Financial 4.0 logo
Sign In

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraud

Written by: Lexus (she/her)

3 min read | Published: April 11, 2024

Image for How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraud

As a college student, you may already have a target on your back for fraud scams. Every year it seems digital predators are finding new ways to access what some would consider private information. Unfortunately, most information used to scam people is generalized and vague. If verbalized in the right way, scammers could use this information to acquire almost anything. Let’s look at a few ways you can protect yourself — and your wallet.  

Don’t Trust Every Email

Email is one of the top ways you communicate with your university’s resources. Scammers often send emails posing as an affiliate of collegiate resources you may be familiar with. A good habit to practice is to do your own vetting when you receive an email that seems suspicious. If the email contains information about the person reaching out, such as a signature line, go to your preferred web browser and research that company and that person’s name. Doing so allows you to check that the listed contact information matches the person who contacted you. Another thing to look for in emails are hyperlinks that are highlighted to encourage you to click on them. If you’re on a laptop, try hovering over the link with your mouse to view the webpage’s URL. If the address does not match the website you researched and viewed earlier, there’s a good chance it’s fraudulent. Avoid clicking any hyperlinks in an email until you have done your research on the legitimacy of the website and any links sent to you.

Monitoring Your Financial Accounts

Accessing your debit card number or your savings and checking account information is not an easy task for scammers. Unfortunately, however, there are some who are very successful in capturing information and using it for their own personal gain. One way to better protect your information is to identify what’s going in and out of your account. You can do this by reviewing your statements monthly and your transactions daily, ensuring there are no surprise purchases or withdrawals. Be proactive by changing the PIN on your debit card every six months, along with your login information for your financial institution. Committing to completing these tasks regularly will make it even harder for fraudsters to gain access to your information, decreasing your risk of becoming a victim of fraud.  

Social Media Swipers

It’s almost impossible these days to find someone who doesn’t use any form of social media. Fraudsters are getting smarter, frequently analyzing the social media pages of their potential victims to get valuable information to gain access to their accounts. Simply posting a picture of your childhood dog can be all someone needs to get past security questions. When it comes to maintaining your social media, be sure to use all the privacy settings available. Try not to post personal information that could be used as answers to your account security questions. This also means it’s important to choose security questions that aren’t easy to guess. Avoid questions such as “what’s your favorite color?” or “what was your high school mascot?” However you choose to navigate your social media, ensuring you maintain as much privacy as possible can be beneficial to protecting your information from scammers.  

Key Takeaways:


Was this helpful?

Browse Related

Image for Should I purchase or lease my vehicle?

Should I purchase or lease my vehicle?


Make the right choice for your wheels. Compare the costs of buying vs. leasing a vehicle to decide what suits your budget and lifestyle.

Learn More

Image for American Currency Quiz

American Currency Quiz


Think you know your U.S. currency? You’ll need to know more than who’s on the penny to pass this quiz! (It’s Abraham Lincoln, BTW.)

Learn More

Image for Interview Communication Quiz

Interview Communication Quiz


Communication in a job interview is an art. Take our quiz so you can feel better prepared to start your career.

Learn More

Browse by Category

Image for Budgeting


Image for Career


Image for College


Image for Credit


Image for Fraud


Image for Investing


Image for Lifestyle & Travel

Lifestyle & Travel

Image for Student Athletes

Student Athletes

Image for International Students

International Students

MSU Federal Credit Union

Produced by Michigan State University Federal Credit Union. MSU Federal Credit Union and related trademarks and logos are trademarks of MSU Federal Credit Union. Federally insured by the NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

If you are using a screen-reader or other auxiliary aid and are having problems using this website, please call 800-678-4968 for assistance. All products and services available on this website are available at MSUFCU full-service locations.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Copyright © 2024 Reseda Group LLC, used under license.

Terms of Use
Privacy Policy