Fraud Education

Scammers work relentlessly to take identities and steal funds. Rest assured, our team at JHFCU works tirelessly to continuously evolve and upgrade our security to stay ahead of these threats.

JHFCU does not initiate emails, texts or phone calls seeking your personal data, account or card numbers. Never provide sensitive personal information to anyone who emails, texts or calls you unexpectedly. If you suspect fraud on your account, receive suspicious calls or emails, or if you have an issue with card, please contact us.

Our fraud department will NEVER ask for:

    • Online Banking User ID
    • Online Banking password
    • Answers to your Online Banking security questions
    • Card PIN
    • Security code on the back of your card


In addition to enhancing our security measures, we want to make sure you're knowledgeable about the potential types of threats out there. Because the more you know, the more prepared you can be. Learn more about the types of scams impacting companies across the U.S. below.

Common Scams

  • Spoofing Calls

    "Spoofing" is a tactic used by scammers in which they make it look as if they are calling from a recognizable phone number in order to appear legitimate. In our case, the scammers spoof our JHFCU number and either call or text members to alert them of false fraudulent charges on their account with us. They ask for a variety of information – account number, social security number, online banking credentials, card information, etc. In most cases, the scammer already has the member’s card information in their possession and they are calling to try to obtain additional pieces of information in order to gain access to the account. Despite some scammers even presenting themselves as friendly and engaging over the phone, remember that JHFCU will never call you asking for personal data, account or card numbers. 

    Learn more about spoofing here

  • Phishing

    Phishing is when someone uses fake emails, calls, or texts to get you to share valuable personal information, like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords. The personal information is then used to access the individual’s account and can result in identity theft and financial loss. Phishing emails are one of the most common forms of phishing attacks, especially when they appear to come from one's financial institution. The e-mails claim that you have been locked out of your account and want you to verify your identity, but they are really scams trying to steal your identity.

    If you receive an e-mail from a seemingly legitimate organization, which may include an authentic-looking sender address and/or official organization logos, look at it closely for the following tell-tale signs of phishing:

    1. The e-mail asks for your personal account information and threatens negative action if you don’t provide it.
    2. The e-mail is generically addressed or uses phrases that don’t make sense.
    3. The e-mail includes a link that it says you must click on.

    If you suspect the e-mail is fraudulent, contact the purported to verify its authenticity. DO NOT respond to the e-mail or click on any of its links.

    For more information on phishing, click here.


  • Checks - Washing & Cooking

    Check washing is a process in which criminals steal physical mail from an unsuspecting person's mailbox, erase the ink using commonly found chemicals and then rewrite the check where necessary to address it to themselves. Check cooking is a very similar process—scammers take a digital photo of the stolen check and utilize various computer software to edit its appearance, making it suitable for the criminals to digitally deposit the check. 

    To stay safe, consider digital payment methods, such as card payments and Zelle. JHFCU offers online bill payment, which allows you to pay your bills through online banking and even schedule a single or recurring payment to any company, organization, or individual. If you prefer to use a printed check, we recommend dropping off your check inside the nearest post office and monitoring your account for any suspicious transactions following. 

  • Employment Scams

    Job scams are evolving with scammers employing sophisticated tactics such as fake websites, unsolicited emails, and deceptive phone calls. Be cautious, as advancements in technology make it easier for scammers to exploit job seekers. They may even use remote interview tools like Skype or social media to appear legitimate. Some red flags to look out for include job offers from strangers, high pay for little work, requests for money or personal information, pressure to act now and email addresses that aren't tied to a specific company's address (such as Gmail or Yahoo).

    If you’ve been targeted by a job scam, file a complaint with the FTC, your state Attorney General, and your local consumer protection agency. You may also check a company’s record with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at or search scam reports using BBB’s Scam Tracker at

    To learn more about employment scams, click here

  • Payment App Scams

    The route scammers take through money-transferring and payment apps is slightly different—instead of attempting to appear as a financial institution or company, they disguise themselves as a person you often interact with on these payment apps, someone you know and trust. They begin by looking through your profile on a payment app, keeping an eye out for recurring names and transactions that you might not think twice about. The scammer then creates a profile on the same app, designing theirs to match almost identically with the recurring friend, who the scammer knows you exchange transactions with frequently.

    JHFCU will never ask you to send money using payment apps. If anyone contacts you asking you to send or receive money through a payment app, verify the recipient and their information first—it’s best to only transfer to people you know personally and trust. When you go to pay the person you normally do, you may accidentally click on the wrong profile and send payment to the wrong person. To prevent scammers from viewing your profile information, set your transactions to private on each payment app that you use. To avoid sending payment to an incorrect or falsified account, always double-check the account and recipient information or use the QR code associated with their account. 

    To learn more about scams through mobile payment apps, click here.


  • Unknown Numbers
    Before responding to any message you are not familiar with, take a moment to examine what you just received. Ask yourself:
    1. Am I familiar with this contact?
    2. Did I place this order?
    3. Is this offer too good to be true?
    4. Is everything spelled correctly (Ex: Is there an “s” in Johns Hopkins?)

    When in doubt, call the company or person directly (just don’t use the number in the text, if there is one). You may even be able to do a quick online search and find that yes, this is a scam. Those few seconds (maybe a minute) could be the difference between losing your savings/identity and staying safe and secure. Also, bear in mind that these same rules can also apply to suspicious emails you may receive!

  • Retailer Impersonations

    Many scammers look for potential victims by impersonating popular retailers such as Amazon, Apple and more in an attempt to notify the victim of "fraud", "misuse of their account" or "delivery troubles". As part of their scam, they encourage you to provide personal information and account numbers via email, phone call, and/or text message. DO NOT provide them with any information.

    If someone reaches out to you claiming to be a retailer and encouraging you to take action, we recommend that you contact the retailer directly using a confirmed, published number. Always double-check any information you receive and be wary of any unexpected calls. 

    For more information on these types of scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission site here.


Please be aware that regardless of what you're told, we will never ask you to confirm a transaction you didn't make by responding 'yes'. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be one of our employees and they ask you to do so, it's likely a fraudulent attempt to deceive you. Stay vigilant and never disclose personal or financial information to anyone you're unsure of.

TEXT - This is the first method of communication we will use.

  • A text alert from the JHFCU fraud department will always be from a 5-digit number (37268), NOT a 10-digit phone number.
  • A valid notification will provide information about the suspect transaction, and ask you to reply to the text message with answers such as ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘help’, or ‘stop.’ It will never include a link.
  • If you received a text message from our fraud department and are unsure about responding to it, please call us directly at 410-534-4500. 

PHONE CALL - If we are unable to send a text, we will call. 

  • A phone call with our fraud department will only include a request for your ZIP code—no other personal information—unless you confirm that a transaction is fraudulent. Only then will you be transferred to an agent who will ask you to confirm your identity before proceeding.
  • You will never be asked for your PIN or 3-digit security code on the back of your card.
  • Our fraud department may contact you any day of the week, including holidays.

Check all of your accounts regularly to review and confirm transactions and report suspicious activity immediately.

If you received a call or text message from our fraud department and are unsure about responding to it, please contact us at 410.534.4500. For more details on scams and how to avoid them, click here

How To Spot Scams