Fraud & ID Theft

NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR ONLINE BANKING OR MOBILE BANKING USER NAME AND PASSWORD!

1st Community Credit Union would like to remind all members that you should NEVER give out your Online Banking or Mobile Banking/Mobile App User Name and Password.

Nobody needs to know your User Names and Passwords. If you are solicited with a monetary offer that seems too good to be true, it probably is. 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. Never give out sensitive information to people who call you on the phone or contact you via text or email.

Protect your identity and your funds. If you believe you may have given out information that you should not have disclosed, please contact your financial institution immediately.



March 1, 2017: 1st Community Credit Union has been informed of an Escrow Check Scam to be aware of. If you receive an unsolicited cashiers check in the mail or via Priority Mail it is probably a scam.

October 16th - The following Consumer Alert was issued regarding Computer Tech Support and IRS Scams in the area:

MADISON - Tech support and Internal Revenue Service scams target victims randomly and regularly. Both are old scams, both involve threats and demands for money, and neither is showing any signs of slowing down.

Over the past four weeks, the Consumer Protection Hotline at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has received at least nine calls about tech support scams and more than 120 calls about IRS scams.

The criminals behind these scams are experts at preying on fears of crashed computers and lost data or back taxes and jail time, and people fall victim every day. The best defense is to know how these scams work and to share this information with friends and family.


Computer tech support scams:

You receive a call out of the blue claiming that your computer has a virus and that the caller can help you get rid of it. The callers often falsely claim to represent Microsoft or a local tech support company to gain your trust. They tell you that they can remove the(non-existent) virus from your computer for a fee. The caller asks you to download software from the internet that grants them remote access to your system.

If you allow these scammers to access your computer, they can load any number of malicious software programs onto your machine and they may access your files as well. If you give them your credit card number to pay for their "services," you can expect to get ripped off there too. This is typically a phone-based scam, but also shows up in online pop-up messages saying you have a computer virus and telling you to call a specific phone number for help.

What to do:

  • Hang up the phone or close the pop-up.
  • A tech support representative (Microsoft or otherwise) will never contact you to tell you that your computer has a virus.
  • If you question whether your computer is actually infected, run a system scan using the antivirus protection software on your computer. Keep your antivirus software updated in order to protect you from the latest malware.
  • If you need additional help, take your computer to a local, trusted tech support business.


IRS scams:

A scammer who falsely claims to be with the Internal Revenue Service contacts you by phone or email. He claims that you owe back taxes. He demands immediate payment and may threaten you with legal action, jail time, deportation or revocation of your driver's license.

In other versions of IRS scams,the scammer may email you requesting your IRS e-services portal username and password or may request personal or banking information in order to"update" your e-file records.

These are "government impostor" scams - a type of criminal operation that uses the names or"look-alikes" of government agencies in the hopes of adding legitimacy to their ploys. None of the communications mentioned above are actually from the IRS.

What to do:

  • Hang up the phone or delete the emails.
  • The IRS communicates with taxpayers by traditional mail. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone or email to request immediate payments or to gather personal or financial information.
  • Never click a link or open an attachment in an unsolicited email.
  • If you question the legitimacy of a communication from a governmental agency, contact DATCP's Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7128) or call the misrepresented agency directly to inquire.
  • The IRS has a webpage that describes and debunks the various tax scams that have been reported to the agency. The page provides a wealth of tips, news releases, and video and podcast links to help you stay informed on these threats: irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts.


For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov orcall the Consumer Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.


October 6th: Be aware of a recent phone scam in our area in which you receive a phone call claiming to be a Payday Lender attempting to collect on an old Payday Loan from years ago (as far back as 2010 in one case). This is a phishing phone call from a fraudster who is attempting to scare victims into giving out account numbers and other sensitive information. If you have never gotten a Payday Loan and you receive this type of phone call, the best course of action is to hang up without responding.

Protect Yourself From Fraud and Scams:

  • 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-Alerts for 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.
  • 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.
August 4th: It has come to our attention that an email claiming to be from Microsoft has been received by some consumers in the U.S. The email claims to have an installer attachment that will give PC owners the Windows 10 upgrade. The email's text has a number of odd characters, which is a big hint that it is not from Microsoft. If consumers click on the attachment it will install a ransomware variant. The program then shows a message saying that the owner's PC files have been encrypted and will stay that way unless the consumer pays a ransom. Microsoft is not sending out emails with program attachments. If you receive this email it should be deleted.

July 31, 2015: A phone call from a local phone number claiming to be card services and wanting to discuss your card and your rate is a scam. Please do not give out your card number or any other sensitive information to unsolicited callers.

1st CCU has been informed that an ATM Skimming Devices was recently found on an ATM in the St. Paul area. 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. Some examples of skimmers that have been found on ATMs are pictured below:

 


To stay safe and protect your card:

  • 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.

