Fraud and Identity Theft
Don’t Get Lured In by Phishing Scamsters’
Hundreds of consumers have found themselves the victims of an email scam known as “phishing.” It involves high-tech fraudsters who pretend to be a legitimate financial institution or credit card company.
Hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, the fraudsters send out “official-looking” emails designed to trick consumers into divulging financial and personal information such as account numbers, passwords, user names, Social Security Numbers, and other sensitive data.
In most cases, the email claims there is an account problem or warns of a possible account fraud threat. Either way — the whole idea is to convince consumers there is an immediate need to update their financial information.
If you receive an email from Allegheny Metal FCU requesting financial information or any other personal or sensitive data:
- Treat the email with suspicion.
- Do not reply to the email or respond by clicking on a link within the email message. Allegheny Metal FCU will never ask you to provide any kind of confidential or financial details via an email request.
- Contact Allegheny Metal FCU as soon as possible to report the suspicious email. You can reach our office by calling (724) 845-8923.
Avoid Fraud While Holiday Shopping
The PA Department of Banking and Securities and PA State Police advise holiday shoppers – whether online or at brick-and-mortar stores – to be especially vigilant in protecting their financial information.
Consumers can take these seven steps to protect themselves:Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann and State Police Commissioner Colonel Tyree C. Blocker remind consumers to be watchful for fraudulent card skimming devices, which can be attached to ATM machines, gas pumps, or other payment processing machines in retail stores, and to exercise good cybersecurity practices when shopping online.
- Use ATMs and gas pumps in well-lit, secure locations.
- Examine the card reader slot and surrounding areas to see if anything looks out of place, mismatched, or loose.
- Consider using a credit card not linked to your bank account to avoid compromising your PIN or cash flow, and to gain other consumer protections. Read this brief Credit or Debit guide to learn more.
- Check your bank and credit card statements frequently to watch for fraudulent activity and report any unfamiliar activity immediately.
- Look for signs of an encrypted website when providing sensitive personal information such as credit card, banking information, or SSNs online; key identifiers include a website address for the website’s login page that begins with “https” and a padlock icon in your browser status bar.
- Do not open links or attachments in unsolicited emails from any person or vendor you do not know.
- You can also give yourself a gift this holiday season. Order a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com at 1-877-322-8228.
Federal Credit Union
260 Pershing Avenue
Leechburg, PA 15656
Phone: (724) 845-8923
Fax: (724) 845-7452
MONDAY through FRIDAY
8:30 am to 4:30 pm –
Last transaction 4:15 pm
OFFICE CLOSED EARLY
Last Business Day of month –
Last transaction 3:00 pm
What to do if you fall victim to Identity Theft
Contact your financial institution immediately and alert it to the situation.
Close accounts you think have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Call the security or fraud department of each associated company or financial institution. Follow up in writing with details and supply copies of supporting documents.
It is important to notify credit card companies and financial institutions in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document when and what the company received. Keep copies of your correspondence and enclosures.
Report all suspicious contacts to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet at:
Or Call: 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
For a list of State Attorneys General’s, go to www.naag.org
Check with your state Attorney General’s office to find out if state law requires the police to take reports for identity theft. Check the Blue Pages of your telephone directory for the phone number, or check
If possible, file a report with local police or police in the community where the identity theft took place. Obtain a copy of the police report or the report number. It can help you deal with creditors who need proof of the crime. If the police are reluctant to take your report, ask to file a “Miscellaneous Incidents” report.
Also available at the Credit Union’s office is the brochure: “TAKING CHARGE- WHAT TO DO IF YOUR IDENTITY IS STOLEN”
THE LATEST SCAM:
Note: The callers do not ask for your credit card number; they already have it.
The scam works like this:
The person calling says, “This is (name), and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify the transaction. The card used was your VISA card that was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in Arizona?”
When you say “NO”, the caller continues with, “Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297.00 to $497.99, just under the $500.00 purchase pattern that flags most credit cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (caller gives you your address), is that correct?”
You say “yes”. The caller continues: “I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number.” The caller then gives you a 6-digit number. “Do you need me to read it again?”
Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works.
The caller then says, “I need to verify you are in possession of your card.” The caller will ask you to turn your card over and look for some numbers. There are seven (7) numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card.
The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, “That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?” After you say “NO”, the caller then thanks you and states, “Don’t hesitate to call back”, and hangs up.
The cardholder actually says very little, and the caller never asks for or tells you the card number.
The real VISA® will never ask for anything on the card, they already know the information. If you give the scammers your 3-digit number, you think you’re receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make.
Plastic card fraud statistics are up, and much of the fraud comes from criminal activities we can’t control. But safeguarding your cards and identity from the risk of exposure starts with keeping constant control of your cards and card numbers.
We all need to be responsible and aware of actions that will minimize risk and keep our cards safe.
Follow these good habits:
1. Sign your cards with permanent ink as soon as you receive them.
2. Memorize your PIN (personal identification number). Do not choose PINs such as phone numbers or the last four numbers of your social security number.
3. Do not reply to emails or respond by clicking on a link within the e-mail message asking you for any financial information. Allegheny Metal FCU will never ask you to provide any kind of confidential or financial details via an email request.
4. Carry only cards you’re going to use. Leave all other cards at home in a safe place.
5. Watch the merchant perform your card transaction. Never let them write your card number down.
6. When shopping online, make sure you only enter your card information on trusted sites that have a yellow padlock on the bottom browser window frame.
7. Never give your personal or financial information out to anyone contacting you via phone. Hang up and call your financial institution using a phone number you are familiar with to verify the call.
8. Report lost or stolen cards immediately. 9. Never lend your cards to anyone or leave them unattended anywhere.
10. Never throw receipts in the trash where others can get them.
Report a Lost or Stolen Card A.S.A.P.
Your savings is federally insured up to $250,000.00 through the National Credit Union Administration, a U. S. Government Agency and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. For More information, visit www.ncua.gov.