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First there was phishing: scammers using emails to trick people into giving up confidential information. Now there’s also vishing (they con you into calling to verify information) and smishing (same idea, but they contact you via text).
You know what we’re going to say here: It probably is!
The odds of you having unclaimed money out there, or having won an international lottery are slim. Red flags include:
Is your inbox full of crazy claims? Scammers have become pretty sophisticated when it comes to getting your attention - and - your sensitive information.
Keep your guard up, especially if you receive an email for:
Online donations can be an effective way to help those in need. To make sure your money is going where you intended, follow these tips:
Are you seeing more pop-up ads on your computer? Have your settings changed, and you can’t reset them? Does your Web browser have components you don’t remember downloading? Is your computer slower than ever? You may have unwittingly downloaded spyware.
Scammers have come up with another way to get to your money: through your computer. This fraud usually begins with a phone call saying your computer needs to be serviced, and that their company can handle the situation by remotely accessing your computer. Once you let them in, they aren’t actually able to help you, so they offer to refund what you’ve paid them. The catch? They over-refund you, then ask you to repay that overage. Unfortunately, that “refund” never made it to your account.
Scammers have entered the online dating world and chat rooms, in the hopes of sweet-talking you out of your money. Make sure you verify profiles and don’t give out any of your personal details online.
If you’ve posted something for sale on the internet, watch out for potential “buyers” out to get your money.
Here’s the scenario: A buyer contacts you and says a friend owes him money, which he’ll use to buy your item. The “friend” sends YOU a cashier’s check worth more than the item you’re selling. You’re asked to cash the check, keep what the buyer owes you, and wire the buyer the remaining funds. Unfortunately, that cashier’s check is fake.
Usually, demand drafts are perfectly legal. These checks are generated by a third party (no signature required) and can be used to pay a bill. For example, if you buy something over the phone, you may be able to authorize the seller to take the money out of your checking account through a demand draft.
So how does this affect you? Criminals have figured out how to use demand drafts to pay for their purchases on your dime.
The phone rings. You answer and someone claiming to be a jury coordinator tells you there’s a warrant out for your arrest because you didn’t show up for jury duty.
Do they have your attention?
Did you know you’re more likely to have your identity stolen offline than online? Your information can be in jeopardy through:
If you receive a letter from Nationwide Biweekly Administration, please know that it is not endorsed by SEFCU. We did not provide this company with your sensitive information, including your loan number, loan amount or Social Security Number.
If you’re interested in making your mortgage payments more affordable, please call our Member Solutions Center at 800-727-3328.
When using SEFCU OnLine, it is important that you feel confident that your account information is safe and secure. Because security is SEFCU’s top priority, we have many features in place to help protect your account. It is also important that you are aware of the security measures that you should follow. Below, we have identified the security features in place and provided some tips about how you can protect your account.
Security freezes, also known as credit freezes, restrict access to your credit file which makes it harder for fraudsters and identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Now, you can freeze and unfreeze your credit file for free.
Developing positive habits related to saving and spending money is an ongoing process. Not understanding your habits – especially during the holiday season – can create added expenses and stress. On average it takes about 60 days to change or create a habit, so it’s important to think carefully about what you spend your money on, especially this time of year. By following some simple tips, you can keep your holiday spending in check and develop healthy financial habits.
If you think you’re a victim of fraud or may have inadvertently compromised your SEFCU account, you should contact us as soon as possible.
If you think you've received a phishing email, please forward it to [email protected] so that it can be investigated. Do not click any links within the email. If you have clicked any of the links, please call SEFCU at 800-727-3328.
SEFCU is firmly committed to maintaining the privacy of our members and the confidentiality of their personal and financial information. We recognize your right to privacy and, in turn, accept the responsibility to keep the information you provide to us confidential.
Guard Your Home Computer Against Spyware
Did you know that 9 out of 10 PCs connected to the Internet are infected with spyware*?
Answer these questions to see if you might be a victim.
“Smishing” Scammers Turn to Text Messaging
Smishing is when fraudsters send text messages to credit union members in an attempt to get account information. The name is derived from Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messages and phishing to form “Smishing.”
