Delta Community knows how important your personal and financial information is to you. That’s why we take as many measures as possible to protect you from fraud and to give you the peace of mind you deserve. Be sure to look over the articles below to keep your finances on the safe side. For up-to-date tips on how to protect yourself from online scams and other helpful information, visit http://www.onguardonline.gov/
ID Theft Prevention:
Windows XP No Longer Supported (04/10/14)
Microsoft Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. For your security we recommend that you follow Microsoft’s recommendations and upgrade to a supported operating system.
"Heartbleed" Bug Not a Threat to Delta Community Credit Union Online Banking (04/09/14)
Internet security experts at Delta Community say the Credit Union’s member-facing websites are not vulnerable to the recently discovered "Heartbleed" bug. Heartbleed exploits a vulnerability in the Internet security system OpenSSL to gain access to consumers’ personal information. Delta Community Credit Union does not use OpenSSL for any member facing websites. However, it is generally a good idea to update all passwords on a regular basis, especially on sensitive accounts like Online Banking, email and e-commerce accounts.
Protect Your Account Against Fraudulent Activity This Holiday Season (12/20/13)
It’s always a good idea to monitor your account and to check for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. This is especially true during the holiday season. We encourage all Delta Community Credit Union members to proactively watch their accounts and to report any fraudulent activity to us immediately. If your account is compromised, you’re protected against loss – provided you notify us right away once you discovery any unauthorized activity.
Tips for Cyber Holiday Shopping (11/27/13)
The FBI reminds holiday shoppers to beware of cyber criminals who are out to steal money and personal information. Scammers use many techniques to defraud consumers, from phishing e-mails offering too good to be true deals on brand-name merchandise to offering quick cash to victims who will re-ship packages to additional destinations. Previously reported scams are still being executed today.
While monitoring credit reports on an annual basis and reviewing account statements each month is always a good idea, consumers should keep a particularly watchful eye on their personal credit information at this time of year. Scrutinizing credit card bills for any fraudulent activity can help to minimize victims’ losses. Unrecognizable charges listed on a credit card statement are often the first time consumers realize their personally identifiable information has been stolen.
Bank transactions and correspondence from financial institutions should also be closely reviewed. Bank accounts can often serve as a target for criminals to initiate account takeovers or commit identity theft by creating new accounts in the victims’ name. Consumers should never click on a link embedded in an e-mail from their bank, but rather open a new webpage and manually enter the URL (web address), because phishing scams often start with phony e-mails that feature the bank’s name and logo.
When shopping online, make sure to use reputable sites. Often consumers are shown specials on the web, or even in e-mail offers, that look too good to be true. These sites are used to capture personally identifiable information, including credit card numbers, addresses and phone numbers to make fraudulent transactions. It’s best to shop on sites with which you are familiar and that have an established reputation as trusted online retailers, according to the MRC, a nonprofit that supports and promotes operational excellence for fraud, payments and risk professionals within eCommerce.
If you look for an item or company name through a search engine site, scrutinize the results listed before going to a website. Do not automatically click on the first result, even if it looks identical or similar to the desired result. Many fraudsters go to extreme lengths to have their own website appear ahead of a legitimate company on popular search engines. Their website may be a mirrored version of a popular website, but with a slightly different URL. Purchases made on these sites could result in one or more of the following consequences: never receiving the item, having your credit card details stolen, or downloading malware/computer virus to your computer. Before clicking on a result in a search engine, inspect the URL of the destination website. Look for any misspellings or extra characters such as a period or comma as these are indicative of fraud. When taken to the payment page of a website, again verify the URL and ensure it is secure by starting with “HTTPS,” not just “HTTP.”
Here are some additional tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:
• Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
• Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
• Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files; the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.
• Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
• Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they match and will lead you to a legitimate site.
• Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
• Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify that the e-mail is genuine.
• If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency that requires your attention, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
• Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Finally, check these additional sources to become even more informed on safe online shopping:
Previous Holiday Shopping Tips public service announcements can be viewed on IC3.gov at the following links: http://www.ic3.gov/media/2012/121120.aspx, http://www.ic3.gov/media/2011/111121.aspx and http://www.ic3.gov/media/2010/101118.aspx. US-CERT posted a Holiday Season Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns release on Nov. 19, 2013, reminding consumers to stay aware of seasonal scams. The entire alert can be viewed at https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2013/11/19/Holiday-Season-Phishing-Scams-and-Malware-Campaigns.
