Fraud Alerts












 

Phishing     Pharming     Unsolicited Phone Calls     ATM Skimmers    Identity Theft  

Reporting Unauthorized Purchases
      Calls From Fake Debt Collectors   

IRS and/or Social Security Scams 

     FISHING AND FARMING AREN'T WHAT THEY USED TO BE...

Phishing and pharming are techniques that fraudsters use to "trick" you into giving them your account information, primarily credit and/or debit card numbers.

 

Phishing is a way of attempting to obtain sensitive information such as Usernames, Passwords and Debit or Credit card details by pretending to be a trustworthy entity. These attempts are made in the form of an email that asks you to give (enter) or verify your debit or credit card information.  Some of the more 'advanced' fraudsters use very realistic looking company logos in their emails, making the email appear to be from a business or financial institution that you do business with. The email itself appears to be legitimate; there is nothing suspicious looking about it. What makes it suspicious is the fact that the email is asking you for sensitive, personal details!

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Pharming is another form of attempting to obtain sensitive information by email, but this type of email will direct you to a bogus or fake (fraudulent) website. The email will contain a link  you'll be instructed to click on. Once you click the link, you'll be directed to the 'fake' website. This is where you'll be asked to enter or verify your personal account information.  Just like a Phishing attempt, this fake website will appear to be  the real thing. And again, just like Phishing, the suspicious part will be the fact that you are being asked to give out sensitive and personal details.

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You might also receive a phone call/text message from someone claiming to be from a credit card company, a bank, or even this Credit Union.  They give legitimate sounding reasons for needing to know, or 'verify' your credit or debit card number, including expiration date and security code.  Your best defense against these types of fraud should be this one fact:  No legitimate company will EVER call you and ask for personal details!

As an account holder, you should be aware that you will NEVER be solicited by ACIPCO Credit Union to provide or verify your personal account information via email, or even by phone, and no one should ever be given your account or PIN number under any circumstances. 

If you receive an email requesting any such information, please report it by forwarding the email to either reportphishing@antiphishing.org or the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov  This will make it easier to track down the fraudster and to have the links contained in the fraudulent email shut down.  Deactivating these fraudulent links will prevent others from being victimized and hopefully put the fraudster out of business.  If you think that you have been a victim of Phishing or Pharming, please contact us immediately!

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Watch Out For ATM Skimming Devices!

ATM's are prime targets for fraudsters looking for access to quick cash. One of the most common methods is by embedding devices known as "skimmers" onto ATM's, (even gas pumps!) to steal your card data and commit fraud.

Skimming is a counterfeiting technique.  To pull it off, fraudsters copy encoded account information from the magnetic stripe of a valid credit or debit card onto the magnetic stripe of a counterfeit card, according to VISA.

When a Member unknowingly swipes a card through a 'skimmer' installed on an ATM or gas pump, the device captures all the magnetic stripe data.  This happens all too often. To a Member's untrained eye, it might appear nothing is wrong or out of place on the ATM or gas pump.

Like all other forms of fraud, you more than likely won't know you've been a victim of a 'skimmer' until the fraud has already been committed. Always keep a close eye on your credit card statements. You'll also want to watch your checking account statements closely if you have a debit card linked to it. The sooner you can 'catch' an unauthorized purchase, the quicker a skimming device can be located and removed.

Our source for this information on skimming is the monthly magazine, Credit Union Front Line, Volume 8 Issue 3. Credit Union Front Line is produced by CUNA (Credit Untion National Association).

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To report an unauthorized purchase on your VISA credit card, 
contact VISA at 1-866-334-1048.

To report an unauthorized purchase on your ACIPCO debit card,
contact us here at the Credit Union at 205-328-4371.

 

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 Phone Calls from Fake Debt Collectors

There's a new type of fraudulent phone call making it's rounds that we want you to be aware of.  One of our Members has already received such a call and we want you to be aware and prepared in case it happens to you!

Here is how the fraudulent call works:  

The calls are coming from people claiming to be Debt Collectors for a "Quick Cash" or "Check Cashing" type of business.  They say they've been hired to collect on a past due account from one of these so-called Quick Cash places, but they refuse to identify the company they were hired by.  They also will not give their own name or provide any details about the debt you supposedly owe other than the amount. It is usually an extravagant amount of money. This type of refusal to identify the company, the caller or give any details about the debt is a direct violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA 15 U.S.C. §1692).  In other words, it's against the law!!  The caller then proceeds to threaten you with a lawsuit if you do not make immediate payment arrangements.  (per the FDCPA, it is illegal to threaten a consumer in any manner, including the threat to sue).  At this point, the caller demands to know your debit or credit card information so they can establish a repayment plan for you.  Please remember that NO reputable business will EVER call you and ask for your personal account information over the phone!  Any company or person who does so is a Fraudster and giving them information of any type should be avoided at all costs! 

The reason this scam is working so well is that most consumers are not aware that it is illegal to threaten to sue someone over the phone in regard to a debt.  It is only natural to panic a bit when someone threatens to sue you, or even call the police, but please know that any caller who does this is trying to scam you.

If you receive a call like this, please make a note of the phone number they are calling from and try to get the name of the person who is calling you. Also try to get a company name.  Make a note of the date and time of the call.  You might try a little "scam" of your own by pretending that you have someone at your door and asking for a phone number where you can call them back!  Get their phone number from your caller ID or the best way you can, then report that number to the Federal Trade Commission.  They will investigate the phone number and all details you report.  If their records indicate that many complaints have been filed against that number, the FTC will be able to shut down that phone number and prevent other people from being scammed.

To report this type of call, or ANY fraudulent call where someone tried to get personal account information from you,  please make note of the phone number the call came from, the date and time of the call and contact the Federal Trade Commission as follows:

 

1-877-FTC-HELP  (382-4357)
TYY 
(for the hearing impaired) 1-866-653-4261

 

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If you suspect you are a victim of Identity Theft:

Contact the Federal Trade Commision:

1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338)
TYY
(for the hearing impaired) 1-866-653-4261

OR by completing their Secure Online Complaint Form

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Extra! Extra! Count on Scammers and Schemers to Follow the News

If it’s in the news today, it’s likely to be in a scammer’s bag of tricks tomorrow.

For many scam artists, following the money means following the headlines. The latest ploy plays off news reports about the government’s plan to send rebate checks to consumers. While the rebates won’t be arriving for a few months, news outlets are reporting that crooks have already begun to exploit the promise of them.

Here’s how it works: Scammers claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration call and say they need your information to be able to deposit your rebate directly into your account. They may ask for your checking account number, social security number, or other piece of personal information — the kind they can use to commit identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, cautions consumers not to give out personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited call or email.

The IRS does not gather information for rebates by telephone. Nor does it send unsolicited e-mail to taxpayers about tax account matters. Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund; there is no separate application form. Similarly, if you get an email out of the blue from someone claiming to be from the IRS that asks you to call a phone number or email back your personal information, don't click on any links.

As stated above, if you get a phone call or email from someone claiming to be with the IRS or the Social Security Administration, please report the fraud as follows:

1-877-FTC-HELP  (382-4357)
TYY 
(for the hearing impaired) 1-866-653-4261

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