Racing to refinance your home loan? Keep an eye out for fraudsters.
Here’s why: Some Dupaco Community Credit Union members have recently been contacted by callers falsely claiming to be with the credit union’s mortgage team.
Fraudsters follow the headlines.
And lower interest rates have given way to a surge in mortgage refinancing requests across the country.
“During the first week of March, refinancing applications reached their highest level in nearly 11 years, and jumped 79% week over week, the largest leap since November 2008,” USA Today reported.
If you’re refinancing your home loan, follow these tips to protect your personal and financial information throughout the process:
Know how the scam works
This week, some Dupaco members were contacted by callers falsely claiming to be from the financial cooperative.
The callers wanted more information about the members to “help” them with their mortgage refinancing, said Dupaco’s Jill Gogel, assistant vice president, fraud services.
At least one member received the phone call late at night. That’s not how Dupaco operates.
“They’re looking for your personal information,” Gogel said.
It’s a vishing scam. Fraudsters claim to be with a legitimate financial institution—like Dupaco—to try to get access to your information, including:
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card numbers
- Social Security Numbers
Know what to expect from Dupaco
How do you know if it’s a Dupaco representative or a fraudster on the phone?
- Consider the timing. Dupaco’s mortgage team will only call you during regular business hours, no later than 7 p.m., said Latoya Collins, mortgage closing supervisor.
- Consider the questions. If the caller wants information such as your Social Security Number or assets, don’t answer. “We already have your Social Security Number and your income information. We would have collected all of that during your application,” Collins said. “Dupaco wouldn’t be asking you for that information again.”
If you’re concerned that the caller might not be from Dupaco, hang up. Call the credit union’s mortgage team directly at 800-373-7600, ext. 204.
Throughout your mortgage refinancing process, take advantage of the Dupaco Mortgage Tracker. The personalized tool allows you to keep track of your refinancing progress within Shine Online and Mobile Banking.
“Using our Mortgage Tracker will help you be even more dialed into your loan, so you know what to expect along the way,” Collins said.
Continue monitoring your accounts
As always, watch your financial accounts for unusual activity. These steps can help keep your accounts and identity safe:
Monitor your credit
With Dupaco’s Bright Track, you can keep tabs on your full credit report and credit score. The free credit monitoring service will alert you to any potential breaches that hit your credit report.
You can access the service within Shine.
Use safer online logins
Protect your Shine account with two-step verification. The extra security feature helps prevent fraudsters from accessing your account—even if they manage to get your password.
In addition to your username and password, you’ll enter a unique four-digit security code—sent via text or email—each time you log in.
Use identity theft coverage
As a member of Dupaco, you have access to Family ID Restoration. The coverage helps you recover from identity theft. It costs $1.95 per month.
Set up activity alerts
Stay on top of your Dupaco accounts with eNotifiers.
Within Shine, you can set up alerts to receive instant notifications for ATM and Visa credit card transactions, online and mobile banking logins and more.
This way, if there’s fraudulent activity on your accounts, you’re the first to know.