Beware Of Computer Takeover Scam:

Consumers in our area are falling victim to a message that appears on their computer informing them of a virus and instructing them to call a phone number for assistance. After calling the phone number, the victims are instructed to give out their debit card number to pay for the virus removal assistance. If the victim doesn't have a debit card, the scammers demand an account number and routing number. The scammers create a sense of urgency in an attempt to scare their victims into disclosing sensitive information. PLEASE BEWARE OF THIS SCAM AND TAKE THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS TO KEEP YOUR COMPUTER AND YOUR FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS SAFE AND SECURE.

Beware Of Phone Scam That Takes Over Your Computer:

If you are contacted by someone who claims to work for a computer company (or makes a similar claim), and the caller tells you that your computer is infected and they can clean the virus off your computer if you allow them to remotely access your computer, DO NOT GIVE THEM REMOTE ACCESS AND DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD OR ACCOUNT NUMBER(S).

Consumers in our area have become victims of this scam. After remote access is enabled, the computer screen goes black and the caller basically 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.

Another Variation Of This Scam:

A variation of the this 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.

Take steps to protect your computer from malware and spyware, and never give your credit and debit card numbers out to callers.

If you have been a victim of this scam and you gave out an account number, contact your financial institution immediately for assistance in protecting your account.

  • 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.


More Scam Alerts

Beware of e-mails claiming to be sent from Chase Card Services that reference a recent credit card payment and encourage you to open a zipped attachment. This email could contain a virus. 


Utility Company Phone Scam:

Xcel Energy reports that customers have recently been victimized by phone scams. Callers claiming to be from Xcel Energy are threatening 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 Xcel Energy.

If you feel like there is any possibility that you are dealing with an impersonator, hang up immediately and call Xcel Energy to verify the status of your account. Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm call 1-800-481-4700 . Evening hours and weekends call 1-800-895-4999 . Visit connect.xcelenergy.com/scams for more tips.

  1. Excel Energy provides many options for payment; be suspicious if a caller requires the use of a prepaid debit card, such as a Green Dot card.
  2. If your account is in danger of disconnection, a notice will be sent through U.S. mail before your power is turned off.
  3. Never wire money or provide your debit or credit card numbers to an unverified source.


IRS Phone Scam:

A consumer in our area received a phone call claiming to be from the IRS. The caller stated that money was owed and if payment wasn't received they would freeze all account funds. This is an example of a Phone Scam that pops up at this time every year. The IRS contacts taxpayers through the mail. If you receive a phone call claiming to be from the IRS and demanding that you wire funds, purchase a prepaid card and give the card number, or asks for sensitive financial or personal information, do not respond. Simply hang up without responding.

NCUA Phishing Email:

NCUA (the National Credit Union Administration office) is warning consumers that scammers are using a website with a logo and design similar to NCUA's in a phishing scam and are attempting to convince consumers to provide sensitive information or send money. Consumers have reportedly received emails from the "National Credit Union" website, which is in no way affiliated with NCUA, a federal agency. The emails attempt to persuade consumers to provide personal information, such as Social Security numbers, account numbers, and login information, OR transfer large amounts of money.

If you receive an email like this, please do not respond in any way or click on any links. Simply delete the email.

Anthem Insurance Breach:
Recently in the news you may have seen a report about a data breach at Anthem, Inc. Anthem has set up a website at  www.anthemfacts.com  that includes a link to Frequently Asked Questions. While the Anthem attack did not compromise financial account numbers or credit card information, here are some tips that ALL consumers should be aware of when protecting yourself from fraud and identity theft:
Bank of America Phishing Text/Email:

1st Community Credit Union has been informed that a consumer in our area recently received a phishing message on her phone claiming to be from Bank of America. The scam claimed that there was a problem with a Bank of America card, which the consumer does not have. Fraudulent notifications of this kind are typically sent out to random lists of phone numbers or emails. If you receive phishing emails, texts, or phone calls please do not click any links, give out any information, reply to the email, or return the phone call; just delete it.

Wells Fargo Phishing Text/Email:

1st Community Credit Union has been informed that a consumer in our area recently received a phishing message on his phone claiming to be from Wells Fargo. The scam claimed that there was a problem with a Wells Fargo account, which the consumer does not have. Fraudulent notifications of this kind are typically sent out to random lists of phone numbers or emails. If you receive phishing emails, texts, or phone calls please do not click any links, give out any information, reply to the email, or return the phone call; just delete it.

' Grandparent Scam' during holidays and Spring Break :

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.


Beware Phone Scam : If you receive a text or automated phone call claiming that your ATM/Debit card is locked, or wanting to verify security on your card, please do not respond. Consumers in our area may receive calls claiming to be from us, possibly even displaying a local phone number on the Caller ID. Scammers have even been known to spoof the victims' own phone number in hopes of urging them to pick up the call. Always use extreme caution when receiving unsolicited phone calls.

