Fraud & ID Theft
1st Community Credit Union strives to provide resources to help consumers learn about fraud and identity theft. Knowing about scams and recent trends in fraud can help you protect yourself from becoming a victim and suffering financial losses. On this page you will find basic tips for protecting yourself as well as brief descriptions of scams and/or short Federal Trade Commission videos* of scams that have been encountered locally and throughout the nation.
Be smart, be safe, and always contact your financial institutions if you believe that you may have given out information that you should not have disclosed.
*Some devices/browsers may not be able to view videos
Protect Yourself From Fraud and Scams:
Never Give Out Sensitive Information: Never give anyone your Online Banking or Mobile Banking/Mobile App user name or password. Keep your account numbers, credit and debit card numbers and PINs, and social security number private and secure. If you receive a phone call, text or email that includes a request for this sort of sensitive personal or financial information, hang up or ignore the call or delete the text or email.
- If your credit card has been compromised or lost, call 1-800-449-7728 to report it. They will assist you and arrange to issue you a new credit card.
- If your debit card has been compromised or lost, you may contact 1st CCU at (608) 269-8121 or toll-free at 1-888-706-1228 during business hours to report it and to request a new card. We can now print you a new ready-to-use debit card within minutes, so you no longer need to wait up to 3 weeks for your new debit card to arrive in the mail.
- After business hours, please call 1-800-449-7728 to report a lost or stolen debit card.
Pay Attention To Account Activity: You are responsible for monitoring your account activity and notifying your financial institution of suspicious activity or fraudulent charges. Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and AccessPoint Credit Card Account Access are offered free of charge to 1st CCU members, as well as monthly paper statements and eStatements. 1st CCU also offers free E-Alertsfor notification of daily account balance, online banking logins, and certain electronic transaction activity. For additional protection, ask a Member Service Representative to place a Password on your account. Once you've placed a secure password on your account you will give the password anytime you request information or transactions on your account in person or over the phone.
Inspect Credit Reports Annually: All consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies. The ONLY website authorized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide these free credit report copies is www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Consumers without internet access may request their free copies by calling 1-877-322-8228 or send a request by mail to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Don't Become A Victim Of Phishing Scams: Always question any suspicious or "official-looking" emails, letters, or phone calls that ask for verification of sensitive information, and never click on links in unexpected or suspicious emails or social media messages. Hang up the phone without giving out any information or allowing access to your information or computer.
Protect Your Device: Every consumer who owns a computer, smart phone, tablet, or other internet-enabled device should understand what software and systems they have and configure them securely.
Use Strong Passwords: When you use the same User ID and Password across several websites you increase your risk. Use strong, unique passwords and don't recycle the same passwords for multiple online accounts.
Inform Others: Tell elderly family members about scams and phishing attacks, even if they don't have internet access. They can still become victims of scams during phone calls and mail if they don't know the warning signs.
E-mail is not secure: Never send your personal information via e-mail
Contact 1st Community Credit Union directly in person or by phone if you have questions about your credit union accounts. If you receive an e-mail or phone call from a business or an individual claiming to be affiliated with 1st Community Credit Union, do not give out any personal information. 1st Community Credit Union will never ask you to verify your personal information through e-mail. Question any suspicious or "official-looking" emails or letters, especially those requesting personal information to reinstate account access, claim a prize, or verify information. Never enter any of your Credit Union account numbers in response to an e-mail you receive
Never respond to job offers you receive via unsolicited e-mail: This is one of the most prevalent scams in the past couple of years
If you receive an unsolicited check in the mail, bring it directly to 1st CCU, along with a copy of any correspondence that accompanies the check. We will help you determine if the check is fraudulent
If throwing away documents that contain personal, financial, and sensitive information, ALWAYS shred them
NOTE: If you receive an email that claims to be from 1st Community Credit Union, asking you to click on a link and enter personal information, please do not respond to the email and never give out your account number, social security number, or other personal information by email or telephone.
SCAMS AND FRAUD TRENDS
- IRS Scam : A scammer falsely claims to be with the Internal Revenue Service and contacts you via phone or email to demand immediate payment on back taxes they claim you owe. They may threaten legal action, jail time, deportation or revocation of your driver's license.
- Payday Lender Scam: Scammer calls you attempting to collect on an old Payday Loan from years ago. This is a phishing phone call attempting to scare you into giving out account numbers, etc.
- Computer Tech Support Or Computer Takeover Scam : Victim is informed via email or phone that their computer is infected, and the scammer requests remote access to fix the problem. OR, victim receives an email with an attachment or link claiming to contain the latest software upgrade but it is really malware. After remote access is enabled or the attachment is opened, the computer screen goes black. This scam may involve a caller who refuses to give you back control of your own computer unless you give them your debit or credit card number. Giving out your card number to these scammers results in charges to your card in various amounts, and you are liable for these charges and the loss of funds.
- A variation of the above scam involves a virus infecting your computer and installing a fake message with a government agency seal. The virus locks the screen and claims the computer owner has illegally downloaded something, followed by a demand for money to unlock the computer. A twist to this scam has also involved the scammers taking over your computer's webcam and snapping a photo of you, claiming that they will place the photo on a fake web page.
- Microsoft Scam: Victim receives an email or a phone call claiming to have an installer attachment that will give PC owners the latest upgrade. If you click on the attachment it may install a ransomware variant, displaying a message that you owner's PC files have been encrypted and will stay that way unless the consumer pays a ransom. If you don't know who has sent an email do not click any links or open attachments.
- Card Services Scam: A phone call from a local phone number claiming to be card services wants to discuss your rate. Never give out your card number or other information to unsolicited callers.
