Scammers Keep Up With Technology
Recently there has been a surge of phone and email scams targeting credit union members and bank customers across the country, including central Alabama.
Scammers obtain lists of names and contact information and begin sending hundreds or even thousands of messages in an attempt to lure would-be victims into giving out information such as social security numbers, account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers and personal identification numbers (PIN).
|Protect Your Personal Information
- Do not trust Caller ID to verify the identity of a caller, their business, or their location
- Use updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a firewall on your computer
- Keep passwords secret and change them often
- Review credit card and financial account statements immediately for unauthorized transactions and dispute them without delay
- Turn off your computer when not in use
- Inspect your credit report annually; to order a free copy visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228
These contact lists are not obtained from your financial institution; in fact, the criminals do not know what credit union or bank you use.
Because of this, you may receive these messages professing to be from several different institutions in your area. The crooks know that most of their communication will not yield information, but only a few responses are needed to produce a profit in stolen identities.
The fraudsters will use numerous techniques in an attempt to obtain your information.
One method is the automated phone call. The message you receive may state that your debit or credit card has been deactivated, and that you must respond to reactivate the card. You could be asked to call a phone number, which is most likely a long distance number, and give personal information such as your credit or debit card number, expiration date and PIN.
Another practice used by scam artists is the email request.
You may receive an email warning that your account or card has been compromised, that your services have been suspended, or that your account has been blocked, etc. You will probably be asked to click on a link in the email in order to correct the situation. If you follow the link, you could be taken to a web page that looks official. Scammers often have the ability to copy logos and other financial institution information from the internet and add that information to bogus websites. From there, they will request your personal financial information be given "for verification" or "for reactivation". They may even threaten that your account will be "frozen" if you do not respond.
Fraudsters have even developed techniques by which they can send text messages and instant messages requesting your personal information.
As these methods of communication become more popular and widely used, they also become more attractive to criminals who want to steal your identity.
Please remember that Coosa Pines FCU will never solicit your personal or financial information by phone or email, text message or instant message, or through any form of electronic media. As your financial institution, we already have necessary information on file.
If you receive one of these calls or messages, we recommend that you do not respond or give out any information.
Instead, please end the contact and call the listed number for your local credit union branch to verify the contact and receive further instruction.
If you think that you have been the victim of a scam, you are advised to contact your financial institution
and go immediately to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft
and follow the steps provided to minimize your losses and protect your credit.
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