding Freedom Federal Credit Union Lobby Availability

Dear Members,

With the recent decision from state and local government to lift mask and social distancing mandates, Freedom has re-evaluated current branch lobby availability protocols. We are pleased to announce that effective June 1, 2021, lobby access in all Freedom branches will be available on a walk-in basis.  This means that all banking transactions will be available in our lobbies, as well as through our drive-thrus, without the need for an appointment.

Also effective June 1, Branch hours will be as follows:

Park Ave, Fountain Green, and Forest Lakes

Lobby:

Monday-Thursday: 9am-5pm
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 9am-1pm

Drive-Thru

Monday-Friday. 9am-6pm
Saturday, 9am-1pm

Swan Creek

Lobby:

Monday-Thursday: 9am-5pm
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 9am-1pm

Edgewood:

Lobby and Drive Thru

Monday-Wednesday: 8am-3pm
Thursday-Friday: 8am-5pm

To reduce the amount of time you are in a branch, we continue to encourage you to use our Appointment Scheduler or call 800-440-4120 to make an appointment for non-teller transactions such as opening a new membership, applying for a loan or credit card and setting up a new share certificate, Money Market, or IRA account.

PLEASE NOTE: For security reasons, as of June 1, you will be required to remove any face coverings such as masks, gaiters, hats and/or sunglasses upon entering any Freedom branch. There will be no exceptions to this rule. If you are uncomfortable with removing your mask, please continue to use the drive-thru, call us at 800-440-4120, or use online or mobile banking.

The health and safety of our employees and members continues to be an absolute priority.  As such, you will still see plexiglass partitions at each teller station and service desk.  Employees may be wearing masks and gloves during your transaction. Hand sanitizer will also be available throughout the branches.

So much has changed over the last year but our commitment to you, our members, has only gotten stronger. We continue to expand opportunities to enhance access for our members with technology, new locations, like the new branch coming soon to Honeygo Village Center, and the expansion of access within our current branches.

As always, we thank you for your ongoing trust and confidence in Freedom.

Sincerely,

CEO Signature

Michael MacPherson
President and CEO
Freedom Federal Credit Union