- ATM Skimming Devices: ATM Skimmers are card readers installed by fraudsters who tamper with ATM machines. The skimmer reads the data off your card's magnetic strip and stores the data on the skimmer, then the fraudster comes back to retrieve the skimmer.
- When approaching an ATM, look for signs of tampering: a keyboard that doesn't feel right (too thick or too loose), the appearance of something sticking out of the card reader or something temporarily attached on top of the normal card reader (card reader feels loose, sticky tape residue, etc), a brochure holder that looks out of place (fraudsters have been known to conceal hidden cameras inside fake brochure holders in order to film their victims' PIN entry).
- If something doesn't seem right about the ATM, walk away and find another ATM. Avoid ATMs in isolated areas, where a thief installing a skimming device would be relatively undetected.
- Be aware of anyone who appears to be looking over your shoulder. Cover your hand when entering your PIN.
- There are some scammers who insert a clear plastic "sleeve" or loop inside the card reader. When a cardholder comes along and inserts their card into the slot the card gets stuck. The scammer then comes along, posing as a helpful bystander, an ATM repairman, or even a police investigator. The scammer convinces you to try your PIN while they observe, then they come up with a story that convinces you to leave the card in the machine or leave the card with them for "evidence". Never use your PIN when others are watching, and if you are unable to retrieve your card for any reason please remain at the machine and use a cell phone to call the telephone assistance number listed on the ATM.
- When entering your PIN, always cover the keypad with your other hand.
- Ignore the hoax emails and social media posts you may have seen about entering your PIN number backwards if you are in distress at an ATM. This is a myth; ATMs do not have that capability.
- Escrow Check Scam: This scam involves an unsolicited check showing up in the mail. Always beware of unsolicited cashiers checks you receive from unknown sources, as they almost always fake. You are responsible for the checks you deposit into your account.
- Chase Card Scam: This scam was an email that referenced a recent credit card payment and encourage you to open a zipped attachment. This email could contain a virus.
- Utility Company Phone Scam: Callers claiming to be from the local utility company threaten to turn off electricity or natural gas service if they are not paid immediately. Scammers may even manipulate Caller ID to look like they are calling from the utility company.
- Phishing Email/Fake Website Scam: Scammers are use a website with a logo and design similar to a company or federal organization in a phishing scam, attempting to convince consumers to provide sensitive information or send money.
- Card Problem Phishing Text/Email: Scammers send a message claiming to be from a bank or credit union. The message claims that there is a problem with your credit card or debit card. Fraudulent notifications of this kind are typically sent out to random lists of phone numbers or emails and the scammers are hoping you will call them back and disclose your credit or debit card number.
- Grandparent Scam: The grandparent scam has been around for several years. Scammers peruse social networking sites to find out personal information about their target, then use the internet or a stolen cell phone to contact an elderly family member and ask for funds to be wired for bail, emergency medical expenses, etc. This type of scam commonly occurs around the time of Spring Break. Common scenarios can include:
- A grandparent receives a scam call or email from a "grandchild", often late at night or early in the morning. The caller claiming to be their grandchild urgently explains he/she has gotten into a bad situation (car accident, arrested for drugs, being mugged) and needs money wired immediately. The caller also insists they don't want their parents to be notified.
- Sometimes a phony 'official' makes the fraudulent call, claiming to be a police officer, lawyer, or hospital doctor or nurse and speaking on behalf of the grandchild, requesting funds be wired.
- Military families can also be victimized; a con artist will contact a soldier's family and claim that a problem has come up during military leave that requires money to to be wired
- Older consumers are urged to be aware of this type of scam, and resist the pressure to act quickly. If you receive this call, try to contact your grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate. Be aware that if Facebook privacy settings aren't high enough scammers can often get access to personal information that a grandparent might use to verify their grandchild's identity, including the name of a childhood pet, a nickname, siblings' names, home address or the college they attend, etc. Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email.
- Younger consumers can help prevent grandparents from becoming victims to this scam by increasing privacy settings on social networking sites, leaving several contact numbers to allow family to check in should there be some concern, and password-protecting smartphones.
- Phishing phone calls or emails asking you to confirm account numbers or other personal information. These scams try to create a sense of urgency by claiming that there is a problem with your payroll, debit or credit card, tax return, automatic payment, etc
- Smishing: Fake text messages blasted to every cell phone within one area
- Fake Android Smartphone Apps
- Free Trial Scams
- Fake charity or holiday-related websites
- Fake delivery invoices
- Fake "New Friend Request" emails on Facebook
- Holiday ecards laden with computer viruses
- Job-related email scams
- Online Romance scams
- Auction site fraud in which you list an item for sale and buyer attempts to grossly overpay by sending you a large cashiers check and asking you to keep a portion and wire the remaining funds to someone else
- Password theft (change your passwords frequently)
- E-mail scams asking for verification of personal info (phishing, vishing, smishing, etc)
Other Common Scams Include:
It is important to share information on scams with older family members, college students, and friends. Scammers prefer to prey on the elderly and young people who are managing their own finances for the first time, often resorting to harassment if they feel it will get them the information they desire. Work together to come up with a plan of what to say and do if they are contacted with requests for sensitive information.
INSPECT YOUR CREDIT REPORT AT ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM
You may request a free credit report to review your credit accounts and identify any inaccuracies. The federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) requires each of the three consumer reporting companies to provide a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Order your free credit report online or call 877-322-8228. There are other websites that are frequently advertised on television that claim to be your source for free credit reports, however the AnnualCreditReport.com site is the ONLY source recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).