To receive the latest information about cyber scams, go to FBI.gov and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on the red envelope labeled “get FBI updates.” If you have received a scam e-mail, notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov. For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI's “New E-Scams” and Warnings webpage at http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams.
Fraudulent Email Regarding Online Banking Security Alert is NOT from Delta Community Credit Union. (11/25/13)
We want to make you aware of a fraudulent email circulating that appears to be from Delta Community Credit Union. This email is titled Online Banking Security Alert and prompts members to log in to their account to perform an update process. If you receive the message, please delete it.
Here is a screen shot of the message:
Fraudulent Phone Calls NOT from Delta Community Credit Union. (7/31/13)
We want to make you aware of a recent telephone scam where an automated and unidentified service calls members advising them that their credit card has been blocked or cancelled. The fraudulent automated system informs recipients to press “one” and then enter the full card number. So, use caution if you receive this type of call and never give your credit card account number over the telephone unless you initiate the call.
Delta Community Credit Union uses Visa Fraud Prevention Service to monitor card activity for our members to determine unusual, potentially fraudulent activity. You may receive a valid call from our service. If you do receive a call, you will be asked to follow a series of prompts that will begin the process by confirming activity or verifying fraudulent transactions on your account.
Fraudulent Email with Altered Log In Box is NOT from Delta Community Credit Union. (3/8/13)
This fraudulent email is not from Delta Community Credit Union. The log in box is altered and asks members for additional information. If you receive the message, please delete it.
We're writing to let you know that your online account has been temporarily suspended due to recent access to your account from an unknown IP address. To re-activate your account, download the new Delta Community Credit Union file attached to complete the process.
Thank you for helping us serve you.
©2013 Delta Community Credit Union.
This is the altered log in box:
Bogus Email Circulating is NOT from Delta Community Credit Union. (2/28/13)
Be aware of the following email that is circulating. This message is NOT from Delta Community, so if you receive it, you should delete it without responding.
Recognize Legitimate Emails from Delta Community Credit Union (1/31/13)
When you receive email messages from Delta Community that you feel are suspicious, we can help you learn to spot fraudulent links/websites. If the email contains links, hover over the links to reveal their true target. Our email address is https://www.deltacommunitycu.com and messages from us are from this address. Be sure to ensure there’s an ‘s’ after http and then www.deltacommunitycu.com before anything else, including a ‘/’ forward slash. There can be no variation of this address, so if there appears to be, this could be a phishing attempt. Here are a couple screen shots showing you how to recognize when messages or links are NOT from Delta Community Credit Union:
We want to help you protect yourself from being scammed, so if you’re ever in doubt about a message you receive, feel free to contact us at 800-544-3328.
False Online Banking Message Regarding Data Security Breach (1/23/13)
There are reports of a pop up appearing when members log in to their Delta Community Online Banking account. If you receive this message, please do not click on the message as it is NOT from Delta Community. Also, we advise you to have your system checked for malware.
The following message appears:
Attention Deltacommunitycu.com Visitor,
Data Security Breach Information
We want to make you aware of a situation that has occurred that could be related to your personal information. Recently, there was a massive system breach at Epsilon, a third party vendor that supplies marketing services to a number of companies, including Best Buy, Chase, Citi, Disney, US Bank, Marriott, Home Shopping Network and many others. Files containing personal information were compromised.
Names, email addresses and some personal information was exposed. Because of the increased risk of identity theft, we are urging you to check your credit report for any activity that you did not authorize.
We want to help protect you against this data breach, by offering you access to your credit score for free. This offer is available on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Please be aware that although your credit score is free, a credit card will be required to validate your identity.
