Unfortunately, more and more Americans have their identities stolen every year. We strive to provide our members with information that may be helpful in preventing, detecting, and protecting against identity theft and other internet, mail, and telephone scams.
Emerald Credit Union will never request personal information about our members by email or text messaging. Personal information includes account numbers, passwords, personal identification information, or any other confidential information.
Don't Let Fraudsters Steal Your COVID-19 Stimulus Payment
As stimulus payments begin to arrive from the federal government, you should be on the lookout for thieves trying to get their hands on your money. Use these tips to help avoid scams related to your stimulus payment:
- Don’t fall for scams claiming you need to pay money in order to receive your stimulus payment. The government will not ask for any upfront payment.
- Watch out for anyone telling you they can get you an instant payment or speed up the process. Do not provide personal information or pay a “processing fee” to supposedly receive a quicker payment. According to the government, payments through direct deposit could go out within three weeks, but it may be longer, especially if you are expecting a paper check.
- The government will not call asking for your Social Security number, credit/debit card, or credit union account numbers. Do not disclose any PayPal information – a PayPal account is not necessary to receive your stimulus payment. All payments will be processed through direct deposit to a credit union or bank account or sent via mail as a paper check.
- If you receive a stimulus check, and it is for an odd amount of money (i.e. $1499.50), or if it states you need to verify the check online or over the phone, it is a scam.
- You should receive a paper notification in the mail a couple weeks after your payment is sent, letting you know where and when it was sent. If you cannot locate your payment at that point, call the IRS at a legitimate phone number.
For more information, visit the IRS website and other legitimate government agency websites.
Outbreak of Scams Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thieves and fraudsters prey on fear and uncertainty. We want members prepared to fight an outbreak of coronavirus-related scams with knowledge and good practices.
- Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or other "expert" sources with special advice or information about coronavirus. Legitimate information is available for free on the CDC’s website.
- Ignore online advertisements promoting cures for coronavirus. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “There currently are no vaccines, pills, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) online or in stores.”
- Research nonprofit organizations and crowdfunding campaigns before donating. A database of registered charities is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website. Never donate with cash, gift cards, wire transfers, or prepaid money cards - They are the preferred payment methods of scammers.
- Be cautious of anyone going door-to-door offering coronavirus testing, temperature readings, or requesting personal information. Call law enforcement immediately if you see a suspicious person.
- Beware of emails and other attempts to “phish” for your personal, financial, and medical information. When in doubt, do not share. If the source claims to be your credit union or a government agency, confirm they are legitimate by calling the organization at a phone number that you have verified.
Please use the links below to learn more about other common types of fraud and scams.
Online Banking Security
Charity Scams & Ticket Scams
Investment Scams & IRS Imposter
Tax-Related Identity Theft & Census-Related Fraud
Lottery or Sweepstakes Scams & Pyramid Schemes