The scammers send out a text message to credit union members. The message instructs them to call a number that has been provided because their debit card has been locked.
Scam Artists Go "Phishing" for Financial Information
Phishing is a method scammers use to obtain confidential information via the Internet, and the practice is growing. This new favorite sport of scammers comes in a convincing disguise, making it easy for recipients of phishing emails to be fooled.
New Study: Identity Theft More Prevalent Offline
Did you know you are more at risk of having your identity stolen through traditional means – like loss or theft of your wallet – than online methods such as phishing or spyware?
More Common Than You Think
Although you’ve probably heard many tips about how to protect yourself from online fraud, it is equally important to be aware of common offline scams. Here are some common types of offline fraud.
Protect Yourself When Donating Money Online
Donating money online is a convenient way that you can lend a hand, unfortunately it’s also a simple way for scammers to divert your money to them. Here are a few easy tips to remember to make sure your gift is sent to the intended recipient.
Give to Legitimate Charities
Ask to see the organization’s 990 IRS Form. Charities must file this document with the Internal Revenue Service.
Type the Web Address of the Charity You’d Like to Give to
Monitor your SEFCU accounts daily with SEFCU OnLine, Mobile app, and Text Banking in order to spot any unauthorized activity as soon as it occurs. The more frequently you check your account transactions, the faster any discrepancies or fraudulent transactions can be rectified. Contact SEFCU immediately if you notice an unauthorized transaction on your account.
What is Spyware?
Spyware is a a type of tracking software installed on your computer that gathers information about your browsing habits, such as websites you visit and how much time you spend there. Most spyware is installed without the user being aware. It can happen while downloading programs from the Internet or installing new software. Spyware may record private information such as usernames and passwords, or account and credit card numbers.
Signs Your Computer May be Infected with Spyware:
Keep your computer(s) safe by having up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection as well as installing a secure firewall. By configuring your computer to automatically check and install security updates, you'll have peace of mind knowing your computer is safe from harm.
Protect your information by:
Banking with your mobile device has never been safer or easier.
Mobile banking uses the same security protocols as home banking. SSL encryption provides a secure channel for data transmission. Users are authenticated by utilizing device registration, username, and password or fingerprint.
If you can access the web or check email from your mobile device, you could be at risk.
Smartphone owners are more susceptible to identity theft. Many smartphone owners do not password protect their device, which can store sensitive data such as financial account information. It is also common to connect to public Wi-Fi networks when on the go with your smartphone. Hackers often use or even set up these networks in order to gain access to your device. Use these tips to protect your mobile device:
The best way to protect yourself from online fraud is to stay educated. Know how to recognize a scam and avoid becoming a victim.
Need to update or change your address? You have a few option:
You can also download this Change of Address form and bring it into any branch.
To get started, gather the documents below and stop by any SEFCU branch.
Required Documentation to Open All Business Accounts
In addition to the above requirements, further required documentation is listed below.
Offer your customers the convenience of credit or check card payments. SEFCU’s Merchant Services can make it happen.
Win Instant Customer Loyalty with Easy Payment Options
It's easier than ever to offer customers the option to pay by credit or debit card. SEFCU's Merchant Services can bring this powerful tool to your business, enabling you to accept both credit and debit card transactions, utilize Telecheck, web and wireless services, and gift and payroll cards. Equipment lease and purchase options are also available.
SEFCU makes it easy to order more. Just order online, contact our Member Solutions Center, or visit any SEFCU branch.
Instructions for Online Check Ordering
Note: If you are ordering for the first time, please contact the Member Solutions Center or visit any SEFCU branch.
Wire transfers offer a fast, safe way to move money from one person (or company) to another.
Depending on your line of work or other personal circumstances, there may be a number of reasons why you need to move funds quickly. Wire transfers can help you move money without a hassle. And, with SEFCU's wire transfer process you can authorize your request electronically.
Need to wire money? Here's how!
To protect our members and fight fraud, SEFCU may limit card access in some foreign countries and states outside the continental U.S. from time to time. If you plan to travel outside the United States, please contact us at 800-727-3328 or 866-317-0335 (SEFCU Mastercard®), or 866-544-1113 (SEFCU World™ Mastercard Credit Card) to learn where card access may not be available and so your account can be noted that you are traveling.