In cases such as this, scammers do NOT know if you have a debit card or a credit card from any financial institution. They are simply hoping to convince victims to give out sensitive information by creating a sense of urgency.


1st Community Credit Union will not request card numbers, account information or PIN numbers from cardholders over the phone. Do not give out your information, hang up the phone. In many cases, phishing scams, whether by phone or through emails,attempt to gain personal information from the call or email recipients such as:
· First and Last Name
· Debit Card or ATM Card Number
· Debit or ATM Card Personal Identification Number (PIN)
· Date of Birth
· Social Security Number
· Account Number and/or Account Type 


1st CCU offers free Text and Email Alerts, Online Banking, and a Mobile App for convenient monitoring of your accounts. If you would like to receive Text or Email Alerts when activity happens on your account please set up alerts in Online Banking or contact 1st CCU for assistance in setting up Alerts.

Other Free E-Alerts


January 27, 2014 - Maybank Phishing Email:

1st Community Credit Union has been informed that a consumer in our area recently received a phishing email claiming to be from Maybank. The email subject line made mention of an Electronic Funds Transfer. This is a fraudulent email. If you receive this email please do not click any links, give out any information, or reply to the email; just delete it.

Consumers are urged to keep your computer's security software up-to-date and beware of any emails that make claims regarding your financial accounts.


January 27, 2014 - Alert family members to ' Grandparent Scam' before leaving for Spring Break :

The grandparent scam has been around for a few 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.


January 22, 2014 - NCUA Cell Phone "Vishing" Scam:

The National Credit Union Administration is warning consumers to beware of a telephone "vishing" scheme that is using the agency's name in an attempt to obtain personal financial information. Vishing refers to Voice Recorded Phishing Calls. Several credit union members around the nation have been contacted by an automated phone call claiming to be from NCUA and notifying consumers their debit cards have been compromised. The call then asks the receiver to follow prompts, which request personal information, including sensitive financial data and personal identification information.

NCUA neither seeks personal information from consumers over the telephone nor handles day-to-day maintenance of member account information. NCUA works with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, to protect consumers from frauds of this nature.

We urge consumers to never verify or release personal financial information to unknown callers.


Dec. 30th, 2013 - Verizon Phishing Scam:

If you receive a phone call or text on your cell phone claiming to be from Verizon regarding an offer for a $35 credit, do not click any links or visit any unknown site. The Caller ID shows that this call is coming from Verizon's customer service number and directs you to a myreward35 website which asks for your login, password, and other sensitive information. This is a scam. Cell phone users from a wide spectrum of cell service providers received the same call claiming to be from Verizon.
If you are a Verizon customer and you fell victim to this scam, you are advised to reset all passwords on respective accounts and notify your financial institution if you shared credit, debit, or checking account information.


Phishing Scam - Costco

1st Community Credit Union has been alerted to a recent phishing scam in which consumers receive a text or email that claims to be coming from the Costco company. The scam's message states that there has been a problem with an order for home delivery and/or a package was delivered to the wrong address. They message offers a refund while at the same time threatens a 21 percent fine. The language of the message is awkwardly phrased and the message includes a link to a form that directs the consumer to provide name, address, Social Security number, credit card numbers, account numbers, PINs and passwords.

This message has not been sent by Costco. If you receive a text or email concerning a delivery failure or cancellation, do not click the link and do reply. Delete the message immediately.

Walmart Version of this scam:   A consumer in our area received a similar email message claiming to be from Walmart with the subject line "Expedited Delivery Problem". This message also contained a link to fill out a form with personal and financial information. The consumer contacted Walmart and their Customer Service department confirmed that this was a phishing scam. 


Another Scam Alert Issued By A Local Utility Company: Don't become a victim of a recent scam that is popping up in Wisconsin. The scammers contact you and claim to be from a local utility company, informing you that they are installing a new meter and you must pay a large deposit now or the utility will cut the power in one hour. Another variation of this scam is an urgent call that your meter is malfunctioning and your house could explode. Some victims of this type of scam have been directed to a store to purchase a prepaid debit card, then they are instructed to call back with all of the numbers on the card. Don't fall for scams like this.


Other Common Scams Include:

  • Fake emails claiming to be from the IRS
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Grandparent Scam: claiming a grandchild is in the hospital or in jail and is in need of funds to secure medical treatment or bail

INFORM OTHERS

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). 

If you receive an e-mail or a pop-up ad that claims to be affiliated with the Annual Credit Report Request Service authorized by the FACT Act, do not reply and do not click on any link in the message. Also be wary of companies that make claims regarding Credit Repair.

PROTECT YOURSELF 

  • 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

Although 1st Community Credit Union may occasionally send email announcement of upcoming promotions, we never use e-mail messages to warn members about the status of their accounts. 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. These sorts of emails are called phishing emails. Never give out your account number, social security number, or other personal information by email or telephone.