October is cybersecurity awareness month to serve as a timely reminder that criminals are working overtime on scams to steal your identity and money. We are taking a look at some of the top scams as identified by USAA, and how to protect ourselves.

Stacey Nash, one of the top fraud experts in the country and Vice President of the Enterprise Fraud Management team at USAA, is here with tips on how to keep ourselves safe. Stacey starts by noting that last year, 16-million Americans were impacted by fraud and financial crime. One of the top things they are seeing across the industry that continues to increase are scams. This means that the criminals are going straight to the consumer.

The top three scams being seen across the industry are the romance scam, the employment scam, and the imposter scam. For a romance scam, you meet someone online, you fall in love, and then eventually they as you to send them money. Once you send the money, you never hear from them again.

The employment scam happens when you get an offer for a job, typically jobs doing little to nothing. The one thing it involves is normally depositing a check that they send you, and then they ask you to disperse portions of that check out. What they don’t tell you is that the first check is going to return in a few days, and then you are out the entire amount.  

For an imposter scam, criminals are calling direct to consumers posing as their bank. They will ask you for your login and security information before they can help you. Bottom line is your bank would never as you for that information.

Stacey goes on to say that people should be diligent and a little suspicious sometimes. If you get anything suspicious or feel like something is a little off, just call your bank. Strong authentication can also be important. Gone are the days where just a password can be enough. Also set up alerts if you can to know when something is happening on your account.  

For more information, visit usaa.com/securitycenter.