Archive for the 'scamwatch' Category

Scam Visa calls going around

We’re getting reports of members receiving calls soliciting their Visa information from someone saying their account is going to be closed. The caller comes from an unavailable number and won’t leave a name or identify themselves.

If you receive such a call, don’t give the caller any information. If American 1 has to call you, we already have your account information and don’t have to ask. That, and we’re not afraid to identify ourselves over the phone and leave our phone number. In fact, your caller ID may list us on the display.

When you receive calls like this, simply hang up and call the credit union yourself and ask about the situation. If there is one, you know you’re calling the right people. Plus, we like to stay on top of fraud situations like this.

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ScamWatch: Beware fraud calls from FDIC

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the insurance body for banks (like the NCUA for credit unions) warns that some people are getting suspicious calls from the organization:

To date, the callers have alleged that the call recipient is delinquent in payment of a loan that was applied for over the Internet or made through a payday lender. The loan may or may not actually exist. The caller attempts to authenticate the claim by providing sensitive personal information, such as name, Social Security number, and date of birth, supposedly taken from the loan application. The recipient is then strongly urged to make a payment over the phone to “avoid a lawsuit and possible arrest.” In some instances, the caller is said to sound aggressive and threatening.

These calls are fakes from scam artists trying to get your personal information.

The FDIC deals with insuring savings accounts, not on collections matters. No matter how threatening the phone calls, don’t give information from people who call and ask for it. Be sure to keep an eye on your accounts for suspicious activity, and contact the credit reporting agencies to put a fraud alert on your account if you feel threatened.

Scamwatch: Salary is too good to be true

Here’s a fun e-mail someone received at another credit union. It’s an attempt to get account information based on an “employment opportunity” with a fake company.

Check it out:

You are welcome by the company W.U.G.
Our company is dealt with the widening its sphere of action and starts to join new employees to its department in the USA. If you have a great desire to earn well-deserved money, to take the opportunity to get good knowledge and to raise yourself,we will be happy to help you with this.

Our company provides its clients with financial services. It is not obligatory to have higher education to start working with us; after several trial tests you will get the chance to study on the house.

To begin cooperation with us you should provide us with the following information:
the number of your personal ID and account details (it would be better to open new account, special for work).

This information will be checked by the business security department W.U.G.

You will get the opportunity to work as a financial manager of one of our clients (at the same time one of our more experienced worker will be able to help you by email or by phone)

Stable salary – 2400 USD and more, duration of working day – 3-4 hours.
If this offer is suitable for you, please do not hesitate to send us an email.

Our contact: mendoza@westjobposition.com

We are glad to hire successful people in our company! Sincerely,
Marco Veliz Mendoza
Chief of staff department
W.U.G. Finance

Isn’t the grammar fantastic? And look at that salary: $2,400 for three or four hours of work. That’s $600 an hour!

That’s also the definition of “too good to be true.” Especially during these times of hardship, beware these kinds of employment offers.

Credit card phishing alert

Alarming news from the NCUA:

The purpose of this fraud alert is to inform all federally-insured credit unions about a recent phishing attempt to obtain member credit card account numbers, expiration dates and electronic signatures. In cases reported to NCUA, the perpetrator(s) sent fraudulent e-mails, representing to be from the NCUA, to credit union members and the general public. The emails state the NCUA will add $50.00 to the member’s account for taking part in a survey. The link embedded in the message directs members to a counterfeit version of NCUA’s website with an illicit survey that solicits credit card account numbers and confidential personal information.

We are highly concerned about the risk of imitating the NCUA website and the use of the NCUA official logo to potentially make the scam appear more authentic to unsuspecting members. NCUA will never ask credit union members or the general public for personal account or personally identifiable information as part of a survey. Any e-mail that alleges to be from NCUA and asks for account information is fraudulent and should be treated as suspicious.

The NCUA recommends keeping up to date on virus protection software and security updates. Also, if you receive a scam e-mail, send it to Phishing@ncua.gov.

And by all means, do not give our your account information to just anyone that asks.

UPDATE: We just got another report of credit card phishing activity. This time, the caller claims to be with Visa or MasterCard, already has your credit card number, and asks for the three-digit number on the back of the card.

Whatever you do, don’t give them any more information than they already have.

“The member should be advised to note the telephone number of the caller and follow up with Visa or MasterCard by calling the 800 number on the back of the card to report the incident,” Jay A. Slagel, VP or Risk Management for Allied Solutions, advises. “The member should also contact their credit union to advise of the call and what specific requests were made.”

Shred Day shredder winner

claire foley picture

Congratulations to Claire Foley, our Shred Day shredder winner.

Claire stopped by our free community Shred Day to take care of some documents she had been saving. And what good timing: her home shredder just broke.

“I’ll use this shredder every day,” she said. “I want to keep it up just to reduce the clutter.”

We had about 80 people stop by the shredding event, but those people had a ton of material to shred.

Look here for any updates on future shred events!

Text scam: keep these things in mind

We have your account information: American 1 wouldn’t call you up and ask you your account information out of the blue. Besides, we have your information already. Usually we ask you to verify your account when you call us – just to make sure you’re who you say you are. That’s to keep your money safe, and to keep thieves from calling up and pretending to be you.

We don’t have a texting program: Some credit unions and banks are notifying their members and customers of transactions or low fund warnings via text. These programs are great, but we don’t have one set up right now. So if you see a text coming from us, it’s not us.

When fraud happens, we use a different method: American 1 does monitor our Visa and debit cards for fraud activity automatically, but the system is a simple phone call that verifies your transactions (“Did you buy such-and-such at this place yesterday?”) and never asks for your card number. Like we mentioned above, we have that info already.

It doesn’t hurt to call us: If you’re ever unsure about someone asking about your financial info, hang up and give us a call to make sure everything’s okay. You never know who’s who, or if a different branch is showing up on your caller ID. So to be safe, just call our toll-free number at (888) 213-2848 and double check everything.

Don’t give out your account info over e-mail, the phone, or anywhere else: That’s the bottom line. Thieves aren’t just using text messages; they could be using e-mail, the phone, even Facebook or Twitter. American 1 doesn’t handle account information, especially account and card numbers, over social networks or e-mail, and we recommend you not share that info with just anyone who asks.

Beware new text scam

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reported on a text messaging scam affecting some of our members and non-members:

People are receiving text messages asking them for banking information, a news release from the sheriff’s office stated.

The messages are sent to mobile phones saying PIN numbers or debit card information have been lost from bank records. The message asks people for banking or debit card information, according to the release.

The text messages started appearing Sunday night, says the report.

Beware of text messaging scams like these, and know that American 1 would never ask you for your account information via text, or for your PIN. That’s personal account information that, chances are, we already have.

In fact, American 1 doesn’t engage in any text messaging program right now. If we ever did (for account updates, say, but not phishing for information), we’d be sure to let you know.

If you did respond to this text message, please let us and the Jackson County Sheriff’s office know.

UPDATE: We had an employee receive the text. Here’s what it read:

American 1 FCU Alert: Your CARD has been DEACTIVATED. Please contact us at 877-733-7240 to RECATIVATE your CARD

She also said it appeared to have come from her own phone, which makes this thing extra tricky.

Read our list of things to keep in mind when it comes to these kinds of fraud schemes.