How do I transfer a balance from a non-SEFCU credit card to my SEFCU Mastercard® Credit Card?
Bring your most recent statement* for your non-SEFCU credit card to any branch or call the Member Solutions Center at 800-727-3328. We'll do the rest.
Regulation D Limits Electronic Transactions
Have you ever tried to make an electronic withdrawal or transfer from your Savings account and been denied?
Our policy is to not delay the availability of funds that you deposit into your account any longer than necessary. During any required delay, you may not withdraw the funds in cash and we will not use the funds to pay checks that you have written.
If you do not make your deposit in person (for example, if you make your deposit by mail, at an ATM, or a POB location), that deposit will be subject to content verification and SEFCU’s Funds Availability Policy prior to releasing the funds. The first $200 of a deposit will be available on the first business day after the day of the deposit. For example, on a $300 deposit at an ATM on Monday, the first $200 of that deposit will become available on Tuesday, and the remaining $100 will be available on Wednesday. Every day is a business day except Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays.
International Service Assessment (ISA) Fee to Appear Separately for Foreign Transactions
Effective Tuesday, April 14, 2015, purchases, cash advances or ATM withdrawals made in non-U.S. dollars will be converted and billed to your account in U.S. dollars under the operating rules determined by Mastercard.*
In accordance with Section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act, SEFCU is required to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of any potential new account holders, which may include existing members, and maintain records of the documentation used for verification.
At a minimum, SEFCU is required to obtain the following information prior to account opening or adding a signatory to an account:
When you use your SEFCU Mastercard® Credit Card you earn Preferred Points for the purchases you make. Log into SEFCU OnLine to view your Preferred Points balance and redemption options.
Earn points that can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, cash back*, and more! Points earned with your Mastercard never expire so you can cash them in as you go along or save up to redeem for a big reward.
SEFCU's Night Depository Never Sleeps
SEFCU's night depository service gives you access to secure drop-off locations throughout our service areas. We supply you with everything you need - from bags that lock to deposit slips to next-day reconciliation.
Current SEFCU member?
How will you spend your money in the next few months, or the next year and beyond? It's a good idea to put your goals in writing and create a spending plan that will give you enough money for every day expenses, while helping you save for your goal. Check out five tips for smart spending and saving.
You lock the front door to prevent a home robbery, but are you safe from online thieves? Get the information you need to protect yourself when on the Web.
Nowadays we rely on computers for many aspects of our lives. The Internet provides convenient access to shopping, social networking, financial accounts, and much more. Knowing how the personal information you enter is being used and where it is being stored can aid in building awareness to the risks you may be exposed to.
With security being among SEFCU's top priorities, we have many features in place to protect your account. Feel confident knowing we keep your information secure on both the computer and on your mobile device.
SEFCU OnLine Security
Learn about the security features in place to keep your account information safe.
Whether at home or on the go, you'll have peace of mind knowing our security measures go with you.
SEFCU defines charitable contributions as the donation of money to an organization recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a 501(C)(3) that provides direct services to the community. SEFCU’s area of focus for charitable giving is concentrated in the following areas:
SEFCU is committed to providing a website that is easy for all members and website visitors to use, including those with disabilities and those using assistive devices. We are continually working to enhance accessibility and usability based on standards recommended by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 Level AA.
Diet books. Fitness apps. Live-streamed exercise classes. They all tell you the same thing: Maintaining good physical health requires discipline and adherence to a few simple habits, such as eating wisely, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. But did you know that the same basic formula can also apply to achieving and managing financial fitness? If you're looking to shed some unwanted financial fat and build a potentially healthy financial future, all you need is a good attitude, a little bit of dedication, and a solid plan to get you on track.
Scammers are spoofing the Social Security Administration's (SSA) 1-800 customer service number to try to get your personal information. If you get a call that looks like it’s from the (SSA), think twice. Spoofing means that scammers can call from anywhere, but they make your caller ID show a different number – often one that looks credible.
We all forget our credentials occasionally. Follow the simple instructions below and you'll be back online in no time!
