How to Spot Financial Scams Online

posted in: Blog, Financial Tips 0

Scams have been around since the beginning of time, however in our digital world, scammers have worked hard to create more financial scams online that target people of all ages and backgrounds. 


These financial scams can be things like fake invoices emailed to you, mass spam emails asking for payments, and even simple price gouging. Below are a few tips to help you know how to spot financial scams online

a keyboard with "Scam Alert" displayed on the Enter and Shift keys

Common Red Flags

With many financial scams that happen online, there are a few telltale red flags. One of the biggest red flags that could indicate  you may be a target of a financial scam is that you are being contacted online out of the blue. This can be on a social media website or via email by a person or company that you do not recall doing business with. If you keep good financial and personal records, you could be able to look back quickly and identify if you do indeed have business with the business or person contacting you, or if they have popped up out of the blue asking for payment on an invoice. 


Even if the business contacting you is one that you have done business with, such as the IRS, ask them if you can contact them in a more secure way such as meeting in person or mailing any past-due taxes to your state’s IRS office instead of giving away personal details or payments online. Reputable banks, government agencies, and companies usually have protocols on how they can ask for personal information from people and are often never allowed to do so in a simple email, social media message, text message, or phone call. 


With financial scams online, other red flags that can commonly occur when you are contacted is that you are asked to act quickly, you are asked to send money via gift cards or wire transfers, or that you are asked to not talk about the transaction with anyone else. 


If It Seems Too Good to be True, It Probably Is

Even if you are contacted online and the potential financial scam doesn’t contain any of the common red flags listed above, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not a financial scam


As a common rule of thumb, always take your time in reviewing the offer or request, consult someone you trust about your finances like the financial institution that you do your banking at, and don’t be afraid to say no or not respond to a message. If it seems too good to be true (like winning a free trip in exchange for your credit card number) then it probably is. 


Do you need help managing your finances? Let us know!


It can be challenging to balance your savings, loans, and other accounts all in one place. However, we offer many ways to manage your finances at Camino Federal Credit Union through our branch location, online banking, and mobile banking app. Please give us a call at 800-835-3400 to speak with one of our Member Advisors, or contact us online at for more information.