Email Scam Regarding Online Banking (1/10/13): Scam is NOT from Delta Community
Be aware of the following email that is circulating. This message is NOT from Delta Community, so if you receive it, you should delete it without responding. br />
Here's a screen shot of the email:
Job Scams and Money Mules (11/9/12): Be ware of Job Scams
We want to make you aware of a scam that has recently been circulating to prevent you from being a victim of this or similar scams. If you’re opening an account at the credit union due to a “new job” solicited through email or Internet job website, please use caution. If the job requires you to open an account, deposit or receive funds and withdraw those funds to wire money, there’s a good chance that you’re involved in a scam. This type of scam is affiliated with the term Money Mule. A Money Mule is a person who transfers stolen money or merchandise from one country or person to another, either in person, through a courier service or electronically. The term is commonly used to describe online scams that prey on victims who are desperately in need of money and a job. Victims are unaware that the money or merchandise they are transferring is stolen.
These too-good-to-be-true job offers come through as spam email, online or print advertisements (Craigslist.com), phone solicitations or as direct responses to resumes posted online. These "dream jobs" are usually labeled as being for financial managers, overseas representatives or payment processors with no experience needed. Another new trick is for the scammer to ask a victim to set up a legitimate, registered company, which they call a franchise, with its own legal bank account, to receive regular small payments (from stolen credit cards). In all cases, they want you to receive money from "customers" into your own bank account, or a new one specially set up at a particular bank or into a PayPal account (from where you then transfer the cash to your bank account). You keep 10% and wire the remainder to them - mostly to Eastern Europe, especially Russia.(Source: Scambusters.org)
Text Alert (9/22/12): Text Circulating is Not from Delta Community
9/22/12: It has been reported that Delta Community members are receiving a text from 770-371-0847 that says “The credit union center alert. Your card has been deactivated please call 770-213-1295.” This is not from Delta Community, so please do not respond to it.
BBB (6/27/12): BBB Warns: New Scam Claims President Obama Will Pay Your Utility Bills
BBB Warns: New Scam Claims President Obama Will Pay Your Utility Bills 6/27/2012 Media contact: Janet C. Hart, APR, CFEE (704) 927-8617 office The BBB has issued a nationwide warning about a new scam claiming that President Obama will pay your utility bills through a new federal program.
How the scam works:
Consumers have been contacted through telephone calls, fliers, social media and text messages with claims that President Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills. To receive the money, scammers claim they need the consumer's social security and bank routing numbers. In return, customers are given a fraudulent bank routing number to pay their utility bills through the automated telephone payment service. The payment service initially ‘accepts’ the payment but then declines it within a few days when the bank account number is discovered to be fake.
The BBB has these tips to avoid becoming a victim of this scam:
• Never provide your social security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting to anyone who calls you, regardless of whom they claim to be representing.
• If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
• Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a utility problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.
• Always think safety first. Do not give in to high pressure tactics over the phone for information or in person to get into your home. For more information about identity theft scams, please visit www.bbb.org.
ID Thieves Target Young People (Summary of an Atlanta Journal Constitution article by J .Scott Trubey);
Preventing an adult’s identity from being stolen is often hard enough, but what about detecting when a child’s ID has been pilfered? In terms of finances, young children are typically blank slates, identity security experts say, making them a tempting and vulnerable target for fraudsters. Identity breaches can range from the use of Social Security numbers by illegal immigrants or others for employment background checks to strangers or even family members opening lines of credit or setting accounts for utilities under stolen IDs.
There were more than 19,000 reports of ID theft from minors in 2011, up from about 6,000 in 2003, according to Federal Trade Commission data. Children make up about 10 percent of the 10,000 cases of identity theft the ITRC handles each year.
Identity theft against children is a huge issue, because it tends not to be discovered for a long period of time.
Credit monitoring firms have taken notice and started offering services to help protect families. Given how much our personal data is bandied about either by ourselves or the companies and government agencies we deal with, ID theft is sometimes only a mouse click or piece of stolen mail away. The longer fraud goes on, the harder they can be to fix.
Parents can check with the Social Security Administration once a year to see whether their child’s digits are being used by someone to obtain employment. Parents can also make requests in writing to the credit bureaus for a free copy of a child’s credit report, if the child is under 18, there shouldn’t be one.
NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association, has received reports that individuals and/or companies have received a fraudulent e-mail that has the appearance of having been sent from NACHA and signed by a non-existent NACHA employee. Specifically, this email claims to be from the "Electronic Payments Association" and appears to be coming from the e-mail address "firstname.lastname@example.org." The email stated the following:
The ACH transaction, recently sent from your checking account (by you or any other person), was cancelled by the Electronic Payments Association. Please click here to view report.
Be aware that phishing e-mails frequently have attachments and/or links to web pages that host malicious code and software. Do not open attachments or follow web links in unsolicited e-mails from unknown parties or from parties with whom you do not normally communicate, or that appear to be known but are suspicious or otherwise unusual.
NACHA itself does not process nor touch the ACH transactions that flow to and from organizations and financial institutions. NACHA does not send communications to individuals or organizations about individual ACH transactions that they originate or receive.
If malicious code is detected or suspected on a computer, consult with a computer security or anti-virus specialist to remove malicious code or re-install a clean image of the computer system.
Always use anti-virus software and ensure that the virus signatures are automatically updated.
Ensure that the computer operating systems and common software applications security patches are installed and current.
Be alert for different variations of fraudulent e-mails.
Beware: Checks are Being Stolen Out of Mailboxes (Updated 07/23/2010)
DO NOT place checks in your mailbox with the flag up for the mailman to pick up. Account holders of many financial institutions are experiencing checks being stolen from their mailboxes. The amounts and payees are changed and the checks are negotiated. Always drop your mail in a secured postal box or mail at the Post Office. Incoming mail can also be stolen allowing others to gain credit card or charge card information as well as other personal information. Invest in a residential mailbox that can be locked. Many home improvement stores sell them, and they can be purchased for around $50.00. Go to www.usps.com for more information.
Protect Your Valuables (Updated 07/23/2010)
Be aware that purses, wallets and checkbooks are being stolen out of unattended cars when parked at sporting event venues, health clubs, and churches. Do not leave valuables in plain sight in your car. It is inviting thieves that are wandering the parking lots to make you a victim.
Online Banking Password Reset Scam (Updated on 1/8/10)
There are reports of a scam that is circulating at a variety of financial institutions regarding a screen that appears during the login process to online banking. This page is generated from malware located on your personal computer. Malware is a general term for software programs that have been designed with or can be used for malicious intent. These include viruses, worms and trojans.
After the consumer authenticates on the web site (enters password information), a page appears requesting personal card information to "confirm their identity." The page appears to be coming from us, but it is not. Please do not input your personal information. Seek professional assistance to clean your personal computer of this infection as soon as possible.
Here is a screen shot of what it may look like:
Text Message Scam
A text message scam involves sending text messages or e-mails stating that an account has been closed. This is not true. This message may also provide a phone number to call for assistance. DO NOT CALL this number, or any unfamiliar number.
Prevention of Online Identity Theft
When shopping online, be wary of fake web sites designed to steal your information and, ultimately, your identity. Be careful about sites that store your online information. Do not shop from a public computer since other users may be able to access your stored usernames and passwords. Shop only from web sites that use encryption, or scrambling, to protect your information. Make sure the web site address begins with "https:" instead of "http:"This indicates that encryption is being used.
"Phishing" or "pharming" attacks are growing more sophisticated and difficult to detect. Some phishing attacks use viruses and/or trojans to install programs called "key loggers" on your computer. These programs capture and send out information that you type in directly to the phisher, including credit card numbers, user names and passwords. Some may create a Pop Up alert asking for your private information to authenticate you or your computer to a financial institution.
If you feel that you have been tricked into giving out any of your confidential personal information, you run a high risk of becoming the next victim of identity theft or other financial fraud. Take the following steps to protect yourself and your finances:
Install and/or update anti-virus and personal firewall software. Run full virus scans every time you log onto your computer.
Confirm every connection that your firewall allows. Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches are applied.
Log into your accounts regularly.
Consider installing a web browser tool bar to help protect you and to detect known phishing web sites.
Be suspicious of any unsolicited e-mails with urgent requests or demands for personal financial information. If the e-mail threatens to "suspend" or "freeze" your account access, you can be assured that this is some type of scam.
Don't use the links in any e-mail that you suspect might not be authentic. Call the company directly or log onto their web site by typing in the web address in your browser.
Avoid filling out forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal financial information. Communicate information of this type via a secure web site only.