To reset your password:
We all forget our credentials occasionally. Follow the simple instructions below and you'll be back online in no time!
To reset your password:
Important credit card disclosures for your review.
Follow these simple instructions below.
What is Mastercard® SecureCode™?
Mastercard SecureCode is a service to enhance your existing Mastercard account. A private code means added protection against unauthorized use of your card when you shop at participating online retailers.
How does Mastercard SecureCode work?
The safety and security of members' information is the number one priority at SEFCU. To ensure that your account remains secure, SEFCU offers a number of ways to help reduce the possibility of fraud.
In cases where fraudulent credit or debit card use is suspected, SEFCU will notify members who have provided their mobile phone via text message. The message will ask members to reply “yes” or “no” to confirm if the purchase is legitimate and the text should be considered valid - not a phishing attempt.
Is the fraud monitoring service 24 hours a day, or only during a certain time?
Calls and texts are only made during certain hours so cardholders aren't disrupted late in the evening or early in the morning. Texts will be sent from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the cardholder's time zone. Calls will be made from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the cardholder's time zone. Emails will be sent 24 hours a day. Texts and voice calls pending from the night before will be triggered the following business day at the applicable time noted above. Agents are available for assistance 24/7.
Have questions about your business accounts? Check here first.
What do I need to do prepare for the System Upgrade?
To ensure that you receive all necessary communication please make sure your contact information, as well as that of any authorized signers, is up to date. You can also nickname your accounts so they are easier to recognize after the upgrade. Then, watch your mail for important information regarding your accounts.
From time to time you probably receive phone calls from someone you don’t know, but what happens if the caller tells you your Social Security Number (SSN) has been suspended and asks you to provide confidential information to reactivate it? The Federal Trade Commission has received reports about scammers trying to trick people into providing their confidential information by calling and saying their Social Security Number has been suspended. The problem? Social Security Numbers don’t get suspended.
There are various pieces of information you might need about your SEFCU account that are requested by other companies, including your employer, insurance providers, or other businesses you work with. Some of this is universal to SEFCU, such as our routing number. Some is unique to you, such as your account number. The face of a check can provide a lot of information:
Do you have too many coins and not enough time? Use a SEFCU coin sorter and let us count your loose change for you. With coin sorters in many branches, just stop by and we'll do the rest. Have the funds deposited directly into your SEFCU account or exchange your coins for cash.
Coin sorters are available at the following branches*:
Make sure important papers don't get in the wrong hands. Shred old bills, account statements, or anything with an account number or Social Security Number on it.
Year-round shred bins
Did you receive a new computer this holiday season? It’s important to properly configure your home computer before connecting it to the internet to keep it, and your information, secure. Because we input and view so much personally identifiable information on computers, it’s very important to maintain computer security.
The following are important tips that can help to make your computer more secure. When used together, these practices will strengthen your computer’s security and help minimize threats:
Click below to view our organizational commitment to Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employment:
Click below to view the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s “EEO is the Law” posters and supplemental materials:
SEFCU will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) are federal laws that require employers with 15 or more employees to prohibit discrimination against applicants and individuals with disabilities and, when needed, to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who are qualified for a job, with or without reasonable accommodations, so that they may perform the essential duties of that job.
One of the most important changes that will occur after SEFCU’s System Upgrade will be how your account information is presented to you if you currently have multiple SEFCU members numbers. After the upgrade in February, your oldest SEFCU member number (that is still active) will be your only member number going forward and all accounts (including checking, savings, and loans) will be consolidated under that one member number.
Changing jobs? What are you going to do with your retirement savings? Think about this:
Interested in becoming a SEFCU member? There are many ways you can be eligible for membership, so we have provided an eligibility quiz and application to get you started. It's easy and will take you less than two minutes. Becoming a member of SEFCU is not nearly as exclusive as you might think!
If you're looking to deposit money at an ATM you can do so at any of our branch locations as well as certain ATMs in the regions we serve. We have provided instructions on how to identify those particular locations below.
