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Common Scams


There’s no typical fraud victim. Scammers don’t care who you are, how old you are, or how much you earn. Anybody is fair game. Here are some common scams.

Seller Beware
  • Buyers in foreign countries offer to pay shipping charges and scam people who sell merchandise online.
  • The buyer express-delivers a Cashier’s Check for more than the selling price, and the check appears to be drawn on a U.S. bank.
  • The buyer then asks the seller to return the overpayment by Western Union or MoneyGram.
  • Here’s the scam—the Cashier’s Check is not valid. But by the time it’s returned as unpaid, the seller is overdrawn and responsible for the funds.

  • You receive a letter or phone call telling you you’ve won a big lottery prize in a lottery you never entered.
  • Then you’re told that you must send money before you can collect.
  • Legitimate lottery and sweepstakes administrators never charge fees to deliver your prize. If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is!

Myths about Cashier’s Checks & Money Orders
  • Don’t think that because you received a Cashiers Check or money order that it’s as good as cash.
  • Advanced laser printers are making it easier for fraudsters to produce realistic-looking fakes, and financial institutions and post offices have both reported a dramatic increase in counterfeit activity.
  • If you receive a Cashier’s Check or money order from someone you don’t know, don’t assume it’s legitimate—fakes can be returned unpaid, resulting in losses to our members.
  • Federal regulations dictate the length of time a financial institution must make funds available to consumers. The release of funds on a deposit is not assurance that the Cashier’s Check has been presented and paid. On the contrary, if a check is returned unpaid, it is not received by the accepting financial institution until several days or up to two weeks from the date it was deposited.

Red Flags for Fraud

If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for anything from anybody that asks you for personal information or for money up front.

  • Never provide your account number, Social Security number or routing number. This information can be used to withdraw money from your account.
  • Don’t get involved with an online buyer from another country.
  • Don’t accept overpayments from buyers.
  • Don’t respond to e-mails, letters or faxes asking you to “deposit or clear money” through your account. When in doubt, delete! Or forward scam e-mails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • Don’t respond to winning lottery letters on lotteries you didn’t enter.
  • If you’ve been asked to “wire,” “send,” or “ship” money to someone you don’t know—DON’T. Recent scams have come from Canada, England, and Nigeria.

What To Do

If you think you may have been a victim of a financial scam, contact us at 800.XFCU.222 right away so we can take the steps necessary to secure your accounts.

If you’ve been contacted by a scam artist, report them to the Federal Trade Commission or call 877.FTC.HELP.

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