Security Issues and Scams - Get SMART!
1. NEVER give your personal information out through email or text on mobile devices. If you contact us by phone, we do ask for identifying information to confirm who you are, but we DO NOT ever contact you, asking for this information.
Your personal information includes account numbers, social security number, passwords, PIN numbers, or credit card security codes. If you are asked to verify any of these through email, text or a call which you did not initiate, do not fall for it. Contact your financial institution directly to confirm any attempts to gain information from you.
2. KEEP YOUR PC ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS UPDATED AND CURRENT. Any pc that utilizes the internet should have an ongoing virus program in place. McAfee, Kaspersky are a few of the well known products. Make sure your program is set up to perform regular updates and scans. In addition to antivirus programs, we also recommend malware programs such as those offered through Malwarebytes. This will add additional protection to your pc.
3. Contact Credit Union of Denver immediately at 303.239.1150 if you suspect any fraudulent or suspicious activity on your own account. And Forward any suspicious emails asking for your financial information or asking you to click on a link to verify financial information to email@example.com.
4. If there is suspected fraudulent activity on your credit card, you may be contacted by a representative from Credit Union of Denver's card processor, PSCU. The call will come from 888.918.7313 and the representative who contacts you will NOT ask you to give them any information about your card, but will ony verify any suspicious transactions. If any transaction is not authorized by you, your card will be immediately deactivated, and you will be directed to call C•U•D directly to order a new card. If you are suspicious of any call you receive from C•U•D or PSCU, DO NOT provide any information to the caller, hang up and call us directly at 303.239.1150 or 800.279.3288 to verify that the call was legitimate.
The following is a list of common scams and online security issues.
Home Depot Breach/Compromise:
You may have heard on the news that Home Depot Inc. has confirmed that its payment security systems have been breached. The breach of credit or debit card information may date back to April of this year. Home Depot has offered free identity-protection services, including credit monitoring, to any potentially impacted customers (contact Home Depot direct). At this time, the credit union recommends that you monitor your account on a regular basis and notify us if any transaction would look suspicious to you. You are not liable for any unauthorized activity on your account, but please notify us so that we can limit the amount of fraud and inconvenience to you. We have flagged card accounts that were included in the compromised lists from Home Depot and will contact you if there is unusual activity. That call may be from the Card Services area of the credit union or through our card monitoring Fraud Dept. out of state. As always, please do not disclose information about your card to anyone contacting you. Our Card Services Department is available at 303-239-1150 from 8:30am to 5:00pm if you should have any questions or concerns.
The latest phishing scam is a series of recorded calls going to our members cell & home phones claiming to be their “credit union”, but not identifying themselves. They are claiming the members account has been compromised or want them to verify their account with their social security number to unlock their cards. THIS IS A SCAM! Please do not answer anyone calling, texting or e-mailing asking for any of your personal information. Credit Union of Denver will never ask for your credit card number, pin number or your social security number. We only ask questions to verify your identity when you call into our main number. Members have said that the call comes across as an “Unknown number.”
TIP: We have a security group, FALCON, which monitors unusual spending patterns on our members’ MasterCard accounts. If members receive calls from FALCON, they are never asked for their card number or pin before information is verified with them. Please call us with any questions at 303.234.1700 or 800.279.3288. This latest scam is affecting multiple credit unions, so if you belong to more than one credit union, be aware and be safe.
P.F. Chang's Card Compromise, the next in a line of merchant security breaches.
It was in the news recently that PF Chang’s experienced a breach of security of card data. Credit Union of Denver is taking a proactive stance by calling our members who were included on a list of "compromised cards". The cards affected, place our members at an elevated risk for fraud. The time frame affected by this security breach stretches from September 2013 through June of 2014. You will receive a call beginning July 1 if your card information is on the compromised list. We will ask members to close their cards and we will reissue a new card. Our Card Services Department is available at 303-239-1150 from 8:30am to 5:00pm if you should have any questions or concerns.
Did you know Malware can attack Android mobile devices?
Recently it has been reported that Android phone owners may be exploited and subject to Malware attacks that can take control of their device. It has been found in conjunction with online banking app’s. We have not had any reported issues from our members or with our Credit Union of Denver online mobile app. It is our recommendation that owners of Android phones take steps to avoid a compromise and install an antivirus software to their mobile device(s). This can be found where you get other app’s, like the Play Store. One such example is called Lookout. Before you download any application, you should check out the company and do your own due diligence. This is a general safety awareness warning about mobile devices.
Notice: Telephone Phishing Scam - be aware!
