Quarterly Staff Column: “Scam Phone Calls”

As we start a new year, it’s important to remember to be on the lookout to protect your personal information and your accounts. Most of the account breaches we see involve members inadvertently giving their own information out to untrustworthy people. Fraudsters and scammers often impersonate officials, retailers, financial institutions, and even celebrities, to make themselves sound credible and coerce people into giving them information. If you receive a call that you aren’t expecting, here are some things to be on the lookout for.

Do you know who is calling? Capitol View has a small staff, so you usually know which member of staff you’re talking to. We also partner with Shazam and Co-Op for our debit and credit cards. If someone calling is claiming to be from Capitol View, don’t be afraid to end the call and call us directly, to ensure you’re talking to your credit union, and not a fraudster.

Are they creating a sense of urgency or panic? Often, fraudsters will claim that you or a loved one is in trouble or that an unusually large amount of money is being taken from your account. Their goal is to get you scared enough so you don’t think clearly and tell them what they want to know. It’s important to stay calm and slow down. Remember you can always call us, or whatever company they say they’re from, directly and using a phone number that you know is associated with the company instead of the phone number the suspicious call gives you.

Are they asking you to run errands? Sometimes, people are asked to go to a store and purchase gift cards or cryptocurrency. They might even be asked to download new apps to their phones. If they request you do something unusual, trust your instincts! Legitimate organizations won’t ask you to buy gift cards and mail them.

Be cautious when answering calls from unknown numbers! You can always send the calls to voicemail. Most scammers won’t bother to leave a message. Don’t give out account numbers or social security numbers to callers, and when in doubt, call us at 515-348-8350.

Alyse Weishaar
Member Services Representative