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Social Engineering Fraud

Social engineering fraud is a range of malicious activities carried out through human interactions. It uses psychological manipulation  to trick users into making security mistakes. Unsolicited emails, texts, a phone calls supposedly from a legitimate company or person requesting personal, financial and/or login credentials are the most common approaches. 

Reported losses due to fraud by age

Ages Amount Lost

19 & Under

$28 million


$187 million


$243 million


$237 million


$253 million


$290 million


$197 million

80 & over

$105 million

View additional data here.



  • One of the most popular forms of social engineering that attempts to acquire sensitive info such as usernames, passwords, and account or card details by pretending to be a trusted company while creating a sense of urgency or fear in victims. Victims end up revealing this sensitive information by clicking on links to malicious websites or opening attachments that contain malware. Do not click on links or open attachments from individuals you do not know. 


  • Cell phone users receive texts containing a website or document hyperlink. When the link is clicked, it will lead to a malicious URL and/or download malware to the phone. It could appear to be from us, your favorite credit union, or it can ask you to call a fraudulent phone number. If you receive these kinds of texts, do not call the number listed in the text. Call us at 540.663.2181 to verify if the text is legitimate. 


  • Voice Phishing is the attempt to scam the user into giving up private info that will be used in identity theft over the telephone. The call often comes from a spoofed phone number that makes it look like the credit union is calling the victim which will provide the victim with a sense of security/legitimacy. If you receive this kind of call, contact us (or whatever business is represented) at a well-known number to verify legitimacy.