Unfortunately, scammers and fraud attempts have become harder and harder to detect. Scammers (also known as “bad actors”) trying to commit fraud are becoming more of a common occurrence and something you need to be aware of as you work with us and others throughout the loan process. So, you’re probably wondering - how exactly do I identify a fraud attempt, safeguard my information and what does Farm Credit do to protect me?

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What to look for in fraud attempts:

  • Misused addressing of your first or last name in any type of communication
  • Incorrect grammar or spelling throughout the message
  • Threatening language usually asking you to perform a task quickly, like making a payment, or offers money
  • Message instills fear by insinuating your account has been hacked, asks you to change your password immediately, or tries to call attention to your personal financials and/or legal action
  • Name does not match the email address, or is jumbled
  • Email address is not associated with the company they say they are emailing from
  • Contains suspicious attachments that you are not familiar with or expecting
  • Pleading you to click a link, download something, or send personal information back

How you can prevent fraud:

  • Avoid clicking links within an email or text alert. Instead, call the verified number on the business’ website or visit their homepage in a separate browser to see if the alert is posted there. If you’re on your desktop, hover over the links/email address to make sure it is legitimate.
  • Pay attention to the details around the communication: the email address that the communication is coming from should be associated with the business, how the text or email alert is personally addressed, and spelling errors, to name a few. Scammers are using platforms that make their correspondences look more official so be sure to double check!
  • Don’t save passwords and login information, even on private devices.
  • Change your passwords every few months and use strong, hard to guess passwords. It is smart to have longer, more intricate passwords with special characters.
  • Don’t overshare on social media platforms. Hackers/scammers use this to track information making you more vulnerable.
  • Slow down and be vigilant. If you’re not 100% sure on the communication, report to your contact at Farm Credit immediately.

How Farm Credit protects you against fraud:

  • Regular software and hardware updates for all employees
  • Regular training on phishing and scamming tactics
  • Utilizing antimalware and ransomware software protection 
  • Multi-step authentications for financial transactions and account verifications
  • Policy and procedures for handling and disposal of sensitive documents
  • Frequent password changing for staff

Snail Mail Scammers

Scams aren’t only limited to online interactions. After you apply for a loan and your credit is pulled, an alert is sent to credit bureau agencies. Shortly after, you may receive unsolicited mail, phone calls, and/or emails about competing offers.  For more tips on how to keep your information safe and secure, read up on our digital information safety here and how to opt out of unsolicited credit offers here

If you believe you have received fraudulent communications from someone acting as a Farm Credit employee, please contact us immediately at 888.339.3334.