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Those words are most often heard by the water cooler. And, it's no surprise. We place great value in each of our employees.
We keep you informed of the latest scams and fraud to protect you and your finances
Technology may make our lives easier, but it also makes it easier for someone to steal your identity and credit history. At Providence Federal Credit Union, we want to ensure that our members are aware of the latest tricks and scams that thieves are implementing to steal your identity.
Visit these sites for more information on Identity Theft:
Below are some of the latest scams reported, so be sure to visit often to protect you and your family.
10.24.12 + BARNES & NOBLE PIN PAD BREACH
Barnes & Noble Inc released a statement on Tuesday evening (October 23) in which the bookstore change said that in September it detected a problem with PIN pad devices at some of their stores.
Their investigations found that PIN pad devices in 63 stores in nine states had been compromised. While neither Oregon nor Washington are on the list of states, credit unions’ members may have visited the affected stores in their travels.
The stores with infected PIN pad devices were located in the states of California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
The FBI continues to investigate the crime.
Barnes & Noble suggest that customers who may have used one of the suspected PIN pad devices should change the pin number on their debit card and notify their credit unions of any unauthorized charges. Credit card customers should monitor their statements and report any unauthorized charges.
09.04.12 + CREDIT UNION MEMBERS RECRUITED AS MONEY MULES
Money mules are most often recruited through bogus job offers for payment processors, financial managers, or overseas representatives. Fraudsters typically find their potential money mules by searching websites where job seekers post their resumes. A key consideration in accepting the position is the ability to work from home.
Upon accepting the job, the money mules are notified they will receive deposits to their accounts via ACH and/or wire transfer. In some cases, the money mules are instructed to open an account at a financial institution in order to receive the funds. The mules are instructed to not share details of their new job with anyone. Upon receipt of the funds, the mules are instructed to either wire the funds to an account at another financial institution (foreign and domestic) or send the funds to individuals via Western Union. The money mules keep a portion of the funds deposited to their accounts as wages.
In one case, a credit union member was recruited to assist a foreign company in purchasing heavy construction equipment. The fraudsters deposited the stolen funds to the member’s account via wire transfer. The member even received a bogus purchase invoice for the equipment from the fraudsters. The member was instructed to wire the funds to the equipment manufacturer’s account, which turned out to be a fraudulent account opened by the fraudsters.
The deposits made to the money mule accounts via ACH and/or wire transfer were actually stolen from deposit accounts at other financial institutions and investment accounts held at brokerage firms. Using sophisticated banking Trojans, such as Zeus, fraudsters steal the login credentials of online banking users and investors who access their investment accounts online. The fraudster logs into the account and transfers funds via ACH and/or wire transfer to the money mules’ accounts.
The money mules are recruited through means other than bogus jobs. Fraudsters often find their victims by searching online dating websites. The victim’s new-found love fabricates a story to dupe the victim into laundering stolen funds. In a common scam, a fraudster located overseas claims to have a friend in the United States and wants the friend to fly overseas for a visit; however, the friend cannot transfer money overseas to purchase the ticket. The lovelorn victim agrees to help his/her newfound love and receives a deposit to his/her account with instructions to wire the funds overseas.
As always, be skeptical and cautious when someone ask you to wire or transfer funds to their accounts or an account.
01.23.12 + FAKE FORECLOSURE REVIEW OFFERS
In November 2011, federal bank regulators ordered certain mortgage servicers to identify consumers whose homes faced foreclosure between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. These consumers should have received a letter by the end of 2011 indicating that they may request an independent review of their foreclosure. If the review finds that the homeowner suffered financial injury caused by deficiencies in the foreclosure process, they may be eligible for compensation. There is no cost associated with the federal government's Independent Foreclosure Review program.
Unfortunately, scam artists are also contacting Oregon consumers and offering to conduct an "Independent Foreclosure Home Loan Review" or a "securitization review" for a fee. Attorney General John Kroger warns Oregonians to steer clear of independent foreclosure review scams.