SEFCU Insurance Agency provides affordable insurance coverage for all your personal needs. Unlike some agents, SEFCU Insurance Agency represents many leading regional and national insurance companies to offer a full range coverage options. Since they’re not limited to one company, they can do the comparison shopping for you to help you find the right insurance coverage at the lowest rate. Some of the insurance products they offer include:
As SEFCU prepares for our System Upgrade, Quicken and QuickBooks users will need to take simple actions leading up to and after the upgrade. Select your version below to view recommended actions.
You trust SEFCU to keep your money safe, let SEFCU protect your important valuables, documents, and family heirlooms with a Safe Deposit Box.
Deposit boxes are available at the following locations:
To open a Health Savings Account (HSA), an individual must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). An HDHP generally costs less than what traditional healthcare coverage costs, so the money that you save on insurance can be put into your HSA.
Option 1: Two People with SEFCU Accounts
Sending money between two SEFCU accounts is the quickest, easiest, and most secure way to transfer money. Funds can be transferred instantly anytime and anywhere with:
Phishing scams can take many forms. Sometimes scammers use fraudulent emails or texts or mimic websites that you trust to get you to share confidential, personal information – like account numbers, Social Security Numbers, or usernames and passwords. Phishing scammers usually give their targets a false sense of security because they make the text message, email, or website look like one the victim is familiar with. Worst of all, they usually make the message seem extremely urgent or there will be negative consequences.
Protect yourself by following the tips below:
Perhaps your doctor, lawyer, and accountant are trusted advisors. Through years of working with them, they have come to know your family and your particular needs. How about your investment representative? Have you built the same kind of trusting relationship with him or her?
By offering SEFCU auto loans right at the dealership. SEFCU has developed relationships with more than 200 auto, rv, motorcycle, boat, and sportscraft dealers. Just find make your deal, then apply for a SEFCU loan on the spot. Buying doesn't get any easier!
Check out the following list to see which dealers offer SEFCU financing right at their location. And stay tuned, SEFCU is developing relationships with even more dealers. The next time you buy a vehicle, ask if they offer SEFCU financing.
To con artists, down-on-their-luck relatives, or opportunistic acquaintances, older individuals are a goldmine, and here’s why. People over the age of 50 control 70% of the country’s wealth, and seniors between the ages of 65 and 74, with an average net worth of $1.06 million, have more assets than any other age group. Dementia, disability, and decline can make it even easier for criminals to con older adults out of their money, which is also known as elder abuse. There are many types of scams, unethical businesses, and unscrupulous individuals preying on seniors all the time.
After years of investing for retirement and other goals, you may have accumulated a substantial portfolio. If you're approaching or already enjoying retirement, there are important steps that you can take to help ensure that your investment plan – and your nest egg – is on track for your golden years. Keep reading to get tips for retirement planning.
We are ready to assist with any questions you may have about the System Upgrade. See below to view extended Member Solutions Center hours.
Monday, April 22 – Friday, April 26: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 27: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Are you thinking of replacing your phone? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade, or maybe you just like having the newest technology in the palm of your hands. No matter what, you’ll need to know what to do with your old device to safeguard your personal information.
Since we use our phones so much, there is a lot of personal data on these devices – maybe even more than you realize – including:
It’s easy to enroll in online banking!
First the car broke down, then the dishwasher stopped working, and now the dog is sick. Sometimes the old proverb, "When it rains it pours," seems to ring a little too true. When you need money to pay large, unexpected bills, where do you turn?
Since its inception, SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being has provided financial education opportunities for youth each summer, educating more than 1,500 students since 2016 about saving, budgeting, understanding paychecks, and other financial topics.
SEFCU is bringing this program to life again this summer, with plans to deliver various education sessions throughout the state. Organizations and agencies in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Onondaga, Tioga, and Erie counties have committed to providing education to the youth they serve.
Summer vacations are right around the corner! Since digital threats can follow us everywhere make sure you keep your guard up so cyber criminals don’t spoil your well-deserved (and much needed) vacation!
Make sure your devices and web browsers are up-to-date
WHY: To stay protected against all kinds of threats, make sure your laptops, smartphones, and other devices have the most current software before leaving for vacation.
As you know we have updated our website. We know the most important thing for many people is signing into their online banking account. If you are having a problem finding the new login box, please refer to this screenshot of our homepage.
Thank you for choosing SEFCU.