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  • Writer's pictureBay Atlantic FCU

Spring Break Scams

Are you excited for Spring Break? Unfortunately, you’re not the only one. Criminals use the increased travel and vacation during this time of year to launch financial scams.

Photo of colorful flip flops on sandy beach with arrow shaped sign that says Spring Break Scams Ahead

What is a Spring Break scam?

Typical Spring Break scams target grandparents or older relatives to exploit their trust and compassion.


Here’s what happens:

You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be your grandchild or another young family member. Occasionally, they may even claim to be a third party or authority figure attempting to help your grandchild or family member. They say they are in a bad situation—stranded somewhere out of town or in some kind of legal trouble. They claim to urgently need money to deal with the emergency and insist that the situation be kept secret so they don’t get in any additional trouble with a parent, partner, or employer.


Red Flags:

  • Sense of urgency – Anytime someone tries to rush you to act without consideration—you should pause. Take a moment to evaluate the situation and review the known details. Even if a loved one is actually in need of emergency funds, 15-20 minutes spent verifying the legitimacy of the call will not cause additional harm.

  • Secrecy—You should be concerned anytime someone tries to pressure you to keep a transaction confidential. If someone is truly in a dangerous situation, their primary concern wouldn’t be keeping the situation a secret.

  • Unfamiliar Contact—While some scammers may spoof phone numbers, others will reach out through unknown numbers and accounts. You should always be cautious and critical when receiving a message from a number you don’t recognize.


How To Protect Yourself:

  • Ask the caller specific and personal questions that scammers can’t know (i.e. another family member’s nickname, what you bought them for their last birthday, an inside joke, etc.)

  • Try to contact the relative directly with their regular phone number to get confirmation

  • Reach out to another family member who would be able to confirm if the alleged caller is travelling for Spring Break

  • Reach out to local law enforcement in the area they claim to be for confirmation or guidance


Remember: If you notice any suspicious activity on your account or are concerned that you may have fallen victim to a financial scam, never hesitate to contact the credit union for assistance. Call 856-696-2525 and speak with a representative as soon as possible!

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