- Beware of anyone who wants payment to assist you with an independent foreclosure review or any other homeowner assistance or foreclosure prevention program
- If you receive a letter suggesting that you qualify for compensation or received a grant without having requested an independent review from the federal government, it is a scam
- A government agency will never request your contact information, Social Security number, banking information, or credit card numbers in an email
- Steer clear of anyone who claims they can guarantee a permanent mortgage modification or halt the foreclosure process
More information can be found at http://www.independentforeclosurereview.com. If you received a notification about an independent foreclosure review and are unsure of its authenticity, contact the Federal Reserve Board at 888-952-9105 or learn more at What You Need to Know: Independent Foreclosure Review . If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, there are many free HUD-approved housing counselors around Oregon. Visit http://foreclosurehelp.oregon.gov for more information.
01.03.12 + Another Version of Zeus is on the loose
Alert Summary for Business Consumers
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently issued an alert on a new version of the Zeus Trojan called Gameover, which is distributed via spear phishing attacks aimed at commercial accounts and ultimately lead to account takeovers. Emails purporting to be from NACHA (The Electronic Payments Association) inform the victim organizations of a failed ACH transaction. The victim’s computer is infected with the Trojan when they click on the link contained in the email.
Gameover is used to steal online banking login credentials and can defeat several forms of dual-factor authentication. Cyber thieves initiate large dollar wire transfers from the compromised accounts. The cyber thieves employ a number of tactics in this scam, including the use of money mules and distributed denial of service attacks (DDos). After the cyber thieves initiate wire transfers out of the account, they conduct a DDos attack on the financial institution in attempt to take down the institution’s website. The FBI believes the DDos attack is used as a smoke-screen to deflect attention from the wire transfers. The wires are transmitted to high-end jewelry stores, which is where the money mules come into play. The perpetrators contact the high-end jeweler with a request to purchase precious stones and high-end watches. The jewelry store is informed payment via wire transfer will be made and someone will come in to pick-up the merchandise.
Note: NACHA does not send emails directly to businesses or consumers.
07.08.11 + Computer Unsecurity
The Oregon Department of Justice has received more than a dozen complaints about scam artists attempting to gain remote access to Oregonians' computers. These scammers contact consumers by phone or email claiming to work for a computer company and that the consumer's computer is at extreme risk of being infected with viruses or malware due to tremendous amounts of internet activity. They offer to walk the consumer through security measures to protect their computer, and in an ironic twist, lead the consumer to download the very malware they are warning them about, and gain access to sensitive financial information.
One consumer in Lane County reported falling victim to a scammer claiming to work for a New York-based company called Login4Speed. A letter sent by the Oregon Department of Justice to the company's listed address - 257 Albany Road, New York, New York, 10280 - was returned as undeliverable. The scammer likely used a bogus United States address to appear legitimate but is actually operating from overseas.
Last year Oregonians reported losing nearly $2 million to scams. Attorney General Kroger offers the following advice to avoid falling victim:
- If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call claiming your computer is at risk or needs attention, hang up or delete the email. Never open attachments or click on links from suspicious emails.
- Make sure your computer has up to date anti-virus software. Perform a virus scan on a regular basis.
- Pop-up ads commonly carry malware. Do not be enticed by fake offers of "free" stuff, surveys or contests. Also, never provide personal information through pop-up ads.
- If you suspect a virus or malware is lurking on your computer, stop shopping, banking, and other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information.
- For more on what to do in an emergency see: www.onguardonline.gov
If you receive a suspicious solicitation but are unsure whether or not you are the target of a scam, please call the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.
02.04.11 + Fake Debt Collection Scams
The Oregon Department of Justice has received several complaints regarding phony debt collection calls. Scam artists pose as debt collectors or law enforcement officers calling about an outstanding debt from an online payday loan. They frequently use fake phone numbers and official sounding business names. They also do their research. Some Oregonians have been tricked into paying nonexistent debt because the scam artist knew personal information about them, including their Social Security number, home address, e-mail, and names of family and personal references.
