Be Aware of “Family Emergency” Scams

A Family Emergency Scam involves fraudsters contacting and convincing a victim that a family member is in danger and requires money to get out of a bad situation. For example, a family member in a foreign country is in legal trouble and needs funds for assistance.

Such fraudsters, are using social media to obtain family member names, and even voice prints. Some are even using AI tools and AI-powered voice cloning technology to make these scams appear even more realistic.

Most often targeted are elderly victims, who are not as familiar with these newer technologies. They are pressured into acting quickly, sending money to spare their loved ones additional problems. These fraudsters will request payments to be made in the quickest ways possible, including outgoing wire transfers, cryptocurrency, Zelle, Instant Payments, or gift cards. These transfers are very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. Not only is it nearly impossible to retrieve the funds, but rarely are these fraudsters caught.

Before authorizing such entries, EEFCU encourages our account holders to ensure they validate the scenario being presented. Don’t act on fear or impulse. Attempt to contact the individual, a family member, or the institution/organization that is being sited. Make sure to use a known phone number or one you look up,  not one provided by the requesting party. If still unsure, EEFCU may be able to help our members in determining if something is fraudulent, as can the local authorities.

Wespay Fraud Bulletin – Fraud Brief 10/23