We have received notice that there is another phishing scam out there targeting cardholders. Cardholders may receive what appears to be automated phone calls or texts telling them that their ATM/Debit Cards are locked. The automated message requests call recipients to "Press 1" where they are to enter their 16-digit card number into their telephone key pad. Once this is entered, the scammers are then requesting the card's Personal Identification Number (PIN). The scam artists are attempting to obtain customer card numbers and PINs in order to gain access to customer accounts via ATMs or POS(point of sale) purchases. Credit Union of Denver will provide you with the latest information to keep you informed. While occasionally the credit union will contact our members by phone, we WILL NOT request card, account information or PIN numbers from cardholders over the phone. If you are ever in doubt of a communication's validity, hang up and contact us directly at 303-239-1150 or 800-279-3288. For the best Internet Security, it is highly recommented to use the latest version of the Internet Browers. Click here for the latest version of:
Remember: Whenever possible, insist that merchants check your I.D. and NEVER give out your personal account information over the phone or Internet unless you initiated the communication. If you receive calls or texts that you suspect are phishing attempts, please capture as much information as you can, including the phone number from which you received the call or text. Once this information is gathered, please contact us through our website so we can pass the information on the the appropriate parties.
Merchant Security Breaches
We have been notified of several security breaches of members card information through several retailers; Target, Michaels and Neiman Marcus. Investigations are in process to determine the extent of the compromised information. We are advising members to monitor their accounts and if you see suspicious activity on your debit card, please contact us at 303 239-1150 or 800-279-3288. If you see unauthorized activity on your credit card, please contact MasterCard direct at 800-654-7728 .
HEARTBLEED UPDATE: Credit Union of Denver is secure
Recently there has been a new security bug that has shown up on the internet called the "Heartbleed Bug". This bug allows attackers to retrieve sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details from servers running the affected versions of specific software, known as Open SSL. Our online banking, bill pay and connections to MasterCard have not been affected and are secure. As part of our responsibility, CUD utilizes a regularly updated combination vulnerability intelligence and industry leading technology to regularly scan for vulnerabilities as well as detect and respond to potential threats to our security. If any other information should arise as part of our investigation and due diligence, we will be sure to inform our members through website postings as quickly as possible.
Windows XP Security Alert
Online banking users who remain on Windows XP could be exposed to security vulnerabilities. Microsoft has announced on April 8 they will no longer support Windows XP. If you are currently using Windows XP, Microsoft recommends you upgrade to a supported operating system to ensure access to the latest security updates they provide.
Card Cracking Scam
Card Cracking Scam Targets Younger Members - Cash-strapped college students are being recruited to participate in a scam referred to as “card cracking.” Using ATM/debit cards and PINs willingly provided by the students, fraudsters deposit fraudulent checks to the students’ accounts. The “card cracking” scam was reported to originate in Chicago and generally targeted college students who were recruited through social media, including Facebook and YouTube. Participants were even recruited in-person at college campuses. This scam is now being reported nationwide. We are advising members to monitor their accounts and report any suspicious activity to authorities. Please contact us with any concerns at 303 239-1150 or 800-279-3288. If you see unauthorized activity on your credit card, please contact MasterCard direct at 800-654-7728.
Text Message Scams
Text message scams are being sent to both members and nonmembers. The texts are part of a phishing scam, where information seems to come from a legitimate organization, but a person is asked for personal financial information that the institutions should already have. Scammers normally attempt to contact potential victims through e-mail and phone calls, but the texts, which have grown in popularity over the last few years, have become more commonplace. "These scammers know people are concerned about their personal finances and they prey on that fear," he said. "The last thing people need right now is trouble with their bank account or their credit cards. And they know people are more likely to respond during these tough times because they're already struggling." Please keep in mind the credit union will not send you an email or text message, nor will we ask for your information as we already have it.
Emergency scams continue to victimize consumers and separate them from their money. An emergency scam is where an individual is contacted via telephone, the internet or U.S. Mail asking for money to be wired to them immediately for assistance or to assist a family member or friend in trouble. A version of this is known as the Grandparent Scam. The District Attorney’s Office has distributed warnings about this in the past, but wanted to warn consumers again about this scam because consumers are still falling victim to the scam.
Emergency scams tug at the emotions of consumers. The caller or sender of the message appeals to the emotions of the victim so that they feel compelled to help immediately by sending money. The con artists frequently claim to be their grandchild and urgently request money to be sent to cover medical expenses from an accident or bail money from a recent arrest. The con artists sound very convincing. Con artist have also hacked into Facebook or e-mail accounts and then target friends or family members with an urgent request for help.
