Posts Tagged 'scamwatch'

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.

Advertisements

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.

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.

‘Phishy Home’ video from OnGuard

OnGuard Online, the federal government’s hub for identity theft information, has a few fun videos – all with situations you’ve probably seen before.

The above video, called “Phishy Home,” shows what happens when phishers try to grab your personal credit card information. OnGuard provides a list of articles on the different types of identity theft tactics.

American 1’s response to the Heartland data breach

[Update: After careful consideration and account monitoring, we have decided that, for now, a mass reissue of the compromised cards is not necessary. We compare any claims of fraud against the compromised card list on a daily basis and will continue to do so. There has been no increased fraud claims since this compromise came to light. If you would like to know if your card number is on the compromised list, please give us a call or e-mail and we will be happy to check for you. If your card is on the list, and you would like to have your card replaced, we will do so for you.]

The Jackson Citizen Patriot posted an article about two local credit unions that were affected by the data breach, and we’ve had many members ask us if American 1 has been affected.

First, some background: Heartland Payment Systems, a company that helps businesses process debit and credit card transactions, was hit by malicious hackers. The hack put millions of credit card customers at risk in what may be the biggest data breach ever.

Heartland handles data from credit card merchants. So say you pay for a fill-up at a gas station with your American 1 Visa. That data gets sent to Heartland, who parses the info for Visa, and sends the payment back to the gas station. In effect, this data breach isn’t the fault of you, the gas station, or even Visa. It goes back to Heartland. And because it stems from a processor, and Heartland deals with upwards of 200,000 merchants (like gas stations), the breach may affect lots of people.

Heartland has taken responsibility for the breach, and offers tips to consumers who may be affected. Robert Carr, Heatland’s chairman/CEO, puts it this way:

As a cardholder, you will not be held financially responsible for any unauthorized transactions that are timely reported to your card issuer. You should regularly monitor your card and bank statements and report all suspicious activity to your card issuer (in the case of Visa and MasterCard cardholders, that would be the bank that issued the card, not the card brand).

Heartland says they’ve closed the security hole, but they still haven’t reported how many people may be affected.

Here at American 1, we are monitoring our members’ accounts closely to safeguard against any fraudulent activity. We won’t block anyone’s cards, meaning you can continue to use your American 1 Visa and debit cards as normal, and – if something does happen – you are not liable for any fradulent charges.

If we do find something suspicious, we will contact you directly. American 1 has dedicated employees that handle all our card transactions. If you have a problem with your American 1 Visa or MasterCard debit card, you will talk to a real, live person at our branch.

We’ll offer a tip: sign up for home banking to keep a close eye on your accounts. If you do spot something suspicious, please let us know. You can direct your questions to a Member Services Specialist at any branch location.

Member wins shredder, $50 Visa credit

Deborah H. - shredder winner

Deborah H. gets a lot of credit card solicitations in the mail.

She bought a household shredder to take care of most of it, but when American 1 offered to shred her junk mail for free, she jumped at the chance. Since then, she’s shredded dozens of credit card offers, and won our Top Secret Visa contest – including a heavy-duty home shredder and a $50 credit to her American 1 Visa card.

“American 1 is the only place I do business,” Deborah (above, with her son Cory) says, and her American 1 Visa is the only credit card she has.

Now she’ll use her new shredder to shred everyone else’s credit card offers, including the four she’s received already after winning our contest.

Congrats to Deborah! To learn more about big bank credit card tricks, visit our Top Secret Visa site.