Unfortunately, fraudsters and scam artists seem to pop up everywhere at this time of year. They use fear, intimidation or even kindness, to take advantage of people. They are out to steal your information or money.
Members have been reporting increased calls from scammers lately. Fraudsters are calling and texting our members and claiming to be from O Bee. The scammers are asking members for specific and sensitive information about their accounts. Please remember that O Bee would never call you to ask for sensitive account information such as card numbers, card PINs, CVV codes or Online Banking Passwords. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from O Bee, and you were not expecting the call, hang up and call us directly (360-943-0740). You can also contact us by clicking on the "Let's Talk" button on our website. Now is the time to be extra alert for scams of all kinds. Go slowly and trust your gut with things that just don’t seem right.
Here are other common scams that you should know about and avoid.
Tech Support Scam: This scam involves someone phoning you and claiming to be from a well-known tech company (Microsoft, for example). The person will claim to know that there is something wrong with your computer and they want to “guide” you through steps to help fix it. They will even ask you to login to a specific website or they will talk you into giving them remote access to your computer. Do not trust this call and hang up immediately. If there is something wrong with your computer, no one will call out of the blue to tell you. Scammers often pretend to be very kind sometimes. Don’t be concerned about “hurting someone’s feelings.” Just hang up. No apology needed.
Amazon Scam: This scam is usually where the scammer claims to be from a large company (Amazon, for example). They claim your credit card has been charged for a large amount of money. They will give you the “Amazon Customer Service” phone number and ask you to call immediately. Never, ever call them back on the number that they give you. It is a trap. If you are concerned about an order or charge, call a legitimate customer service number that you find on the company website yourself.
IRS Imposter Scam: This scam is often in the form of a robocall. An automated robot leaves a message on your phone telling you that you owe taxes, and you could go to jail. The robot instructs you to call a specific number or you will be in trouble. Ignore it and hang up. The IRS never sends calls like this. It’s a scam. Scammers can even fake the caller ID to read: “IRS.” Another scam call is when an actual person calls and says the same thing: you owe back taxes, you are in trouble, you could go to jail, you could be deported. They often get very angry and threatening. The person demands that you pay immediately with a prepaid debit card or they want you to give them your credit card information. Never do this. Hang up. The IRS does not call individual citizens and threaten them. If the IRS wants to contact you, they will send you a letter in the mail first.
Reporting Scams: Stay vigilant about calls you were not expecting. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) encourages citizens to report scam calls. Your complaint can help protect other people. By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify the imposters and stop them before they can get someone’s hard-earned money. It really makes a difference.
If you spot a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission:
Call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
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