It’s unfortunate, but scammers are working harder than ever to fool consumers. One of the tricks of the trade is referred to as phishing, defined as the fraudulent practice of sending emails or making telephone calls pretending to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
Credit Union members are often contacted by these criminals. The following tips will help you to recognize phishing and avoid taking the bait.
According to SLFCU Risk Manager Rachel Dimas, “While we will ask questions to ensure we are speaking with the correct account holder, we will never ask for PINs or passwords for their accounts.”
Rachel adds, “SLFCU might call a member directly, particularly if there appears to be suspicious activity (transactions) on an account.” SLFCU Card Services Manager Jeff Morris explained that if the Credit Union does call you, it will be to identify specific information on transactions. “If the call seems suspicious, simply say you do not feel comfortable answering questions, hang up and call the Credit Union or cardholder services using the number on the back of your SLFCU credit or debit card to confirm.”
Finally, Rachel suggests every SLFCU member be the first line of defense against fraud. “Don’t rely on others to do this job for you. Monitor your accounts and transactions regularly. If you have online access to your accounts, it’s even better not to wait for your paper statements and check your statements immediately. Also, use the free annual credit report services available to all consumers at annualcreditreport.com as well as educational resources from the Federal Trade Commission. We always refer our fraud victims to consumer.ftc.gov for consumer fraud education and victim resources. A big thing to keep in mind is that social media is one of the largest platforms where fraudsters look for information. Be careful when using these platforms and familiarize yourself with their security.”
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