Ensure that you are using a secure web site when submitting credit card or other sensitive information via your web browser. Check the beginning of the web address bar; it should be https:// rather than just http://. Look for the closed lock at the bottom of the site.
Regularly check all of your accounts: eBay, PayPal, or online trading accounts that hackers may have accessed without your knowledge or permission.
Report phishing or "spoofed" e-mails to the following groups:
Forward the email to email@example.com.
Forward the email to the FTC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notify the Internet Fraud Complaint Center of the FBI at www.ifccfbi.gov.
Forward the email to the "abuse" customer complaint site of the company that is being spoofed.
Always forward the entire body of the e-mail, including the header, so the investigators have a better chance of identifying the spoofers.
Additionally, you can file formal complaints concerning any suspected fraudulent e-mail with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov
. The IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Identity theft is America's fastest growing crime. Last year alone, more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft, a crime that cost those victims around $5 billion dollars. Identity theft can involve credit card fraud, Internet fraud, or mail theft, among many other crimes.
Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, social security number, or other identifying information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity thieves may use a variety of methods to obtain your personal information, which may include "dumpster diving," stealing your wallet or purse, mail theft, or computer hacking. People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years trying to clean up the financial mess that thieves have made of their good name and credit record.
If you think that you have been the victim of identity theft, immediately contact your financial institution! Contact the three credit bureaus and have a fraud alert placed on your accounts. File a police report with your local authorities and keep detailed records.
For more information go to www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
"Car-Cloning" or "VIN-Cloning" Scheme (Updated on February 22, 2011)
This is a scheme by which thieves steal vehicles without taking the car. The cars are often listed for sale on CraigsList.com. The purchaser is asked for payment by cash, and meets the seller at a public location, such as a mall. When the purchaser takes the title to the State to register the vehicle, it is discovered there is a lien on the vehicle.
On the other side of the scheme is the owner who discovers he or she is a victim of this scheme when they try to renew their vehicle registration. The records may indicate the victim no longer owns the vehicle on which they are making payments. Thieves have "stolen" the vehicle by switching the VIN of the victim's vehicle with the VIN of a stolen vehicle. The victim's VIN is used to forge a title transfer and obtain a clean title.
The person buying a car off of craigslist is not aware they are driving a stolen vehicle, and people who have had their VIN stolen are not aware of the compromise until they try to sell their car or renew their registration.
This scheme was highlighted in a WSBTV.com article titled "Driver: Thieves Illegally Duplicated My Car Title" (February 15, 2011). According to the article, the Better Business Bureau and the FBI offer the following advice to those buying cars to avoid being the buyer of a cloned vehicle:
Internet Crime Complaint Center's (IC3.gov) Updated Scam Alerts
Extortion/Hit Man Scam
Get a copy of the car's vehicle history report.
Always check under the hood to ensure VINs match, and check for signs of tampering such as scratches.
If you are shopping, beware of a car being sold for substantially less than comparable makes and models.
Look for incorrect spellings on paperwork, like vehicle titles.
If you think your car was cloned (for instance, you receive notice of unpaid parking tickets that aren't yours), contact your local police.
Trust your intuition; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
This scam targets nannies and day care providers. The potential victims are contacted via e-mail claiming their team was hired by a friend to do harm to the victim. The fraudster demands amounts ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 to call off the hit and promising to provide evidence of who hired him. The recipient is threatened with harm to themselves or to children in their care if they fail to comply. It is believed most victims have some affiliation with a nanny position or with a day care provider position, and contact information is obtained through online classified ads offering their service as nannies. Others advertised online seeking a nanny.
Payment Processor Possibly Conducting a Ponzi Scheme
Hundreds of complaints have been received since January 2010 regarding a web site victims used to transfer money for the sales of firearms. Once the transfers are made, the victims are unable to withdraw funds after the merchandise is sold. The web site claims to be a payment processor who sends money to anyone with an e-mail address. It was created to allow for the purchase of items that others of its kind do not allow (e.g., firearms). The web site appears to have been set up as a legitimate business, but it appears it became a Ponzi scheme with previous customers being paid with funds from new customers.
