How to Identify Spoofing Scams

Helpful tips to keep your financial data safe from fraud.

Protect yourself from spoofing

Beware of unsolicited calls and messages.
Learn how to spot red flags.
Never accept random payment requests.

During the first quarter of 2022, more than a third of Americans were impacted by digital fraud.1 Fraudsters identify trends to better predict when their victims are busy and more susceptible to scams. With so many people being impacted, it’s important to take the necessary precautions in order to keep your personal information safe. To begin, let's take a closer look at spoofing, which is a type of digital fraud.

What is spoofing?

Spoofing is a scam in which cyber criminals disguise email addresses, phone numbers, text messages or web addresses to convince unsuspecting victims into thinking they’re interacting with a legitimate company or government agency. A typical spoofing scam involves changing a letter, number or symbol in an email address to make it appear valid. For example, the scammer may change the letter “O” to a zero so when you read the email address it looks legitimate. Another common method involves falsifying the information sent to your caller ID display to pose as a trusted company.

Helpful tips

Here are some best practices to identify and avoid spoofing scams:

  • Beware of unsolicited requests: Businesses and organizations that you are affiliated with will not contact you to request personal information such as your account number, social security number, PIN, login credentials or mother’s maiden name.
  • If you get a call or email from a company or government agency requesting personal information, do not respond to any questions including those that can be answered with “Yes” or “No.” To verify if the request is legitimate, call the phone number on your account statement or on the company's or government agency's website.2
  • If you answer the phone and asked to select a button to stop receiving the calls, hang up. Scammers often use this tactic to identify potential targets.2
  • To confirm a website’s authenticity, check the site's security status in your browser's address bar. Typically, a "safe" website will display a padlock icon to the left of the website's URL.
  • Never pay anyone who calls or emails you requesting a credit card or gift card.
  • Don’t send cash or wire money to unknown callers or email contacts.
  • Avoid phone calls and emails from unknown sources.

What to do if you fall victim:

Contact the Credit Union and any other financial institutions you do business with immediately and change your account passwords.

Report the fraud or scam to the Federal Trade Commission. Visit or call 877.438.4338.

Place a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting at least one of three credit bureaus. If you contact one agency, they will contact the other two. But it doesn’t hurt to contact all three agencies yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can set up the following Security Alerts:

  • Change ID or password
  • The email address where I receive alerts is changed
  • Alert phone changed
  • Alert preferences changed
  • PIN Enabled
  • PIN Disabled
  • Settings changed
  • Transfer above: you can select the amount

Click on the right menu (person icon) and select “Alerts”. From there, choose the delivery option and enter your email address and phone number. Next, select “Security Alerts” or “Account Alerts”. For Account Alerts, select the specific account. Then, enable or disable the individual alerts by clicking on the delivery channel. The envelop icon is for email, the phone icon is for text and the bell icon is for push notifications. If applicable, follow the prompts to add a dollar amount. When the Alert is enabled, “On” displays on the icon and when it’s disabled, “Off” displays on the icon.

The email address and phone number provided under Alerts will only be used for Alerts. To update your contact information that the Credit Union uses for all other communications, click on the right menu (person icon) and select “Profile”.

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1 Schlichter, Greg. “Gov Benefit Fraud Trends Q1 2022.”, November 5, 2022.

2 Tip provided by the Federal Communications Commission. View the "Caller ID Spoofing" article.