If you receive a call or message with an urgent request for help, don’t panic. Obtain contact information and details about the situation.
Then, independently verify the facts; victims will usually learn that it is a hoax. Take the following steps to protect yourself:
Obtain as many facts about the situation as possible, to include a call back number.
Ask the caller or sender questions that only the family member or friend in trouble would know.
Call a family member or friend at a number you know is good for them to verify the whereabouts of the person allegedly in trouble.
Do not provide the caller or sender with any of your personal identifying information or account numbers.
Do not feel pressured to act immediately.
Most importantly, do not send or wire any money until you are certain the need for help is real. If you haven’t confirmed it is real, then it probably isn’t.
If you become a victim of this type of fraud, file a report with your local law enforcement agency. The District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Line provides assistance to victims of crime and answers questions on white collar crime issues. If you have a question or need assistance, call 720-874-8547.
Prizes and Sweepstake Fraud
- Never pay to play.
- Don't believe that you have to give the company money for taxes on your prize. It's up to you to declare your prize winnings when you file your income taxes.
- Be cautious about emails for contests and sweepstakes. Many unsolicited emails are fraudulent.
- Be on guard for imposters. Some con artists use company names that are identical or very similar to well-known, legitimate sweepstakes operators.
- Be wary of offers to send you an 'advance' on your 'winnings.' Some con artists use this ploy to build trust and get money from your bank. They send you a check for part of your 'winnings,' instructing you to deposit it and then wire payment to them for taxes, bonding, or some other phony purpose. After you wire the money, the check that you deposited finally bounces because it turned out to be a fake. Now the crooks have your payment, and you're left owing your bank the amount that you withdrew.
- Be especially cautious about foreign sweepstakes companies. Many fraudulent sweepstakes companies that target the U.S. are located in Canada or other countries, which makes it more difficult for law enforcement to pursue them.
Secret Shopper Scams
- Legitimate secret shopper companies generally do not advertise for jobs in a newspaper's classified section or through unsolicited emails.
- Don't trust a 'money-back guarantee.' If the ad was placed by a con artist, the guarantee will be worthless.
- Never pay a fee to apply or access secret shopping opportunities.
- Be wary of companies located outside of the U.S., such as Canada.
- NEVER accept a job that requires you to cash a check and wire money. No legitimate mystery-shopper service would ever make you do this.
- ALWAYS check with the Better Business Bureau on any business offering this sort of employment.
Job/Work from Home Scams
The ad says you can make lots of money working from the comfort of your home. But if this were true, wouldn't everyone be working from home?
- Know who you are dealing with. The company may not be offering to employ you directly, only to sell you training and materials.
- Be cautious about emails offering work-at-home opportunities.
- Don't pay a fee upfront for employment agencies. Most legitimate employment agencies don't charge unless they actually succeed in getting you a job and often it's the employer who pays the fee.
- Be wary of offers to send you an 'advance' on your 'pay.' Some con artists use this ploy to build trust and get money from your bank. After they send you a check and you deposit it, they tell you that you were mistakenly paid the wrong amount or that you need to return a portion of the payment for some other reason. After you return the money, the check that you deposited bounces and you're left owing your bank the amount that you withdrew.
Even with knowledge at hand, the con artists change their tactics every day and if you happen to fall victim, please notify credit union personnel immediately. You can also help us combat check fraud by calling our staff to validate the existence of funds in a particular account. However, that does not insure that the check is 'good.' Whether a check is 'good' or 'bad' will not be known until it 'clears.'
Available funds are not cleared funds. 'Available' funds are funds your bank has made available to you against your deposit. This does not mean the check has 'cleared.' Checks have 'cleared' when the financial institution on which the check was written has surrendered funds to the financial institution where the funds were deposited. This process can take up to several weeks, and in some cases, longer.
If you are in doubt as to whether a check is real or fake, we would be happy to send it through the collection process for you to verify. This process can take longer, but it will save you from becoming a victim of a fraud. And please note: If you deposit an item without checking with us first and it is returned as counterfeit or otherwise, at any point in time, Credit Union of Denver will debit your account and will look to you for payment.
The following are a few links for additional information on Scams, Fraud and ID Theft:
- Are you at risk for ID Theft? Take our QUIZ to see.
- Consumer Protection
- Federal Trade Commission - ID Theft
- OnGuard Online
- ATM Safeguard Tips
REMEMBER...IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS!