As soon as one source of fraud is shut down, it seems the news is reporting another. While NCACU works very hard to protect our members from fraudulent activity it is critical that our members work hard to protect themselves. We live in a digital age—and no one is completely safe from Identity theft. Members who don’t use electronic devices like debit cards, internet banking or online bill pay may think they are safe, but surprisingly, by not using these programs it may be harder for you to detect fraudulent activity on your account. Recent reports of data breeches or fraudulent activity prove that no data base is completely safe and has banks and credit unions scrambling to close and issue new cards to prevent losses.
There are some things all members should be doing to protect your accounts.
- Never EVER give out personal information or account numbers.
- Never use PIN numbers at gas pumps where skimmers are more common.
- Review your credit report and report any fraudulent activity. One report is free from each credit bureau each year.
- Check your credit report at freecreditreport.com ; the report is free, but there is a fee to get your credit score.
- Use your debit card as a signature based (credit) transaction. Doing so is safer and gives you an additional layer of protection provided by the issuing agency (MasterCard or VISA).
- Consider using a credit monitoring tool.
- Keep your personal computer up to date with antivirus protection.
- Don’t use non-secure internet applications such as in hotels, restaurants and public access points
- Set alerts in mobile banking so that you are notified of transactions hitting your accounts.
- Be aware of “phishing” where a caller is looking for personal information.
- Respond to email alerts of security changes at the credit union. Notify us immediately if you get a notice that your email, mailing or passwords have been changed but you have not changed them.
The two most common types of fraud are keylogging and phishing which occur from malware that unknowingly gets added to your computer. Keylogging is a program that records your key strokes and uses that information to steal passwords and account numbers. This type of malware can be embedded in pictures, blogs, email, and links on websites. Keeping virus protection up to date and using the most recent version of your computer’s web browser can also help protect you. Companies are constantly making changes and adding new layers of protection so when you get notified of an update to programs make sure you take the time to update!
Phishing is the fraudulent practice of someone pretending to be from reputable company in order to get individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Remember, no reputable company will ever call and ask you to confirm your account number, nor will they ever call to reduce your interest rate—they make money off your interest rate. A newer phishing scam is a phone call telling you that you missed a payment and that your cable, power, etc. is going to be shut off and to avoid shut off you can enter credit card information. People often panic and give out that information when the call is actually fraudulent. Phishing calls are hard to decipher real from fake. Just never give out your information. If you are unsure ask for a phone number and to call them back but before you do check the number in Google. Google will tell you if a number is associated with fraudulent activity.
The best thing to do is to always stay diligent in protecting your account. When in doubt call our service center. Report any unusual activity on your account.