The majority of debt collectors abide by the rules of fair debt collection practices. Not only are these phony debt collectors stealing from Oregon consumers, the tactics they are using are illegal. Attorney General Kroger reminds Oregonians that debt collectors may not:
- Harass or abuse you or any third party. Harassment includes using threats of violence, obscene language, or repeatedly calling simply to annoy
- Claim to be a government or law enforcement representative
- Misrepresent the amount owed
- Use a fake company name
- Give false credit information about you to anyone
- Suggest you have committed a crime
- Send fake "official documents" from a court or government agency
- Deposit a post-dated check early
- Take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act collectors must send written notice of the debt within five days of initial contact. The notice should include information about the debt, the name of the creditor, and notice that the consumer has 30 days to dispute the debt in writing.
If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a fake debt collection scam, please call the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 for assistance.
08.13.10 + Buyer Beware: Door-To-Door Magazine Sales
Attorney General John Kroger warns Oregonians to be on the lookout for unscrupulous door-to-door magazine peddlers.
Door-to-door magazine companies are a perennial source of frustration for Oregon consumers, generating more than 150 complaints in the past year alone. Employees of travelling sales crews - mostly young adults - sell magazines and other products door-to-door using a variety of misleading sales pitches in order to obtain orders.
Most recently the Oregon Department of Justice has seen influx of complaints about Atlantic Circulation, Inc., a magazine distribution company. The sales crews employed by Atlantic Circulation have allegedly tried to boost sales by suggesting the magazine subscriptions will benefit a charity. In fact, many consumers who purchased subscriptions from the company never received their orders and there was no charitable donation.
Travelling sales crews don't just raise consumer protection concerns, the crewmembers themselves are sometimes victims of scam and physical abuse. While these smooth-talking hucksters may pepper you with stories about raising funds for college, athletics, troops abroad, church or a local charity, many are employed by for-profit operations that take advantage of vulnerable youth and homeless teens.
Don't be fooled. There are legitimate organizations that conduct fundraising or sell products door-to-door. Nevertheless, Oregonians should proceed with caution when contemplating transactions at the door.
Here are some things you can do to avoid being bamboozled:
- If you're not expecting someone, don't answer the door.
- If you answer the door, don't open it wide and NEVER invite them in.
- Don't feel pressured to buy on the spot; before you buy anything, check whether the business is registered to solicit door-to-door with the city you live in.
- Ask for materials in writing before purchasing the product.
- If you feel threatened, call the police.
- If you gave a check and want to cancel your order, cancel the check first, then call to cancel the subscription.
- If you gave a credit card number and are concerned it will now be misused, call your credit card company and cancel the card. You may also need to monitor the charges that appear on your account for a while. Oregon has a "cooling off rule" allowing consumers three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made at your home. Under the Cooling-Off Rule, the salesperson must:
- Tell you about your cancellation rights at the time of sale.
- Give you two copies of a cancellation form (one to keep and one to send).
- Give you a copy of your contract or receipt.
Anyone who believes they have been approached by a scammer should call the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or go to the Department's Web site: www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov. Attorney General John Kroger recently unveiled a new feature on called Be InfORmed, which allows consumers to look up complaints about businesses on-line: www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov/beinformed.
07.21.10 + Automated Phone Message Attack
A Card Alert Service member financial institution reported today that they are under an automated Message attack in the Provo, Utah area. Pre-recorded phone messages are being delivered to random Consumers with the warning that their debit cards have been closed. When the consumers call the Telephone number provided by the fraudsters they hear a recording that requests a 16- digit card number and Pin. Please do not call these numbers-they may still be active. This matter is under investigation.
What you need to know
- The local Utah US Secret Service field office has been notified of this situation.
- Provo, Utah and surrounding areas should be on alert.
- The following numbers have all been used to perpetrate this scam:
06.01.10 + International Mass Marketing Fraud
The Internet Crime Complaint Center, IC3, has published a brochure on International Mass Marketing Fraud. The brochure covers the following types of scams: charity, counterfeit cashiers checks, foreign lotteries, investment, mortgage, romance, telemarketing, and West African Advance Fee.
Click Here to view the brochure.
12.15.09 + Holiday Scammers
The scammers are asking members to contact them by telephone, e-mail and/or text messages to provide their card information, or other personal/financial information. This type of request is a scam. Please inform your members about the risks associated with these scams.
