CHESAPEAKE, Va. - A big warning for military service members and veterans: criminals are trying to steal your money and, in a lot of cases, it's working.
The News 3 Problem Solvers received tips from our Navy viewers about criminals trying to hack their accounts. We're told that people in Chesapeake were getting calls from someone claiming to be from Navy Federal Credit Union.
When the person on the other end started asking for personal information and saying their account needed to be "re-established," the veteran we spoke with saw the red flags.
However, criminals are banking on the fact that you don't see the red flags. They're hoping they can get into your account and steal your money and identity.
Navy Federal said here are some signs to watch out for so you're not taken advantage of:
- They'll never call and demand your information over the phone so do not give your information out.
- They'll never randomly send you a six-digit security passcode and then call asking you to verify it. If you receive a code, don't respond and report it.
- They will not ask you to download any new apps. The caller is likely acting illegally if they're asking you to download an app to "troubleshoot."
What's also startling about this latest scheme is that military consumers report losing the most money. The Federal Trade Commission said military members reported losing more than $26 million and their losses were nearly 50% higher than the general population.
In order to protect customers, Navy Federal is taking action. This year, they started a partnership with the Cybercrime Support Network, a nonprofit that helps victims.
According to a press release, members will be able to use services from:
- FightCybercrime.org: The first nationwide initiative developed to help cybercrime victims through a process of “Recognize, Report, and Recover” after an incident occurs. Through this platform, CSN guides victims through the next steps and how to access appropriate resources.
- ScamSpotter.org: Developed through a collaboration with Google, this service gives consumers practical advice on how to detect and avoid scams. ScamSpotter.org provides tools that empower individuals to defend themselves against scams and fraud to help stop cybercriminals. With the three golden rules, ScamsSpotter.org offers easy-to-follow help to prevent cybercrime.
“Impersonation scams are currently on the rise whether it is the IRS, your bank, or your state government. It has become so widespread that scammers are known to send texts and spoof phone numbers from trusted organizations to trick you into picking up and believing the call is real. Vishers (or phone phishers) are getting creative about how they obtain access to financial accounts, often pressuring for personal information, one-time passcodes (OTP), or asking to take over your mobile device.” said Chip Kohlweiler, Senior Vice President of Security at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Be skeptical of requests like this and call the number on your statement to speak to a representative.”