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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
Establishing strong passwords is one of the best ways to keep your account information safe. If you aren’t sure how to create secure passwords or need help keeping track of all the different passwords you have, read these tips.
What is Spyware?
Spyware is 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:
If you’re a recent graduate have you considered a career as a cybersecurity professional? There is currently a huge demand for people training in cybersecurity and you can work almost anywhere in the world. Keep reading to find out if this career is right for you.
As you start to count down the days until you hit the beach or travel abroad for your summer vacation, make sure you are taking steps to ensure that your dream vacation doesn’t become a nightmare.
Do some research