Fraudsters Preying on Individuals Who Are Wanting to Adopt
This scam involves the attempt to collect personal information and funds from individuals seeking to adopt a child. Victims respond to on-line advertisements for adoptions. The fraudsters claim to have an overseas orphaned child in need of adoption. Preying on victims' emotions, the fraudsters explain how they promised to care for the child after the mother’s death. Victims are asked to send pictures of their family and to complete forms requiring personal information such as social security numbers and mother’s maiden name. In return, the fraudster sends the victims a birth certificate and pictures of a child. The fraudster requests that hundreds of dollars be sent via money orders, credit card, or wire transfer to a bank account for legal fees. The fraudster pockets the money and no child is provided for adoption.
Other Online Scams
The most common scams at the present time are Shop at Home (also called Mystery Shopper or Employment Scam), inheritance, lottery/sweepstakes winnings and scams involving selling items on eBay. These scams result in good money being exchanged for bad money, negatively impacting our members. More information can be found at www.snopes.com/fraud/employment/shopper.asp.
FBI Fraud Alert:
If you can answer "yes" to any of the following, then you could be involved in a fraud or scam.
Internet Employment Scam:
Is the check from an item you sold on the Internet, such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc?
Is the amount of the check more than the item's selling price?
Is the check connected to communicating with someone by e-mail?
Is the check drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product?
Have you been informed that you were the winner of a lottery, such as Canadian, Australian, El Gordo, or El Mundo, that you did not enter?
Have you been instructed to either wire, send, or ship money, as soon as possible, to a large U.S. city or to another country such as Canada, England, or Nigeria?
Have you been asked to pay money to receive a deposit from another country such as Canada, England, or Nigeria?
Are you receiving pay or commission for facilitating money transfers through your account?
Did you respond to an e-mail requesting you to confirm, update, or provide your account information?
Fraudulent employment scams are typically designed by con artists to appeal to job hunters seeking "work-at-home" offers. The scam is simple: to secure the interview, job seekers must either front a cash deposit or negotiate a check sent by the fraudsters. An interview date is promised to the applicant, but not verified until the "security deposit" is wired back to the con artists. By the time the check is returned against the applicant's account, the con artists are long gone and so is the cash. Protect yourself against losses and use the following tips:
Remember that anyone can place an online or newspaper ad. Contact your local Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission to verify the company.
Don't be lulled by official-sounding corporate names. Never click on an e-mail link that has not been verified. An unsolicited site may infect your computer with spyware or a key logger virus.
Never pay a company to hire you. Never use your personal account as an "exchange site" to negotiate their business, expense checks or money orders.
If you have been a victim of any Internet fraud, contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
When tragedy strikes a community, well-meaning citizens often rush to make charitable contributions without a second thought. Unfortunately, certain fraud artists make quite a comfortable living preying on a neighborhood's good intentions. The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance cautions consumers to research any organization that solicits monetary contributions. Donors are directed to make informed giving decisions based on standards set by the Alliance for legitimate charities.
Consumers are cautioned not to give cash, but rather to make out a check to the organization so that both parties have a record of the donation. Don't give in to high-pressure techniques or overly aggressive sales tactics. Don't believe that by making a donation you or your family will receive preferential treatment from the organization or its sponsors. Ask for written materials describing the groups' finances and charity programs. For more information or to view a charity's recent evaluation, go to www.give.org
Fraudulent DCCU Official Checks (Updated 07/23/2010)
Help protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud. Delta Community Credit Union is aware that our Official Checks have been recently counterfeited and are in circulation across the country. Verify any official check that you receive before you negotiate the item to prevent possible losses.
Also, be aware of the following steps to protect yourself:
Telemarketing Fraud (Updated 07/23/2010)
The counterfeit checks may be printed as "Cashiers" Checks. Delta Community does not issue Cashiers Checks. Call toll-free, 800-544-3328 or 404-715-4725 for assistance.
If you receive an unsolicited check either through FedEx or U.S. Priority Mail from an unknown person, you should be suspicious. Use extreme caution in negotiating such items as they are usually counterfeit.
If you sold something on the internet, beware. Never wire "excess funds" back to an unknown buyer for any reason! If you receive any check for over your asking price of any item, it is a suspect item.
