How ID thieves get your information

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Banks and credit unions are becoming more sophisticated with the security of your data. That means identity thieves & fraudsters are getting more creative in the ways they try to get information about your account.  Thank you for being proactive and reading this article.  Your best next step is to tell your friends and family, specifically older individuals. Fraudsters view seniors as prime targets.

Spamming: Spammers send unsolicited emails, postcards and other advertisements to huge mailing lists.  These may contain links or electronic files that may have viruses, that find ways to hack into your computer and even your accounts. 

Spoofing: This scam starts with a call that appears to come from an organization you know, like Call Federal. You feel comfortable to share information because you think you are talking with a group you know.  If we or any other organization call you, they should have all the information already associated with your account. You shouldn’t have to provide it again.  The best practice is to hang-up and call back to the organization’s general customer service number (that you have found on their website or other verified print materials) and ask for the person you were speaking or ask if the request for information was valid.

Phishing: These fraudsters create a replica of an existing webpage or emails to fool customers into submitting personal, financial or password data.  With phishing, customers receive an email that appears to originate from Call Federal.  It may appear urgent and ask for your immediate attention by clicking on a link within the email. REMEMBER: Call Federal will not send you emails saying we need you to update your information to keep your account or debit/credit cards from being blocked. Never reply to an email from a link sent to you by email. If you receive an email, and you think it may be legitimate and want to ensure services are not stopped, call us at our regular phone number, or email us.

Pharming:  This is where you are redirected to an illegitimate website instead of the website you want.  There could be malicious code on your computer making this happen.  Before you ever put in a username, password or any account or personal information, always confirm the website address.  You can also test a site by putting in a phony passcode – legitimate sites will reject this passcode while a phony site would accept it. Also remember that most sites will lock you out if you try a phony code too many times so just one test is needed.  

Vishing is short for voice phishing. In this scam consumers receive a phone call or email directing them to call a certain phone number where they are directed to verify sensitive information.  Again it’s best to call back to the organization’s general customer service number (that you have found on their website or other verified print materials) and ask for the person who called.

Dumpster Diving:  Old fashioned dumpster diving is still all the rave with some thieves for your personal information.  Or they may steal mail directly from your mailbox.  E-statements are a great way to avoid form of identity theft.

Odd Payment Forms:  Also beware of any organization asking you to in a way that is out of the norm for them.  For example, Western Union, iTunes gift cards, or checks made to cash. You will also never be asked to deposit a check and send off money from a legitimate organization.  

New scams crop up daily so try to stay inform. Thieves use social engineering techniques to look very convincing so they can con us into opening email messages and entering our information. 

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