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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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
With smartphones playing a critical role in our everyday lives, personal security is becoming increasingly important. Mobile security is more advanced than ever before, but scammers are also getting smarter in their tactics.
Creating a solid financial foundation can help investors stay focused no matter how the markets are performing.
When the markets and the economy are behaving badly, as they tend to do from time to time, it's easy to feel helpless. But creating a solid financial foundation can help you gain control of your investments and possibly avoid mistakes that can sabotage your portfolio.
Changing jobs? What are you going to do with your retirement savings? Think about this:
There are a lot of issues that couples need to think about when tying the knot – wedding preparations, family, and, of course, finances. Addressing personal finance and investment issues before the big day may help improve your odds of being together years later. Keep reading for some financial issues that you might consider when embarking on a matrimonial journey.
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?
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.
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?
In the sports world, a mental error can cost your team the big game. When you are investing, a mental error can put your retirement portfolio at risk. Mistakes often result from letting misconceptions and emotions affect your decisions.
Successful investing generally requires logic and reasoning. To avoid a fumble, you may want to guard against these four behavior patterns.