If you receive one of these counterfeit items, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov or the U.S. Postal Inspector's Office at www.usps.com/postalinspectors.
Many legitimate companies and charities solicit consumers by phone. Unfortunately, con artists use the phone, too. They rob people every day, with phones as their weapons.
To recognize and avoid telemarketing fraud, the FTC recommends consumers ask:
Who's calling, and why? Telemarketers must tell you it's a sales call, the name of the seller, and what they're selling before they make their pitch. If they don't give you the required information, say "no thanks," and get off the phone.
What's their hurry? Fast talkers who use high-pressure tactics could be hiding something. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase.
If it's free, why are they asking me to pay? Question charges you need to pay to redeem a prize or gift. Free is free. If you have to pay, it's a purchase, not a prize or a gift.
Why am I "confirming" my account information or giving it out at all? Some callers have your billing information before they call you. They're trying to get you to say "okay" so they can claim you approved the charge. Or, they're trying to learn your account number. Don't give it out unless you know who you are talking to and what you are buying.
What time is it? The law allows telemarketers to call only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. A seller calling earlier or later is flouting the law.
Isn't there a National Do Not Call Registry? Yes, and putting your number on the Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. You still will get calls from companies with whom you have an established business relationship, charities and political organizations, unless you tell them to stop calling you, too. But calls from sales people from unfamiliar businesses may be the sign of a scam. To add your name to the Do Not Call Registry, visit www.donotcall.gov or call 888-382-1222 (TTY 866-290-4326).
Phone fraud and DNC violations can be reported Online at www.ftc.gov or by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP. DNC violations can be reported at www.donotcall.gov
or by phone at 1-888-382-1222. For a DNC report, you'll need the phone number or name of the company that called, and the date of the call.
Here are some additional precautions about telemarketing calls:
Fraudulent telemarketers understand human nature and prey on our vulnerability. We all want to believe that it's our lucky day, that we can get a great deal, or that there is an easy way to solve our problems.
Older people are disproportionately targeted by fraudulent telemarketers. That's because they're home to get the calls, they have money saved that can be robbed, and they're too polite to hang up.
It's important to know whom you're dealing with. If a company or charity is unfamiliar, check it out with the Better Business Bureau. Fraudulent operators open and close quickly, so the fact that no one has made a complaint yet doesn't guarantee the company or charity is legitimate.
Some telemarketing pitches are blatantly fraudulent, and you should know the signs. It's illegal for telemarketers to ask for a fee up front if they offer you a credit card, a loan or "repair" of your credit. It's also illegal for any company to ask you to pay or buy something to win a prize, or to claim that paying will increase your chances of winning. And it's illegal to buy and sell tickets to foreign lotteries by phone or mail.
Other danger signs of fraud that may be harder to recognize include:
Pressure to act immediately
Use of scare tactics
Refusing to send you written information
Demanding that you send payment by wire or courier
Demanding payment of taxes or customs fees to claim a prize
Requesting your financial account numbers, even though you're not paying for something with them
Promising to recover money you've lost in other scams, for a fee
Claiming that you can make lots of money working from home
Refusing to stop calling when you say you're not interested
How you pay matters. If you pay for a transaction with cash, a check or a money order, your money is gone before you realize there is a problem. Paying by credit card is safest, because you can dispute the charges if you don't get what you were promised. You don't have the same dispute rights when you pay with debit cards or give your bank account number. Bank debits have become fraudulent telemarketers' preferred form of payment.
Where telemarketers are located matters, too. Some fraudulent telemarketers are deliberately located in other countries, because it's more difficult for U.S. law enforcement agencies to pursue them. It may be hard to tell where they are; they may have mail forwarded from the U.S. and use telephone numbers that look like domestic long-distance. Be very cautious when dealing with unknown companies from other countries.
