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Common Scams

Learn how to protect yourself against common scams

Cybercrimes are on the rise, but TDECU keeps you informed about the most common financial scams. Learn more about how to prevent phishing and vishing, secret shopper scams, malvertising, social engineering, and malware.

Phishing and vishing: What are they?

Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information, such as your username, password, and credit card details, through email and instant messaging.

Vishing is when scammers use fake phone numbers or email addresses to pose as trusted people or organizations, such as a TDECU employee or security officer, to gain access to your bank details, credit card numbers, and other personal information.

How to protect yourself from phishing scams:

How to protect yourself from phishing scams:

  1. Use security software

    Install security software on your computer and set it to automatically update.

  2. Protect your smartphone

    Set your smartphone to automatically update to the latest software version.

  3. Use multi-factor authentication

    Two authentication methods makes it more difficult for fraudsters to access your private information.

  4. Back up your data

    Keep your personal data safe, such as on a secondary hard drive.

  5. Know our security policy

    TDECU will NEVER ask for your personal information, such as your Social Security number.

How to protect yourself from vishing scams:

How to protect yourself from vishing scams:

  1. Be suspicious of unknown callers

    Do not give callers your personal information. Hang up and block the numbers.

  2. Do not trust caller ID

    Be aware of caller ID spoofing. Make sure you know all callers before answering.

  3. Ask callers questions

    Ask suspicious callers who they are, who they work for, and their phone number.

  4. Do not press buttons or respond to prompts

    If you get an automated message, hang up and block the number.

  5. Register with the National Do Not Call Registry

    Adding your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry can help reduce, but not eliminate, spam callers.

Report suspected phishing

To report a suspicious TDECU email, text, phone call, or suspicious website, notify us at phishing@tdecu.org.

Report suspicious activity

If you took action on a suspicious TDECU email, text, phone call, or suspicious website, both report to us at phishing@tdecu.org and go to your Member Center. We will set up safeguards around your account.

Secret shopper scams: What are they?

Secret shopper scams can appear as legitimate job postings for mystery shoppers at retail stores. However, these fraudulent shopper programs will often ask you to wire money using Western Union or MoneyGram. If a secret shopper opportunity is legitimate, you will never be asked to pay an application fee, deposit a check, or transfer funds to someone else.

Protect yourself from secret shopper scams

Keep your money free of scams

Keep your money free of scams

Never pay anyone to get a job in the secret shopper retail business.

Do not accept money from strangers

Do not accept money from strangers

Do not deposit checks from people you do not know — it is likely a scam.

Be cautious of jobs with outlandish rewards or cash payments

Be cautious of jobs with outlandish rewards or cash payments

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Malvertising: What is it?

Malvertising is the use of online advertising to spread malware. Typically, it involves injecting malicious ads into legitimate websites. Fraudsters host these ads on reputable websites, which gives them access to unprotected web users who are not keeping their personal information safe behind a firewall. 

How to protect yourself from malvertising

Keep your computer up to date

Keep your computer up to date

Regularly update your operating system, browsers, and most-used programs.

Use antivirus software

Use antivirus software

Install the latest versions to block malicious software.

Use ad blockers

Use ad blockers

Avoid downloading malware in online ads.

Social engineering: What is it?

Social engineering is a scam that involves manipulating people into sharing their personal information, like passwords, bank information, computer access, and more. Typically, the scammers pose as trusted sources through emails, instant messages, or texts. Common scams include installing antivirus software and refinancing homes.

How to protect yourself from social engineering

Reject offers or requests for help

Reject offers or requests for help

If you did not reach out for help, do not engage with the people offering services.

Keep your computers secure and up to date

Keep your computers secure and up to date

Install antivirus software, firewalls, and email filters, and update them regularly.

Set spam filters to high

Set spam filters to high

Use your email’s spam settings. Periodically check your spam folder.

Delete requests for financial information or passwords

Delete requests for financial information or passwords

Never share personal information with unknown parties. Delete and/or block them.

Malware and ransomware: What are they?

Malware is malicious software that can harm a computer or smartphone. It may include computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, or spyware. Ransomware is a form of malware that works by invading a computer and encrypting files. The attacker then demands a ransom from its victim to restore access to the files.

How to protect yourself from malware attacks

Keep your software updated

Keep your software updated

Install protection antivirus software and keep it updated with the latest version.

Do not click email links

Do not click email links

If you do not recognize an email sender or a link looks suspicious, do not click it.

Minimize downloads

Minimize downloads

Set your web browser’s security settings to high to detect unauthorized downloads.

Keep your computer backed up

Keep your computer backed up

Secure your files on an external hard drive, cloud service, or other online service.

Use the firewall function in your computer

Use the firewall function in your computer

Be sure to turn on your computer's built-in firewall software.

Use pop-up window blockers

Use pop-up window blockers

Turn on your web browsers’ pop-up blockers and avoid clicking on pop-up links.

Contact TDECU about any suspicious activity

If you have been contacted by anyone saying they are from TDECU and requesting your personal information, or you feel uncomfortable about your personal information in any way, contact us immediately. We will help you protect your accounts. 

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