Credit Union members may receive a fake email attempting to trick the recipient into opening a link to resolve some type of problem with their account or deal with a recent transaction. Once the link is opened, the fraudster takes control of the person’s computer and thieves have access to usernames, passwords and eventually money in the account.
With the increased use of mobile devices to transact business, it is important to remember that smartphones are simply a smaller computer that allows another outlet for information being compromised.
Below are some important steps to help you avoid falling victim to internet fraud and reducing the risk of loss:
Maintain the newest version of anti-virus software on your computer and mobile device;
Do not open any embedded links from emails if you doubt the authenticity of the sender;
Credit Unions will never request any personal information via email and
Access your account often to verify the balance and check for any unauthorized transactions – report any discrepancies immediately
Guard against scams:
- Do Your Homework on a Company: Check out the Better Business Bureau, Attorney General and the National Fraud Information Center web sites
- Watch Payment Method: If you are asked to wire money, that may be an indication the transaction isn't legitimate. Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges.
- Guard your Personal Information: Don't provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something. Your Social Security number is not necessary unless you are applying for credit.
- Employment Scam: Fraudsters set up what looks to be a new employment opportunity on the internet to hire people to work from their homes. The newly hired person is being used to move money through their account and losses are occurring. Reports show that the hiring company deposits funds into the member’s personal account as an ACH credit. The member is then asked to withdraw part or all of the funds and wire the money to the hiring companies “business partners”.
- Bogus Rental Property: Contracting for rental property via email with an owner who lives in another state. After wiring or sending a deposit, the victim receives keys in the mail for a nonexistent home or one owned by someone else.
- Car Warranty Scam: Scam artists warn a car's warranty will expire and provide instructions on how to purchase an "extended warranty" that provides little or no additional coverage.
- Phishing: These e-mails, asking for urgent replies, lure people into divulging ID and password info by resembling legitimate sites such as eBay or PayPal. Tip: the beginning of the link address should have https://, Phishing fakes will just have http:// (no "s"). If still in doubt, call the bank or company to verify the email is legit.
- Loans or Credit Cards: Be careful of offers that require upfront fees. Reputable credit card companies do charge an annual fee, but it is applied to the balance of the card, not at the sign-up.
- Stay Aware: Learn about the latest scams by clicking on Wyoming Police Website and click on the Community Services Unit tab and Crime Trends/Fraud Alerts.
- Mystery Shopper: Job seeker is asked to deposit a check in their account and return a portion of the money for "expenses." Victim is liable for the entire amount of the check when it bounces.
- Lottery Scams: An email informs recipients they have won millions of dollars, but first they must pay a "Processing" fee that could amount to thousands of dollars.
- ATM Scam: Involves skimming. Fraudsters make counterfeit ATM cards by using a skimmer, which is a card-swipe device that reads the information on a consumer's ATM card. Scammers take a blank card and encode all the information from an ATM card when they swipe immediately after the machine's last transaction. The skimmer catches the PIN through a small camera mounted on the ATM. The consumer is unaware they've been scammed because the ATM card has not been stolen and still works at other machines.
- Reshipping Schemes: Victims are lured into a business opportunity via websites. The "employer" sends merchandise to the victim and provides overseas addresses for the victim to mail the packages. The victim has no idea the merchandise was purchased using stolen credit cards or financial information.
- Check out this website for email scams: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0038-onguardonline
- Use this website to file a complaint of Internet crime: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
- Beware Request for Card Info: Members are reporting that they are receiving automated phone calls and text messages to their cell phones stating they need to reactivate their debit or credit card. Members are then prompted to enter their card number. These calls and text messages will never be legitimate. Stay clear and do not respond.
- Resist Pressure: Legitimate businesses and charities will give you time to make a decision. It's probably a scam if they demand that you act immediately or won't take "No" for an answer.
- Debt Reduction: Companies offer to help lower credit card or loan debt, but they charge high fees and want to be paid upfront. The scams are designed to steal people's identities and money.
- Unsolicited IRA Email: Do not respond to an unsolicited email by the IRA - if you click on the link or open the attachment, you may be infected with a malicious code, including the Zeus Trojan.
- If It Sounds Too Good...The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is reporting recently simulated NCUA email boxes. The fraudulent emails solicit a credit union member's participation in an Online Survey or Member Survey, and promise compensation of $40 as an inducement to respond to the email. The emails are fraudulent, and may be an attempt to obtain confidential member information. NCUA does not solicit such information from credit union members. This is phishing activity with no NCUA activity or approval. If you have received these emails please do not respond. If you have any questions or concerns please email NCUA at firstname.lastname@example.org.