You can help cut down on fraud by reporting other kinds of telemarketing concerns to the FTC, the FCC (Form 475) and the NFIC, using their convenient online consumer complaint forms. (Source: Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs (state of Georgia))
Credit Freeze Laws
As of August 1, 2008, the state of Georgia will allow all consumers to "freeze" their credit report to assist in the prevention of identity theft. Consumers can freeze their reports for all three credit bureaus for only $9.00, $3.00 for each bureau. More information can be found at Clark Howard's web site
, or www.consumersunion.org
for a state-by-state breakdown. In the event a credit freeze is placed, it becomes necessary to "unfreeze" credit in the event the consumer applies for credit themselves. This factor should be weighed when making the decision to freeze credit, but in the case where identity has been compromised, it is usually to the benefit of the consumer to apply the freeze. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003 allows all Americans one free credit report (that contains info from all 3 reporting agencies) once a year. This can be obtained at www.annualcreditreport.com
. This truly is a 'free' site. Residents of Georgia are entitled by the Fair Business Practices Act to two free credit reports from each reporting agency per year. The three main national credit reporting agencies should be contacted directly to receive the second report.
Phishing - E-mail or malicious web sites are used to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization, such as a credit card company or a financial institution. Personal account information is requested, often suggesting there is a problem and instructing you to update your account information in order to clear the problem. Attacks can also come from a source posing as a charity, soliciting contributions for such things as natural disasters or donations to fight diseases or epidemics. The intent is to steal valuable personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, user IDs or passwords.
There have been multiple fraudulent e-mails and telephone calls directed to the general public and credit union members that appear to be from NCUA. NCUA does not ask credit union members for personal information. Anyone who receives a supposed e-mail or phone call from NCUA that asks for account information should consider it a fraudulent attempt to obtain their personal account data for an illegal purpose and should not follow the instructions in the e-mail or phone call. This is a reminder that Delta Community Credit Union will never send you an e-mail requesting information such as your account number, credit card number, user name, password or other types of confidential information. The e-mail below is a good example of how phishing works.
Never respond to messages like this:
Attn. E-mail User,
We regret to announce to you that we will be making some vital maintenance on our webmail database. During this process you might have login problems in signing into your Online account, but to prevent this you have to confirm your account immediately after you receive this notification. To confirm and to keep your account active during and after this process, please reply to this message with the below account information. Failure to do this might cause a permanent deactivation of your user account from our database to enable us create more spaces for new users.
VERIFY YOUR E-MAIL ACCOUNT DETAILS BELOW:
Name: e-mail ID:
Your account shall remain active after you have successfully confirmed your account details.
Thanks for bearing with us.
webmaster Help Desk
Vishing - A combination of the words "voice" and "phishing." The tool used is the telephone. The intent is to fool a person into submitting personal, financial or password information by "spoofing," using software to make it appear the call is coming from a financial institution.
No personal information should be given on such calls. Ask for an incident or case number, and call the telephone number listed on the back of your credit card.
Pharming - A combination of the words "farming" and "phishing." It is a computer attack by a hacker aimed to redirect a web site's traffic to another, bogus web site.
SMiShing - A combination of the abbreviation for Short Message Service (SMS) and phishing. This is a technique used to gain personal or financial information though cell phone text messages.
Delta Community Credit Union has been victimized, sending text messages supposedly from the Credit Union, advising members their debit card has been cancelled or suspended and advising it is necessary to call a specific number to reactivate. Please do not respond to this message, as it is not from Delta Community. Always call the Credit Union directly to verify the authenticity of such calls.
Counterfeit Checks & Currency:
The counterfeiting of money is one of the oldest crimes in history. Recent innovations in technology, including digital enhancements, make counterfeiting any paper document extremely easy. The Secret Service has jurisdiction over investigations dealing with counterfeited currency. Local law enforcement also aggressively pursues counterfeiters, but they are often understaffed and ill equipped to deal with financial fraud. Consumers need to be aware of what security measures are in place to protect their currency and what to look for in a suspected counterfeit check.
Pay attention to your "gut feeling." Is the quality of the paper substandard, does it feel smooth to the touch or have a waxy feel? Does the face of the check have misspelled words or ink smudges? Hold the bill up to the light and verify that the watermark image matches the portrait appearing in the middle of the bill. Many counterfeiters wash a $5 bill and reprint a $100 note so that the paper passes the initial acid test. The watermark, however, remains on the bill and currently cannot be circumvented by the fraud artists. For more information on how to spot a counterfeit and what to do if you are an unlucky recipient, go to www.secretservice.gov