You can protect yourself from fraud. Knowledge is the first line of defense. Click here (external website) to learn what types of fraud exist and how to prevent them.
Attention Bill Payment Users: Hurricane Florence Could Impact USPS Payments
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has suspended operations in several ZIP codes areas that are likely to be impacted by Hurricane Florence. In addition, many post offices are closed and mail delivery has been stopped.
As a result, checks for bill payment that are sent through the mail could be delayed or non-deliverable to certain areas.
With the recent Equifax data breach, click on the link below to find out the steps you can take to protect yourself and your credit.
NCUA Warns of Text Phishing Scam
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 23, 2016) – The National Credit Union Administration has received consumer calls about a suspicious text message claiming to come from the agency.
The message reads: "National Credit Union Administration Alert for (recipient's phone number). Contact 844-234-5445."
This is not a communication from NCUA. The agency does not seek personal information through the internet or on the telephone.
Please contact NCUA's Consumer Assistance Center at 1-800-755-1030 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern if you receive one of these messages. NCUA also recommends contacting your credit union and local law enforcement.
You may also contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (external website), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.
If you suspect you may have become a victim of identity theft as a result of this scam, you should immediately contact the three major credit bureaus and request a fraud alert be placed on your credit report: Equifax (866-640-2272), Experian (888-397-3742), and TransUnion (855-681-3196).
NCUA Warns Consumers about Telephone Scam Seeking Personal Information
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 17, 2015) – The National Credit Union Administration is warning consumers about a telephone scam in which consumers are contacted by a caller claiming to work for NCUA and asking for personal and financial information.
The caller tells the consumer her or his credit card or debit card has been frozen or blocked. The caller then asks for the consumer's Social Security number, account number, date of birth and home address to supposedly verify the information.
Consumers should not provide this or any other information to the caller.
NCUA offers extensive information to help consumers identify frauds and scams at its Fraud Prevention Center (external website).
Consumers who suspect they may have become victims of identity theft should immediately contact their financial institutions and, if necessary, close existing accounts and open new ones. NCUA urges consumers also contact the three major credit bureaus—Equifax (866-349-5191), Experian (888-397-3742) and TransUnion (800-916-8800)—to request a fraud alert be placed on their credit reports.
NCUA Launches Fraud Prevention Center
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 16, 2015) – Consumers now have a new information resource to help learn about and protect themselves against fraud with the launch of the National Credit Union Administration's new Fraud Prevention Center (external website).
Each year, scam artists and identity thieves steal billions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. They use the telephone, email, text messaging, postal mail and the internet to steal information or trick consumers into handing over money. The new Fraud Prevention Center helps consumers learn how to recognize common scams, take action if they think they are victims of fraud and protect their finances.
With the site's easy-to-use navigation and mobile-responsive design, users can access a number of resources from NCUA and other federal partners. The Fraud Prevention Center has sections covering a variety of topics, including:
- Frauds and Scams: learn about the newest and most common types of frauds or scams, what to do if you become a victim of fraud and how to report a scam;
- Identity Theft: discover what steps you can take to prevent and report identity theft;
- Online Security: get tips for staying safe online;
- Fraud Alerts: stay a step ahead with the latest information and practical tips about recent frauds and scams;
- Fraud Resources: visit other NCUA partners for additional fraud prevention resources
The Fraud Prevention Center is also accessible through NCUA's newly redesigned online Consumer Assistance Center (external website).
NCUA supports credit unions and their members with financial literacy and consumer protection resources available without cost at MyCreditUnion.gov (external website). NCUA also provides up-to-date financial education information on the agency's YouTube channel (external website), Facebook page (external website) and consumer Twitter feed (external website).
PLAY ANTI-PHISHING PHIL
Click here to play Anti-Phishing Phil (external website), an interactive game that teaches how to avoid online scams.
ID Theft Glossary
- Identity Theft
- Identity theft is when someone uses your name, social security number or other personal information to establish accounts in your name.
- Mail Fraud
- Mail fraud is still the number one form of fraud in the US. Identity thieves steal your mail, which may include pre-approved credit card applications, to obtain your personal information.
- Short for “malicious software,” it refers to any harmful software that affects your computer. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses or spyware.
- When hackers redirect internet traffic from one website to a different, identical-looking site in order to trick you into entering your username and password into the database on their fake site.
- The act of tricking someone into giving them confidential information or tricking them into doing something that they normally wouldn’t do or shouldn’t do. For example: sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.
- Pretexting is the collection of an individual’s personal information under false pretenses typically over the phone or via e-mail.
- Shoulder Surfing
- Shoulder surfing is the name given to the procedure that identity thieves use to find out your PIN. They either hang around close to the ATM, or wherever you may be entering your PIN, or they can even watch from a distance, using binoculars.
- Skimming is another method identity thieves use to get your personal information. It’s usually done by an employee of a restaurant, a gas station or any other place where you swipe your card. Often, they use swiping tools, which they use to quickly swipe your card. A good way to prevent skimming is to never let your card out of your sight.
- Unsolicited commercial emails. Many of these come from legitimate companies but many also come from questionable businesses.
- A fraudulent website or email that appears to be from a well-known company and attempts to get you to provide, update or confirm personal information. Similar to pharming.
- General term for any technology that gathers information about a person or organization without their knowledge. Advertisers or other interested parties often use spyware programming to gather and relay information.
- Trojans piggyback themselves inside something that you actually want, like the old Trojan Horse story. For example, you download a video game, and you actually do get the video game you wanted, but you get the trojan packed along with it. You can avoid trojans by only downloading files from trusted sources.
- A virus is malware that can copy itself, like a biological virus. It usually lies dormant inside of an executable file until someone runs that file. When run, the virus may spread to other executable files on your system. You can avoid viruses by scanning files, especially downloaded files and email attachments, with anti-virus software.
- Using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone numbers to steal user information.
- A worm also self-replicates, but spreads from computer to computer using the internet. Unlike a virus, the user need not download or run a file to become infected. You need to only be connected to the internet in order to become infected by a worm. You can avoid worms by using a firewall.