With recent retail hacking under investigation, comes the next wave of cyber-attacks that could affect your personal information. Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishers are very good at making fraud LOOK real, so even the most diligent member can get caught in the schemes. So how do you know what is real and what is not?
First rule of thumb and most importantly, no legitimate business will ever call and ask you for your account information, ask you to enter your account information into a system (web or phone) for verification, or ask you for your passwords. No legitimate business, period. So if they ask that by phone, text, or email you can safely assume it is fraud.
One example was emails that appeared to be from Target, saying that a customer’s card might have been compromised and that the holder should verify risk by calling a phone number or logging into a website and entering the account number and other personal information. People thought they were doing the right thing and they actually just compromised the account themselves.
If you feel you may have fallen victim to a phishing scheme, call the credit union and report what happened. You should also monitor your account through Its Me 247 every day. You should know and understand every transaction and if you don’t—report it immediately. We have no problem reviewing account activity with you (and reminding you that you did indeed use your debit card for a BOGO deal at the shoe store).
Other tips to protect yourself from phishing schemes:
- Don’t click on links in emails you did not request
- Don’t open emails from strangers
- Set security on email accounts to high
- When an email appears to be legitimate, look carefully at the address and body of the email. Watch for spelling and grammar errors and strange extensions added to web addresses—these can be clues that something is phishy!
- Never take action on an email, text, or phone calls without clearing it with someone first. Phishers are trying to get you to panic so that you will give them your account information.
- Request a fraud alert be placed on your account with the credit reporting agencies. These alerts are free and good for 90 days.
twilson, Source: Infosights 2/14