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Member Safety Alerts
The following are press releases from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) which provide tips on identifying and protecting yourself from various scams perpetrated by cyber criminals, and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the national credit union governing body. For more information, visit IC3 at http://www.ic3.gov or NCUA at http://www.ncua.gov.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 21, 2014) – The National Credit Union Administration today warned consumers to beware of a new telephone fraud, known as a “vishing” scheme, that is using the agency’s name in an attempt to obtain personal financial information.
Several credit union members have been contacted by an automated phone call claiming to be from NCUA and notifying consumers their debit cards have been compromised. The call then asks the receiver to follow prompts, which request personal information, including sensitive financial data and personal identification information.
Anyone contacted by this so-called “vishing” scheme should immediately contact NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center Hotline at 800-755-1030 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to report the scam. Operators answer calls Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern.
NCUA neither seeks personal information from consumers over the telephone nor handles day-to-day maintenance of member account information. NCUA works with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, to protect consumers from frauds of this nature.
NCUA urges consumers to never verify or release personal financial information to unknown callers.
TARGET ISSUES PHISHING WARNING IN WAKE OF RECENT BREACH
Target has released the following updates regarding the company's recent security breach:
"On the afternoon of December 23, Tim Baer, Target’s EVP and General Counsel, hosted a call for attorneys general across the country to discuss the recent data breach that impacted Target guests in the United States. The majority of state offices were in attendance on the call. We felt it was important to proactively bring this group together to provide them with information about the issue and answer their questions as well as those of their constituents, who are our guests. We are committed to keeping the attorneys general informed as the ongoing investigation moves forward and will host a follow up call with them the week of January 6.
We confirmed yesterday that we are actively partnering with the Secret Service and United States Department of Justice. We want to be clear that neither entity is investigating Target. Rather, we are partnering with both on the ongoing forensic and criminal investigation.
We are aware of limited incidents of phishing or scam communications. To help our guests feel confident that what they are hearing from Target is really from us, we are in the process of setting up a dedicated resource on our corporate website where we will post pdfs of all official communications that Target sends to our guests. We expect that to post later this afternoon.
We continue to work around the clock, including Christmas, to address the questions and concerns of our guests. We will continue to provide updates as they become available."
CYBER CRIMINALS USING PHOTO-SHARING PROGRAMS TO COMPROMISE COMPUTERS
The FBI has seen an increase in cyber criminals who use online photo-sharing programs to perpetrate scams and harm victims’ computers. These criminals advertise vehicles online but will not provide pictures in the advertisement. They will send photos on request. Sometimes the photo is a single file sent as an e-mail attachment, and sometimes the victim receives a link to an online photo gallery.
The photos can/often contain malicious software that infects the victims” computer, directing them to fake websites that look nearly identical to the real site where they originally saw the advertisement. The cyber criminals run all aspects of these fake websites, including “tech support” or “live chat support,” and any “recommended” escrow services. After the victim agrees to purchase the item and makes the payment, the criminals stop responding to correspondence. The victims never receive any merchandise.
The FBI urges consumers to protect themselves when shopping online. Here are a few tips for staying safe:
- Be cautious if you are on an auction site and lose an auction and the seller contacts you later saying the original bidder fell through.
- Make sure websites are secure and authenticated before you purchase an item online. Use only well-known escrow services.
- Research to determine if a car dealership is real and how long it has been in business.
- Be wary if the price for the item you’d like to buy is severely undervalued; if it is, the item is likely fraudulent.
- Scan files before downloading them to your computer.
- Keep your computer software, including the operating system, updated with the latest patches.
- Ensure your anti-virus software and firewalls are current – they can help prevent malware infections.
PHISHING ATTACKS ON TELECOMMUNICATION CUSTOMERS RESULTING IN ACCOUNT TAKEOVERS
The Internet Crime Complaint Center has received numerous reports of phishing attacks targeting various telecommunication companies' customers. Individuals receive automated telephone calls that claim to be from the victim's telecommunication carrier. Victims are directed to a phishing site to receive a credit, discount, or prize ranging from $300 to $500.
The phishing site is a replica of one of the telecommunication carrier's sites and requests the victims' log-in credentials and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers. Once victims enter their information, they are redirected to the telecommunication carrier’s actual website. The subject then makes changes to the customer's account.
The IC3 urges the public to be cautious of unsolicited telephone calls, e-mails and text messages, especially those promising some type of compensation for supplying account information. If you receive such an offer, verify it with the business associated with your account before supplying any information. Use the information supplied on your account statement to contact the business.