It's important for members to know that credit unions (or other financial institutions) would never solicit their personal identification and/or financial information via e-mail, text or telephone. If members respond to such solicitations, ask them to contact you immediately using the local telephone number provided by your credit union.
CUNA Mutual has been notified by credit unions about these scams, and has helped them successfully shut down the fraudulent telephone numbers.
Tips to protect members:
- Don't respond to e-mails, text messages or telephone calls asking for personal identification or financial information
- E-mails and Internet pages created by scammers may look exactly like credit unions
- Learn more about phishing scam techniques at http://www.antiphishing.org/consumer_recs.html
- Take action immediately by alerting your credit union, placing fraud alerts on your credit files, and monitoring your account statements
- Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT
10.1.09 + Techniques Used By Fraudsters On Social Networking Sites
Fraudsters continue to hijack accounts on social networking sites and spread malicious software by using various techniques. One technique involves the use of spam to promote phishing sites, claiming there has been a violation of the terms of agreement or some other type of issue which needs to be resolved. Other spam entices users to download an application or view a video. Some spam appears to be sent from users' "friends", giving the perception of being legitimate. Once the user responds to the phishing site, downloads the application, or clicks on the video link, their computer, telephone or other digital device becomes infected.
Another technique used by fraudsters involves applications advertised on social networking sites, which appear legitimate; however, some of these applications install malicious code or rogue anti-virus software. Other malicious software gives the fraudsters access to your profile and personal information. These programs will automatically send messages to your "friends" list, instructing them to download the new application too.
Infected users are often unknowingly spreading additional malware by having infected Web sites posted on their Webpage without their knowledge. Friends are then more apt to click on these sites since they appear to be endorsed by their contacts.
Tips on avoiding these tactics:
- Adjust Web site privacy settings. Some networking sites have provided useful options to assist in adjusting these settings to help protect your identity.
- Be selective of your friends. Once selected, your "friends" can access any information marked as "viewable by all friends."
- You can select those who have "limited" access to your profile. This is for those whom you do not wish to give full friend status to or with whom you feel uncomfortable sharing personal information.
- Disable options and then open them one by one such as texting and photo sharing capabilities. Users should consider how they want to use the social networking site. If it is only to keep in touch with people then perhaps it would be better to turn off the extra options which will not be used.
- Be careful what you click on. Just because someone posts a link or video to their "wall" does not mean it is safe.
Those interested in becoming a user of a social networking site and/or current users are recommended to familiarize themselves with the site's policies and procedures before encountering such a problem.
Each social networking site may have different procedures on how to handle a hijacked or infected account; therefore, you may want to reference their help or FAQ page for instructions.
Individuals who experienced such incidents are encouraged to file a complaint at www.IC3.gov reporting the incident.
4.22.09 + SMISHING ALERT: TEXT MESSAGE SCAM
Credit unions across the country are reporting that their members are receiving unsolicited text messages. It is an attempt at Smishing, the latest form of phishing. In Smishing, an e-mail tries to lure a recipient into giving personal information via SMS, the communications protocol used to send text messages to a wireless device. The recent scam is targeting credit union and other financial institution members.
In Smishing, the members receive a text message via cell phone warning that their credit union or bank account has been closed due to unusual activity or their credit/debit card is no longer valid. It then tells them they need to call a certain phone number to reactivate the account.
Unsuspecting callers who dial the number provided in the text message will be taken to an automated voice mail box that prompts them to key in their credit card or debit card number, expiration date, and PIN to verify their information. Providence Credit Union WILL NEVER text or email you asking for personal information (i.e. account number, PIN, Social Security Number, etc).
If you have a question concerning your account or credit/debit card, contact Providence Credit Union using a telephone number obtained independently, such as the phone number from your statement, a telephone book, or other independent means.
- Be wary of any message received from an unknown sender.
- Do not open unsolicited e-mails or text messages.
- Do not click on any links provided in unsolicited e-mails
- Don't display your wireless phone number or e-mail address in public. This includes newsgroups, chat rooms, Web sites, or membership directories.
- If you open an unwanted message, send a stop or opt out message in response.
- Contact your wireless or Internet service provider about unwanted messages.
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