Protecting Yourself from Fraudulent Calls and Phishing

October 22, 2021

Fraudsters are getting more and more aggressive these days, with more sophisticated scams than ever before. Learn ways to protect yourself from being a victim of fraud.
 
Beware of Fraudulent Calls and Emails
Fraudsters will do all they can to get you to provide personal information over the phone. Consider the following:
 
You receive a call from what appears to be your financial institution. The caller ID includes what appears to be your branch’s phone number and branch. The caller states he is from your branch, and he is calling to tell you about a fraudulent charge. First, he asks if you’ve received a fraud alert text. After you respond you haven’t, he explains that the financial institution is reviewing several accounts affected by a Zelle scam. To stop the fraud from happening, he will need to confirm your email and the last four of your social security number.
 
What should you do? Hang up the phone and call your branch to let them know about the phone call. It’s essential to know the Credit Union will never call you and request personal financial information over the phone. Additionally, you should never provide personal financial information over the phone if you do not initiate a call.
 
Protect Yourself from Phishing Emails and Texts
Phishing emails and text messages may look like they’re from a company you know or trust, such as your financial institution, credit card company, social networking site, online payment website, or online store. And they usually tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment to provide personal information. Here are a few examples:
  • “We’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts.”
  • “There is a problem with your account (or payment information).”
  • “Please confirm your information to update our account records.”
  • “Please review this invoice. Then, you can easily click on the link to make your payment.”
  • “You may be eligible for a government refund.”
  • “Get this free offer by simply clicking on the link below.”
 
Follow these three steps to protect yourself from phishing:
 
  1. Use security software on your computer (and phone) and set it up to automatically update.
  2. Use multi-factor authentication for your accounts, so an additional passcode or biometric is needed for access.
  3. Back up your data in a location not connected to your home network, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage (and back up your phone, too).
 
Reporting Fraud
If you’ve received a phishing email or text message, report it. The information you give can help fight the scammers. Here’s how:
 
  1. If you got a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. For a phishing text message, please forward it to SPAM (7726).
  2. Report the phishing attack to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
 
If your accounts have been impacted by fraud in any way, contact the Credit Union immediately at 831-425-7708. 
 

Posted in: fraud, from, phishing, protect